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The Law of Unintended Consequences


There’s a natural ratio of men to women for our species, and it is not equal. For every 100 girls, 105 boys are born. But in some places, like India and China, the ratio is skewed. One Chinese city recorded an astounding 163 boys born per 100 girls. So, why is this happening?
The ultrasound.
The expanding use of this technology has allowed expecting parents to abort unwanted girls and keep the boys. The ability to sex-select has caused the disappearance of an estimated 160 million girls in Asia alone.
In this Marketplace segment, Stephen J. Dubner reports on the unintended consequences that come with new technology. You’ll hear from Mara Hvistendahl, the author of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of MenStephen Quake, a biophysicist at Stanford, and Freakonomics co-author and University of Chicago economist Steve Levitt.
Here’s where to find Marketplace on the radio near you.