Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sex ratios - muddying the waters

As a scientist, I find the deliberate confusion which "activists" in India have created over the sex ratio ( ratio of males to females ) infuriating. It amazes me why no one has objected to this, and why everyone has toed the wrong line !
Worldwide, the sex ratio is universally defined as the ratio of males to females . It's only in India that this has been deliberately distorted and inverted, so that in the Indian context, the ratio refers to the ratio of females to males ! Isn't this ridiculous ? It's like saying 1 kilo is 1000 gm in other parts of the world, but in India it's going to be 900 grams. You cannot change universally accepted scientific nomenclature like this - it's plainly ridiculous.
This brings us to the next question - Why was this done ?
The answer is simple - Because of a hidden agenda. Some activists are worried over the declining number of girls who are being born in India as a result of the preference for boys in Indian culture. If more boys than girls are born, then this means the sex ratio at birth ( when defined classically, as the number of boys to girls) will increase. Now, for most people, an increase is good. Therefore, to obscure the issue, some very clever manipulator of public opinion decided to reverse the very definition of the sex ratio, and decided that in India, the sex ratio would refer to the number of girls to boys ( rather than the other way around). This meant that he could then talk about the "declining sex ratio " in India - and since for most people a decrease is bad, he could get media support and attention ( and funds !) for making efforts to improve the "decreasing " sex ratio, and protect the girl child ! Very clever indeed !
While I must admire his brilliance in making a fool of the general public, what distresses me is how willingly other scientific researchers have agreed to toe this line. One cannot unilaterally change the definition of a scientific term just to suit one's convenience. Doing so just makes it impossible to intelligently discuss the issue, or compare ratios with other countries ! This stinks of manipulation which is being done with a vested interest !

3 comments:

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  2. Didn't know that, thanks Doctor !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting perspective. but I am not sure about whether it is "bad" manipulation - female infanticidea nd the general bias against girl children is a well documented fact in india - and if this serves to highlight the seriousness of the problem, then maybe toerance towwards such manipuation is alright...?

    And doc, I think you need to activate the word identification tool on blogger to preevnt these spam comments.

    Charu
    http://indsight.org/blog

    ReplyDelete

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