Update to 72 virgins

Dysfunctional Arab Demographics

TMLutas, who runs the excellent Flit site, comments on my earlier post about the male:female ratio in many Middle Eastern nations and the idea that baby girls are sometimes killed because they are unprofitable.

He correctly notes:

Look up those numbers and it becomes clear that what’s going on, however unusual or wrong, is not primarily infant killing.

I find the data fits the idea that the requirements for adult women in these societies are killing them in unusual numbers. I don’t have the data to support this but it might be honor killings, heat prostration from those clothes, or something else entirely like highly underfunded female medical care.

Looking at the numbers, I realize that he’s right. I’m certainly not dismissing the anecdotal claims that female infants are killed in numbers, but if you take the CIA numbers at face value, those killings cannot be a primary source of the difference.

Michael Williams, who originally posted on the subject, responded

The CIA numbers aren’t the only source for my information. As I mentioned, I have heard the story from at least two middle-eastern friends who both agree. I don’t know how the CIA collected these numbers, so I don’t know how they relate to reality, but I’m pretty confident in my sources.

I do not doubt him or his sources at all. Within every rumor is usually at least a kernel of truth, and nothing I’ve seen indicates that women, whether infant or adult, are treated well in most of the nations in question. The numbers are astounding, and, if accurate, something is definitely going on. But killing baby girls doesn’t account for the majority of it.

Good work to post on the issue and the comment to clarify it.