Unnatural Selection

Hvistendahl, Mara

  11 Reviews

It used to be that boy meets girl and they live happily ever after, but not so in many parts of the world. With the availability of gender determination technology and the resulting sex-selective abortion, it is now the case that boy only meets girl if he is very, very lucky.

Subtitled 'choosing boys over girls, and the consequences of a world full of men', this book examines the cultural, political and economic factors underlying this choice and comprehensively documents the serious implications of such action.

A thought-provoking and disturbing book with a global perspective. [Small font]



AUCK 335
We found this book quite easy to read in terms of style but the content was often disturbing, particularly to those who didn't already know much about the topic. We thought some of the statistical and scientific information could have been shortened. What we found most interesting was the information about the results of the various policies which had been described, although the book is now somewhat out of date. Overall we thought it painted a very depressing picture of a world in which women and their bodies are treated as objects and often deprived of human rights.
Interesting topic, well-written. A bit much to get through in a month, most people didn't get it finished.
Eye-opening; dense; worrying; bit repetitive; learning experience; worthwhile...led to a very good discussion.
Most of the group didn't finish the book as we found it too repetitive. However it generated some good discussion around abortion and we were surprised to learn of the gender imbalance in some Eastern Bloc countries.
Enjoyed, but heavy going and a bit repetitive.
ROTO 006
Only a few in the group read the book, but those that did found it very interesting.
AUCK 020
The unintended consequences of population control were being taught in Auckland University Geography courses 30 years ago, and also in some Education papers at the same time, according to one member. The rest of us knew about the enforced One Child Family policy in China, the male sterilization programmes in India and the traditional infanticide practices in these countries, but were astonished to learn from this book about the big gender imbalances in the Soviet countries and others all over the world. Very disturbing. The book raises a lot of issues we had never thought about.
NELS 022
The book got an average mark of 6/10 from 8 members, and quite a few of us only read a part of it. Two of the people who gave it higher marks said that the second half was much better - the word "riveting" was used. There was general agreement that it was written as a text book or academic book, which made it difficult to get into; also that the subject was a very important one, and we had a lively discussion about it.
We found this topic upsetting and it challenged us all, but the subject is deserving of a well researched and well-written book. A difficult subject that needs a torch beam to illuminate this alarming history. Not all of us finished the book, but we had a good discussion however.
Most in the group found this book both enlightening and challenging. It appears to be extremely well researched and is presented in a readable manner. Some however were "put off" by the topic. Discussion was lively.
Challenging to read, but worth persevering. Fascinating topic so we had a wider discussion than usual.