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Reply #24: This is very easy to understand from an anthropological point of view. [View All]

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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-24-11 12:46 PM
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24. This is very easy to understand from an anthropological point of view.
We in the progressive community like to think that morality and ethics should underly our behaviour. Unfortunately for our world-view, it's easy to make the case (as does anthropologist Marvin Harris) that the process actually works in reverse: our circumstances result in behaviour that is then overlaid after the fact with a moral justification. We may be seeing such a process at work here.

Moral education and tongue-clucking are likely to be ineffective at stopping this practice. What might work is changing the cultural institution of dowry, either by eliminating it or making it more ceremonial than financial. However, traditions have a nasty habit of surviving, so its going to take a while. In the meantime this selective abortion practice isnt going to change either.

Speaking as a population control advocate, I have to say Im not terribly distressed by this news. This is likely to be a very effective way of bringing down Indian birth rates 20 years from now.
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