We keep hearing that by 2025 there'll be some 60-80 million more men in China because of the -still- quite frequent practice of aborting females especially in rural areas. I kinda wondered how widespread this issue still is, and I'd like to offer some observations I've done over the last couple of months at a maternity hospital my wife and I visited during that time -and where we also had our baby.
Now first of all we probably all already know it's illegal for doctors to tell prospective parents the gender of the fetus (easily seen on most ultrasounds). When we asked, and I have to mention this is one of the biggest government run maternity hospitals in Kunming, we were readily informed that it was a boy. I asked my wife how that could be, and her best guess was that since I'm a foreigner, those rules do not apply. Then she told me that frankly it wasn't a problem to figure out the gender if you wanted to opt for a girl abortion since 1. You could bribe the doctors. 2. You could bring a "friend" or someone posing as your husband with knowledge of identifying gender from the ultrasound screen into the hospital or 3. Go to a smaller clinique, pay them some money and they'll happily inform you.
If that wasn't enough there are probably plenty of other ways you can find out, not really surprising after all, but what kinda blew my mind was that many doctors while looking at the fetus will offer a subtle "Congratulations" if it's a boy but say nothing if it's a girl, as a way of disclosing the information to eager parents.
Second thing I wondered about: On the mother group my wife joined on QQ there were 19 expecting mothers. As time went by they disclosed the gender of their babies either by finding out from ultrasounds or by birth. Only 2 of 19 mothers ended up having a girl. I asked my wife is this group were for mothers with boys only but she said no. We only got confirmation from 1 of the mothers that she and her husband -a police officer who only wanted a boy- had bribed the doctors at an ultrasound test, but I'm sure many more did as well. Now, I'd like to think that this was a statistical coincidence or something but when I looked into it I honestly couldn't find a legitimate alternative reason.
Thirdly: My wife and I spent 5 days at the hospital (c-section) and while there I had plenty opportunity to walk around. On my third day there I was on my way out to get food -Chinese hospitals don't serve food to the patients -and I noticed something odd. In the lobby there'd always be some 25-30 children coming in for checkups and/or emergencies. For every girl there were 4 or 5 boys in that lobby, and it was the same no matter what time or what day I went down there. I mentioned it to my wife's sister at some points and she had to agree that it was very odd. Again I'd like to think that this was due to something with boys getting ill more frequently or something, but it just doesn't add up.
I know this was quite a long post, but I'd like to hear about your observations or thoughts on this issue.