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Male Utopias or Nightmares

Male Utopias or Nightmares? Dharma Kumar REPORTS of the spread of clinics specialising in amniocentesis i e, tests to predict the sex of an unborn child, have aroused widespread disquiet in India. People fear that, given the strong Indian preference for sons Aver daughters, if parents can prediet correctly the sex of a foetus, female foetuses will be aborted. Two very different writers in EPW, Pranab Bar- dhan and Vimal Balasubrahmanyan,1 have recently expressed their fears that scientific advances will lead to even more unbalanced sex ratios in India. This is a worry which nearly all readers of EPW will share. So it is worth sorting out some of the moral and policy implications of these scientific advances, especially since some of the moral issues are not as straightforward as one may imagine.

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