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Reprod Biomed Online. 2008 Mar;16 Suppl 1:32-40.

Gender imbalances in history: causes, consequences and social adjustment.

Author information

  • Department of History, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32224-2644, USA. dcourtwr@unf.edu

Erratum in

  • Reprod Biomed Online. 2008;17 Suppl 3:67.


This article surveys the causes, consequences and social adjustments of gender-imbalanced populations. Though recent studies emphasize the role of medical technology in creating gender imbalances, historical and biological evidence shows that they have deeper and more tangled roots. Female-selective abortion, sperm sorting and other innovations are essentially new wrinkles in a very old social problem. How past societies struggled with and rectified gender imbalances offers insight into how contemporary and future societies might do so--and into the price they will pay if they ignore the problem.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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