China's Growing Problem Of Too Many Single Men
The marriage dilemma in Chinaand what you
A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world's two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India. The consequences of having too many men, now coming of age, are far-reaching: Beyond an epidemic of loneliness, the imbalance distorts labour markets, drives up savings rates in China and drives down consumption, artificially inflates certain property values, and parallels increases in violent crime, trafficking or prostitution in a growing number of locations. Those consequences are not confined to China and India, but reach deep into their Asian neighbours and distort the economies of Europe and the Americas, as well. Barely recognised, the ramifications of too many men are only starting to come into sight. Out of China's population of 1. China's official one-child policy, in effect from to , was a huge factor in creating this imbalance, as millions of couples were determined that their child should be a son.
In the absence of manipulation, both the sex ratio at birth and the population sex ratio are remarkably constant in human populations. Small alterations do occur naturally; for example, a small excess of male births has been reported to occur during and after war. The tradition of son preference, however, has distorted these natural sex ratios in large parts of Asia and North Africa. This son preference is manifest in sex-selective abortion and in discrimination in care practices for girls, both of which lead to higher female mortality. Since that time, improved health care and conditions for women have resulted in reductions in female mortality, but these advances have now been offset by a huge increase in the use of sex-selective abortion, which became available in the mids. Largely as a result of this practice, there are now an estimated 80 million missing females in India and China alone. Measures to reduce sex selection must include strict enforcement of existing legislation, the ensuring of equal rights for women, and public awareness campaigns about the dangers of gender imbalance.
A new book edited by Ravinder Kaur examines the consequences of gender imbalance in India and China. School girls welcoming the new year with a message 'save girls' in Gurgaon. The problems associated by gender imbalances in India and China have never been properly understood. To give a comparison, the total number of soldiers deployed by all the militaries in the world is about 65 million. Unsurprisingly there is great fear of what violence this may unleash. Kaur introduces us to how this conversation is unfolding. Hudson and den Boer
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