Academics often talk about between 30 and 60 million “missing girls” in China, apparently killed in the womb or just after birth, thanks to a combination of preference for sons and the country’s decades under a repressive one-child policy.
Now researchers in the United States and China think they might have found many — or even most — of them, and argue they might not have been killed after all.
John Kennedy of the University of Kansas and Shi Yaojiang of Shaanxi Normal University have released a study claiming that the births of many of the girls may, in fact, simply not have been registered.
“People think 30 million girls are missing from the population. That’s the population of California, and they think they’re just gone,” said Kennedy, an associate professor of political science, according to the university website.
“Most people are using a demographic explanation to say that abortion or infanticide are the …
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