News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

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Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

09 January 2006

ultrasound gender skew

The symbols for gender come from the
astrological/astronomical symbols for
Venus' mirror and Mars' shield and spear.

Vleeptron's Correspondent on the Life Sciences, Amy, is also Absent Without Leave, leaving Bob to explain such matters as chemical metathesis (2005's Nobel Chemistry Prize, demonstrated to the press by several pairs of ballroom dancers). Bob feels slightly inadequate.

The last time I checked my high school biology textbook, in a large normal human population, the ratio of male to female births is almost exactly 50-50, with an excess of girls so slight that it may be statistically insignificant -- i.e., there may not really be an inherent, permanent excess of girls at all.

At this instant, Judge Whatshisname Alito is about to endure his first round of questioning by the members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and it doesn't take a PhD in the Life Sciences to predict that most of the hand grenades the Democratic Senators will lob his way will be about Roe v. Wade, as the Senators try to pry from Alito's mouth some hint about how he might vote if an American woman's right to an abortion should come up before a Supreme Court which includes him.

To my knowledge, this question -- a purposeful skew in the 50-50 birth gender ratio caused by the new ultrasound technology which can show a fetus' gender very early in pregnancy -- has not yet emerged in the superhostile Roe v. Wade political dialogue. Maybe this New Scientist article -- from a Lancet study (an extremely prestigious medical science journal from UK) -- will make its way into the Alito questioning.

The High Non-Junk Science Council of Vleeptron doesn't believe that "the instant when Human Life begins" is an authentic question with any scientific or logical meaning, and never merited being at the Center of the Abortion Cyclone for so many decades. One way of looking at the question of "When Does Life Begin?" is that Life Begins in a tidal pool about 4,500,000,000 years ago, and every subsequent moment in the evolution of Life is a straightforward consequence of that one moment. When Flavor Fave's life began exactly isn't a scientific question, and is even fuzzy and vague in the context of theology and metaphysics.

But this question has meaning. Ultrasound is, apparently, demonstrating the potential to create a very new kind of human Future, where there are noticeably a lot more boys than girls in Timmy's 4th Grade classroom.

So much for the Science. Next step is for Morals and Ethics to catch up to Science, and next step is for Politicians to catch up to Morals and Ethics and manufacture some Laws.
That ought to be Quite Entertaining.

Note that India already has a law that forbids abortion for purposes of gender choice.

Look -- if Politicians can't actually DO anything useful, at least we have a right to expect them to put on an entertaining show, right? We're paying their salaries, the least they can do is sing and tap dance and say really dumb things to amuse us.

Down below we see the phrase "paid sex," apparently a public-health euphemism for prostitution. In Japan, teenage schoolgirls who are all hyper-fucked up on Material Goods -- supermaterialism, platinum iPods, cashmere sweaters, etc. -- have created a method for acquiring large amounts of expensive fancy crap and large amounts of cash which they call "compensated dating" or "enjo kosai." As euphemisms go, Vleeptron much prefers "compensated dating" to "paid sex."


New Scientist (UK)
Monday 9 January 2006

India is missing
10,000,000 daughters

India is missing about 10 million daughters
since the widespread use of ultrasound,
estimates a new study.

Over the last 20 years, about 10 million female fetuses may have been selectively aborted following ultrasound results in India, suggest Prabhat Jha at the University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues.

Their study of 1.1 million households across India reveals that in 1997, far fewer girls were born to couples if their preceding child or children were also female. "There was about a 30% gap in second females following the birth of any earlier females," Jha told New Scientist.

When the firstborn child was a daughter, the sex ratio for second children among the 134,000 births in 1997 was just 759 girls for every 1000 boys. For a third child, just 719 girls were born per 1000 boys, if both the older children were girls. However, if the eldest children were boys, the sex ratios for the second and third child were about 50-50.

Based "on conservative assumptions" the gap in births equates to about 0.5 million missing female births a year, says the team. Assuming the practice has been common in the two decades since ultrasound became widely available, this adds up to 10 million missing girls.

"Female infanticide of the past is refined and honed to a fine skill in this modern guise," says Shiresh Sheth of the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai [formerly Bombay], India, in a commentary accompanying the study in The Lancet.

Removing doubt

Sheth notes that in India’s patriarchal society, daughters are regarded as a "liability," as she will belong to the family of her future husband.

Jha believes his study is the most comprehensive survey of India to date. Previous work on the sex ratio has been more anecdotal and focused on certain regions, he says. The new study shows the disparity is across all parts of India, although it is worse in certain states, for example, in Rajasthan, Punjab and Bihar.

"What’s also new is a more robust finding that the women at greatest risk [of selective abortion] already had one or two earlier female children," he notes. "It helps remove some of the doubt that there may have been underlying factors [explaining the deficit], for example, hormonal factors."

A surprising finding was that the disparity was about twice as large in educated mothers, those with at least an Indian grade 10 education, than in illiterate women. "Most things in health are worse among the poor," he notes.

Paid sex

Jha warns that the preference for boys is likely to have "profound long-term consequences." In China, the cultural preference for boys and restrictions on family size are already having effects. Some reports suggest there are 40 million bachelors unable to find brides.

But there could be other serious consequences, Jha speculates, such as an impact on the spread of HIV. "If there are fewer females to marry and form stable sexual partnerships then males may resort to the use of paid sex," he suggests.

Selective abortion on the basis of sex has been illegal in India since 1994. But there must be "diligence in enforcing existing laws, which is not commonly done," says Jha.

The study uses data taken from a nationwide project funded by the Indian government called the "Million Death Study," which is the world’s largest prospective study on mortality, covering 14,000,000 people.

Journal reference: The Lancet (DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)67930-0)


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