The True Cost of Female Infanticide: An In Depth Investigation of Female Infanticide in China and India

When a child is born, especially in Modern Western cultures, parents along with friends and family are usually ecstatic with the news of a new family member. In these cultures, a parent’s biggest wish for their child is usually that they come out strong and healthy. This reality that many grow up with is, unfortunately, not a universal phenomenon. Infanticide, which is defined by the BBC Ethics Panel as “the unlawful killing of very young children” is sadly found in both indigenous and sophisticated cultures around the world. Although this problem exists for both genders there is a terrible gap. This is known as ‘gendercide’ which is the gender-selective killing of a person of any age and more importantly as female infanticide which is the specific targeting of female babies in the hopes of eradication. Female infanticide is not only much more common than male infanticide but in some countries, particularly China and India, is likely to have serious consequences on the balance of the sexes in these countries (BBC). The main focus of this research paper is to find out the causes of female infanticide, particularly in China and India, what female infanticide means for a family and a country as a whole and also what solutions are there to help end this practice and if they are actually effective.

Before any focus can be brought to China and India, it is important to first look at the specific reasons normally cited for the need for female infanticide. Although many, including the BBC Ethics Panel, state that the reasons are usually more so cultural than religious, it is undeniable that religion itself also plays a role. One reason for female infanticide is an ‘anti-female bias’ (BBC). Many societies that pract…

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