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October 17, 2003

Sexual Selection in Taiwan

Future Pundit posts on the sex ratio imbalance in Taiwan (2 boys for 1 girl) and the possible sociobiological ramifications.

Posted by razib at 03:08 PM

Bioethics commission report cites sex selection imbalance as a reason to ban certain avenues in biotech.

Btw, I really hate reflexively anti-tech, Chicken Little government regulation:

"the human body and mind, highly complex and delicately balanced as a result of eons of gradual and exacting evolution, are almost certainly at risk from any ill-considered attempt at `improvement.'"

Invariably the choice is different when presented personally: You're offered the eyesight you had at 20. You're offered forty additional years of healthy livespan. You're offered the power to prevent your wife or your child from dying prematurely. Do you take it?

That's not to mention the thoroughly debunked evolution-as-perfection paradigm. And the fact that tech marches on despite regulation, it's relentless; competitive pressures ensure it.

It's the Meyers-Briggs guardian personalities who write these kinds of reports. The types who protest when Crayola changes a color. The Constitution is perfect, the human body is perfect, don't touch it. Nobody who actually gets his hands messy with the stuff of creation buys the Monday morning hype, the artificial reverence.

I suppose I'm aggressively interventionist :)

Posted by: Gumnaam at October 17, 2003 04:00 PM

That URL was: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/17/politics/17BIO.html

Posted by: Gumnaam at October 17, 2003 04:02 PM

The first person to comment on the matter seems to think that what is described is a new phenomenon, one that arose a generation or two ago. It isn't. China's marriage market has looked the same way for centuries. The sex ratio was farther out of balance in China one hundred years ago than it is now, although it might have been better than it is in modern Taiwan. I have no link to that because I read in a printed book long ago, but it is true so far as I know. The only difference in the past was the chance for one man to legally marry many women and make a poorly endowed fellow's chance for marriage even worse. My point is that this sort of selective pressure isn't new.

Posted by: Vernon Davenport at October 24, 2003 12:15 PM