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Men could soon vastly outnumber women due to ‘cultural preference’, study finds

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If there was any doubt that we're living in a man's world, there soon won't be – because blokes are set to vastly outnumber women.

At least that's according to a new study that predicts a gender imbalance within decades, with sex selective abortions and 'cultural preferences' towards boys reducing the amount of girls being born.

The research, published in BMJ global health, said that abortions of female babies caused around 45 million births to disappear between 1970 and 2017.

More boys have been born in several countries across Southeast Europe and Asia since the 1970s, with China and India accounting for 95 per cent of the disappeared births.

If these trends continue, researchers fear that more than a third of the world's population will suffer from a lack of women for the foreseeable future.

Dr Fengqing Chao, lead author of the study, called for "broader legal frameworks to ensure gender equality", which could help prevent a "marriage squeeze" where many men in the affected countries are left single due to a lack of potential partners.

He predicts that at least 4.7 million female births will be lost by 2030 if things do not change.

Dr Chao fears that the consequences of the female birth deficit could be more serious than simply making it harder to find a girlfriend.

He said: "Fewer than expected females in a population could result in elevated levels of antisocial behaviour and violence, and may ultimately affect long-term stability and social sustainable development."

Researchers used data from 204 countries to predict different sex imbalance possibilities. They hope that predicting these trends will allow us to plan for the consequences.

Pakistan and Nigeria were among several countries expected to see the amount of female births fall over the next few years, although the trends there are predicted to slow down after 20 years.

The main issue according to researchers is working out whether men will continue to outnumber women, and whether new countries could soon start to see a decline in female births.

The United Nations categorises sex selective abortions as a harmful practice, alongside child or forced marriages and female genital mutilation targeted under the Sustainable Development Goals.

The study proposed that better data collection and wider education could solve these problems.

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