BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Experts have suggested more effective action against illegal pregnancy gender scans and discrimination of women so as to curb the sex ratio imbalance in China.
The country's sex ratio of newborns stood at 119.45 boys to 100 girls in 2009, according to the latest figure announced by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in February.
Prof. Zhai Zhenwu, dean of the School of Sociology and Population, Renmin University of China in Beijing, said gender discrimination was the major cause of the problem.
"An imbalanced sex ratio is widely found in the countries and cultures that favor boys," Zhai said.
Rural areas have reported the most serious sex ratio imbalance, he said.
Chinese families prefer boys mostly because, traditionally, girls will leave the family after getting married and the parents will have no one to look after them in old age, he said.
"Adequate social security, especially a pension system in rural areas, will ease people's concerns on this issue," he said.
Technically, widespread use of ultrasound scans during pregnancy has made gender scans easier and more accurate.