New gender detection technique: gift or curse for girls in India?

January 27, 2012

By Ariana Wardak

Researchers in South Korea have developed a blood test that can determine the sex of a foetus as early as five weeks but not everyone may be gung-ho about the discovery, fearing it might be misused for sex selection in South Asian countries such as India where boys are prized over girls.

While the ability to determine the gender of a baby through a simple and cheap blood test may be seen as a blessing in the scientific community, the technique might prove lethal to baby girls in India where there is already a great difference in gender ratio with 933 females for every thousand males.

Until three decades ago, female infanticide — the killing a newborn baby girl — was widespread in India but due to advancement in technology, it is now possible to determine the gender in the womb itself, leading to a higher number of abortions.

The ultrasound test is currently the most commonly used procedure for finding the gender of the baby but it cannot be done before five months of pregnancy whereas  an invasive test that carries a one to two percent risk of miscarriage must be done after 11 weeks.

“(The new test could) reduce the need for invasive procedures in pregnant women carrying an X-linked chromosomal abnormality and clarify inconclusive readings by ultrasound,” lead researcher Hyun Mee Ryu said.

The scientists said the method “might promote the potential for sex selection” and warned “there should be careful consideration about the use of this analytical tool in clinical situations”.

Thanks to female foeticide, high rates of violence and economic discrimination against women, a recent poll done by Reuters Foundation ranked India among one of the worst countries for women.

(Interact with Ariana at @arianawardak )


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If Indian society develops an efficient way to prevent the birth of females, they will soon be unable to reproduce, thus relegating their bizarre belief system to the annals of historical curiosities.

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive

this will surely be a threat to upcoming baby girls.Though the detection of child sex has been legally banned in India but there are still high percentage of infanticide prevailing in India than other countries.

Posted by gohan | Report as abusive

you can see lots of miss use of tec in India………..

Posted by | Report as abusive

i think this wrong test invented by a fool , i dont think this will help to anyone in right way , this test should be banned with immediate effect.

Posted by tallguy | Report as abusive

It is very unfortunate that throughout the world I observe a tendency that advancement of scientific technological progress is being hampered in most cases because of government’s administrative weaknesses and because of religious considerations and obstructions .

It is encouraging to find my commenter friends accepting the inevitable danger of the recent tech to detect child’s gender within 5 months after a women gets pregnant in the light of the prevailing situation existing in India.

From reports coming from every corner of the world child infanticide has become a routine affair without meaningful resistance from any quarter even in India they have law against it but no enforcement of the law. The worst is even the doctors with reasons unknown they themselves help in the matter of infanticide. May be they do it for money.

however, authorities of the world should put all head together and find a solution to this killing just because of being a girl can we not term it a genocide.

But no obstruction should be made to obstruct any scientific development and its implementation.

Posted by KINGISKING | Report as abusive

At some point they shall realize that all the baby girls are killed and they have no women to get married to, that is when all shall change.

Posted by Smart123 | Report as abusive