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Are US-Asian Couples Practicing Sexual Selection?

areasianselection.jpgMany Asian cultures are known to prefer boys. I come from Asia myself but fortunately such preference wasn`t practiced by my parents despite our part-Chinese heritage. However, my husband and I have been told over and over again how lucky we are ? to have twin boys!

It seems that sexual preference for the baby boys is prevalent even in Asian families in the US. Results of a US 2000 census show that the chances of having sons after having one or two daughters are much higher than among Chinese, Korean, and Asian Indian couples compared to the rest of the population.

The results of the study have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and speculate on deliberate sexual selection among Asians.

The disproportionate male births in this ethnic group weren`t evident in an earlier census in 1990, leading to further speculations about selective abortion of female fetuses.

Early determination of fetal gender is so easy these days. According to, with the latest ultrasound technology, it is now possible to determine the sex of the fetus as early as 11 to 12 weeks. However, 95 to 100% accuracy is only possible at 20 weeks.
Genetic tests such as are chronic villi sampling and amniocentesis can also determine fetal sex.

The authors of the study emphasized that the study results shouldn`t be used as a generalization. Not all Asian families practice sexual selection.

My husband and I did not practice sexual selection. Did we get lucky? Yes, we feel lucky that we have 2 healthy boys. We would also feel lucky and happy had we had 2 girls or a boy and a girl. For us, gender isn`t an issue. Another Asian lady I know has 5 boys in a row (a whole basketball team, I told her), always hoping for a girl, until she stopped trying.
So please ? don`t generalize.


Almund & Edlund. Son-biased sex ratios in the 2000 United States Census, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Published online on March 31, 2008

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