Strategy for China’s Female Infanticide
China and other countries in the region are known to have a deep and long-standing cultural preference for the birth of boys. In China, for the last few decades, the issue has been more pronounced because of the “one-child policy” that limits the majority of families to only having one offspring.
China has reached a disparity of approximately 117 boys for every 100 girls born, while the world average is around 105 boys for every 100 girls. Abortion of the female fetus is believed to be the main culprit in the disproportion between boys and girls born.
Leviticus 12:2 starts the discussion of the issue of male births and the subsequent purification process that the Torah requires as follows:
“If a woman caused fructification of seed and gives birth to a male…”
Rabbi Ovadia Sforno quotes a Talmudic commentary on this line from Tractate Niddah 31a:
“If a woman emits seed first, she bears a male.”
Sforno, who was a doctor, amongst many other qualifications, explains that the partner who emits “seed” last will be the more dominant gender. Meaning if the woman ovulates after the man emits seed, the child is more likely to be a girl.
Modern medical studies have supported Sforno’s theory. The timing of ovulation can have a strong effect on the acid/alkaline balance in the vaginal canal, thereby either preserving or destroying the male Y chromosome. If ovulation occurs first, the alkaline neutralizes the acid, saving the Y chromosome, and significantly increasing the odds of a boy. If ovulation occurs later, the acid is likely to get rid of the Y chromosome, resulting in a girl.
If the Chinese would just follow Sforno’s prescription they could probably produce more boys naturally as opposed to murderously skewing the gender balance.
May all parents cherish their children no matter what the gender and may we successfully see them producing future generations.
To Nachshon Chagai Lustig, the newborn son of Debbie and Mark Lusting of Alon Shvut and the fifth boy of five. Mazal Tov on the basketball team and the new house!