BEIJING, May 14, 2002 ( – The birth ratio of males to females in China continues to rise dramatically, according to the People’s Republic’s latest census. The Guardian reports on May 13, “increasing numbers of female foetuses are being aborted by parents intent on having a male child.”  Over 116 male births were recorded in 2000 for every 100 females, compared to a natural ratio of 106 males per 100 females.  Officials fear that the “continued upward trend” and resulting imbalance will “damage social and economic stability” in the future, and encourage the trade in kidnapped women.  The preference for boys stems from factors including cultural prestige attached to male children, the higher “value” of males on the labour market, and Beijing’s official one-child policy, which increases the pressure in urban areas to abort females and “try again” for a male.  Many Chinese are reportedly using ultrasound for sex-selection, according to the U.S.-based Population and Development Review. But female infanticide, notorious historically as a method of sex selection, is now thought to be infrequent.  Some Chinese experts claim that there are already as many as 70 million more males than females in the country.  For the Guardian report see:,3604,714412,00.html   To read a Population Council press release on sex-selection by ultrasound see: