Saturday, March 10, 2012

Disproportionate Number of Males in China

This Draft perfectly dove-tails with the topic of the previous post.

As you have probably heard, there exists a disproportionate number of males in China right now. Last I checked the ratio was about 120 male births to every 100 female births, meaning there's about a 1.2 male:female ratio. While this might not seem like that big a number discrepancy, you must keep in mind that there are about 1.3 billion people in China now. That's a short scale billion, by the way. A thousand million, not a million million. So a 1.2 imbalance builds up right fast.

As you probably also know: there's a One-Child policy in force. The policy was implemented for some good reasons: chiefly to control population growth in order to decrease poverty, which it did spectacularly.

This by itself did far more good than harm. However, in conjunction with the traditional exaltation of having a male first-born, we run into some serious problems. When you only get one and you make it a son... where are the daughters?

Before you point them out, can we all assume we know the agricultural and social incentives for having male offspring? Stronger field hands in the family, continuing the family name and all that. We know. Or we should anyway.

Well, all those reasons were well and good in the day, but they don't hold up in post-industrial society, and so we get to the crux of my previous argument: tradition's yoke on the collective mind.
There are a lot of men in China now who will never have the chance to start families simply for want of a mate. To put it crudely, there just aren't enough girls to go around, heh. Furthermore, not all those girls need marry either! The bind tightens ever more...

I'm not going to go into all the economic problems and solutions, and the problems that would be caused by the solutions here. Suffice it to say, something's gotta give.

A small disclaimer: Contrary to the popular opinion, the One-Child policy isn't really ironclad anyway. Some families in rural areas are already allowed to have a second child if the first turned out to be a girl, and, of course, people who can afford the fee can have more children. Money opens doors everywhere, eh? (- -___)