“Asia’s missing women” as a problem in applied evolutionary psychology

Abstract:  In many parts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, women and children
are so undervalued, neglected, abused, and so often killed, that sex ratios are now strongly
male biased. In recent decades, sex-biased abortion has exacerbated the problem. In this
article I highlight several important insights from evolutionary biology into both the origin
and the severe societal consequences of “Asia’s missing women”,  paying particular
attention  to  interactions between evolution, economics and culture. Son preferences and
associated cultural practices like patrilineal inheritance, patrilocality and the Indian Hindu
dowry system arise among the wealthy and powerful elites for reasons  consistent with
models of sex-biased parental investment.  Those practices then spread via imitation as
technology gets cheaper and economic development allows the middle class to grow
rapidly.  I will consider evidence from India, China and elsewhere that grossly male-biased
sex ratios lead to increased crime, violence, local warfare, political instability, drug abuse,
prostitution and trafficking of women. The problem of Asia’s missing women presents a
challenge for applied evolutionary psychology to help us understand  and ameliorate sex
ratio biases and their most severe consequences

interesting problem. id heard of the problem in China, but not in the other countries, and definitely didnt expect it from Starcraftland aka. South Korea.


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