[This is a part of a series based on a social research effort on modern feminist theories is titled ‘Modern Feminism’. In this series, we will examine ‘Gender Justice’ principles as explained by feminist scholars in the name of justice. We will examine how much substance does the feminist theories of ‘equality’ and ‘justice’ really have.
This series and research on Vedic Indian form of social justice will help you understand the two forms of societies and draw an easy comparison.
All articles on Modern Feminism can be found – here
All articles on Vedic India can be found – here]
Nobel Laureate Economist Prof. Amartya Sen has devised a theory of 100 million missing women in 1990 and that had been the basis of many feminist propaganda including female feticide and gendercide. However, this theory was based on completely flawed information as will be illustrated hereinafter.
As evident from Sen’s article above his presumption that women live longer even in the womb as they survive more after birth was drawn from books written by sociologists and NOT by biologists in 1980’s. These researches were found to be based on ‘ambiguous empirical basis’ in 2015 as Biologist Steven Orzack and his team of Fresh Pond Research Institute, Massachusetts, Cambridge had found. In his 2015 study of over 140,000 embryos as detailed in this report on The Guardian, he broke the myth of ‘fragile male’ concept.
Steven Orzack’s comment on the concept that females survive more in the womb is worth a mention here – “This is an excellent example of an idea in science that’s had wide circulation, but where the empirical basis was ambiguous. It gets in textbooks and then it’s viral. No one really sat down and said ‘let’s try and make sense of all this’.”
The problem with Sen’s reference was first that he had referred to a work done by a person (I Waldron) from Department of Demography and not from a work of a Biologist. Waldron’s study as stated here was focused on “The importance of environmental factors as an influence on the relationship between genetic factors and mortality is stressed”
Another work that Sen had taken reference from was from Sheila Ryan Johansson’s sociology based explanation of mortality. None of his references were from any biologist work and surprisingly he concluded on something that is very much biology driven.
No wonder why Steven Orzack found the previous explanation of feticide ambiguous.
To explain why more males are conceived, Steven pointed out many facts including the fact that Y chromosome carrying sperm swim faster compared to X chromosome carrying sperm and hence chances of conceiving a baby boy was more.
So we find that following finding of Sen is not valid – “When given the same care as males, females tend to have better survival rates than males” may be true after birth but his theory that “Women seem to be, on the whole, more resistant to disease and in general hardier than men, an advantage they enjoy not only after they are forty years old but also at the beginning of life, especially during the months immediately following birth, and even in the womb”.
Simply because women survive more after birth we cannot conclude that they survive more even in the womb unless specific biological experiments were carried out. In Fact, Steven and his team’s research that can be found here showed biological reasons for the death of a female fetus in the womb.
So in his theory (based on works of sociologists), Sen illustrated that in China and in India the sex ratio was at 0.94 whereas in some other countries that received equal care for women and men the ratio was 1.05. Thus he calculated 11% shortage of females in these two countries from the ideal ratio and calculated the 100 million number. It is worthy to mention here that UN Gender Gap Report, 2016 now considers 1.06 (M:F) to be statistically acceptable gender ratio at birth. So a country that has 943 females per 1000 males should be considered to have correct gender ratio at birth through natural selection and without any female feticide. In fact, this also forces us to conclude that in countries where we find more females per males most probably have prevalent male feticide that no one talks about.
But why do women live longer than men?
According to this report of Time, one major reason is women get heart attack later in their lives. Also, many men die of accidents and other hazardous lifestyle-related causes. This Dailymail report states that according to researchers of School of Medicine at Imperial College, London women might have born with a stronger immune system that produces more white blood cells that improve their immunity.
But how does a fetus get immunity in the womb? As known today, a baby gets immunity from her mother during pregnancy and from breast milk after initial few months of birth. This information tells us that a fetus develops its own immune system only after birth. Before birth, they get their immunity from their mother.
Since the basic presumption of Amartya Sen’s study (that sex ratio at birth is not 0.94 (F/M) but higher which is false and indeed found to be 0.94, his theory if 100 million missing women in India and China derived based on the same postulate is wrong.
This shows why it is best to rely on the experts in a particular field rather than someone from a different field. Most gender justice warriors try to explain biological phenomena with sociological studies and that may not be correct.