Young Scholars Series:

Sex Selection in China and its Demographic Causes

December 4, 2013

Young Scholar: Anne Morse

Anne Morse graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Political Economy with a concentration in the economics of human rights.  She now works as media coordinator for the Population Research Institute.


Sex selective abortion is known to be a serious problem in some countries, including India and China. Anne Morse discusses how skewed gender ratios resulting from sex selection are further exacerbated by falling fertility rates, even as women’s status in society improves. Using demography data from China, she demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of girls are aborted each year, simply for being female. Morse’s analysis shows that, contrary to arguments frequently heard in the UN and elsewhere, elevating the status of women is not enough by itself to reverse the harms of sex selection.