A reader from Wadsworth, Ohio, named Tom Morris writes with an idea. He is a lawyer and, he says, and an “occasional acting judge in a small town”:
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In my capacity as acting judge, I find myself repeatedly dealing with the same issues. Young adults irresponsibly having kids without any ability, either monetarily or emotionally, to raise them. These unwanted kids are left unsupervised, and are more likely to commit crimes and have more unwanted kids, which continues this cycle.
While I have not crunched the numbers to support this hypothesis, it is consistent with Dr. Levitt’s study made famous from your first book. Unwanted children are a bad thing. Preventing this “bad thing” would lead to a reduction in crime, reduction in poverty, and a reduction of just about every other social ill I can think of.
Mara Hvistendahl‘s research features prominently in our latest podcast, “Misadventures in Baby-Making.” Her book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, looks at how advancements in prenatal technology have led to extreme cases of gender selection across much of Asia.
As economic development spurs people in developing countries to have fewer children and gives them access to technologies such as ultrasound, parents are making sure that at least one of their children is a boy. As a result, sex-selective abortion has left more than 160 million females “missing” from Asia’s population. It’s estimated that by 2020, 15 percent of men in China and northwest India will have no female counterpart. The consequences of that imbalance are far-reaching and include rises in sex-trafficking, bride-buying and a spike in crime as well.
Mara is currently a Beijing-based correspondent for Science. She has kindly agreed to answer your questions on her book and research. So, as always, fire away in the comments section, and we will post her replies in due course. In the meantime, here is the table of contents of Unnatural Selection. Read More »
A new study released by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, from main author Debra Stulberg, surveys 1,144 ob-gyns (1,800 were initially approached) to see how many provide abortion services. Though legal, abortion is much harder to come by than one might expect: while 97% of ob-gyns reported having encountered women seeking an abortion, only 14% said they were willing to perform the service.
The Times recently reported the death of Constance E. Cook, a former assemblywoman from upstate New York who co-wrote the measure that legalized abortion in that state in 1970, three years before the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade did so for most of the rest of the country. While the history of Roe […] Read More »
If Roe v. Wade contributed to the U.S. crime drop of the 1990’s, could China’s one-child policy be having the opposite effect today? When the Chinese government instituted the policy in 1979, it touched off a wave of sex-selective abortions as pregnant couples decided that if they could have only one child they would benefit […] Read More »
The abortion rate in the United States is at a thirty year low — though even with the decline, we are still talking about a large number of abortions in absolute terms, or 1.2 million per year. To put this number into perspective, there are about 4 million births per year in the U.S. John […] Read More »
The following are headlines from this week’s major newspapers following the release of official 2006 crime statistics: From the Washington Post: Violent Crime, a Sticky Issue for White House, Shows Steeper Rise From the Los Angeles Times: Violent Crime Rises Again From the Philadelphia Inquirer: Rise in Violent Crimes is Higher than Expected It is […] Read More »