Anne Brenøe Hoffmann, University of Copenhagen

"The Missing Men: Combined Micro and Macro Evidence in Relation to Prenatal Fasting"


In contrast to the recognized problem of the approximately 100 million "missing" women due to gender discrimination, the problem of the "never-born" men due to religious fasting has so far been neglected. In the attempt to quantify the magnitude of the latter, I combine micro- and macro-level evidence showing that Ramadan fasting among pregnant women distort the sex ratio of their offspring in favour of females. From this, I estimate that at least two million men are missing simply due to the practice of prenatal fasting. This might in turn have consequences for the actual number of missing women.