PARIS, December 5, 2003 ( – In China, where there is a cultural preference for male children, the one-child policy implemented in 1979 has led to the selective murder of millions of Chinese girls within the womb. This selective infanticide has contributed to a male-female gender gap of almost 17 percent; in some provinces, this gap is as high as 30 percent according to official census data for the year 2000.

“[After] 2010, every year there will be a million more adults in China who won’t be able to find a partner. The social consequences of this can be imagined,” said Filippo Festini of the Meyer Paediatric Hospital at the University of Florence. Festini co-authored a Journal of Epidemiology and Community (JECH) study that compared gender ratios in Chinese immigrant families living in Tuscany with their counter-parts in China. Boys born to Chinese families living in Tuscany outnumber girls by a slight margin of 0.65 percent – a normal ratio that is seen among Italian and other western nations.

The discrepancy between gender ratios of Chinese at home versus those living abroad is thought to be a result of the expatriates freedom to have larger families. Despite access to abortion-on-demand and ultrasonography to determine the sex of a child, Chinese outside of China will simply “try again” if their first baby is a girl.  Read more about the issue at: