NEW DELHI: New research published in a Canadian journal casts light on the nation’s “missing daughters” as a result of large number of abortions in hope of a boy. A study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) reckons that 4400 girls went ‘missing’ after scanning 6 million births during the period of 1991 to 2012 from two different data sources.

In an article published in The Star newspaper of Canada, it has been revealed that a preponderate number of these missing girls come from immigrant communities, especially the Indian community. The authors of the study cite a strong affinity for boys over girls prevalent among members of Asian communities. The more number of boys born during these two decades are a result of abortions of the female foetus in the second trimester of pregnancy when the sex of the fetus can be determined, the authors said.

“The main implication is that among some immigrant communities, males are placed at a higher value than females. This is not just about abortions, it is about gender equality,” said lead author Marcelo Urquia of St. Michael’s Hospital according to the newspaper. “I hope that this is conducive to a respectful debate on the value of girls and women in today’s Canadian society,” he also said.

The study also takes into account the usually higher likelihood of birth of boys over girls, which is consistent across nations, i.e.107 boys to 100 girls; but the sex-ratio among Canadian Indians trumps that figure also with 138 boys to 100 girls among women with two children. In Ontario alone that figures rises to 196 boys per 100 girls. The latter figures are for women with two daughters already.

The study also found a higher sex-ratio among Chinese immigrants than the national one, but disclaimed this as being a result necessarily induced by abortions. The research doesn’t indicate since how long those Indian immigrants studied had been living in Canada, which scuttles any attempts to infer whether the trend of abortion in hope of a boy is a cultural baggage of the new arrivals or if it persists despite gender-equality mores of the Canadian society.

The newspaper cites: After abortions, the numbers rise dramatically: 326 boys after one abortion, 409 boys after multiple abortions, and 663 boys for every 100 girls following multiple abortions in the second trimester, when doctors can determine the sex of the fetus.

The skewed sex-ratio among Indian immigrants is not peculiar to Canadian society. As per a report published in Australian newspaper last year, the sex-ratio was higher among Indian immigrant society than the national average.

The report from August last year accounted for “1400 missing daughters” of Australia as a result of high number of abortions among Indian and Chinese community in want of a boy. The national sex-ratio of Australia stood at 105.7 boys every 100 girls, while among Indians this ratio rose to 108.2 boys per 100 girls, for 2003-2013, the period under study.