China needs women!

The PRC government’s “one child” policy, combined with a cultural assumption that everybody needs a son, had led to a gender imbalance, a severe shortage of women. There are now about 120 boys for every 100 girls.

What will be the social effects of this? Of millions of men facing limited marriage prospects? What will they use as a sexual outlet? (The government is also very much down on homosexuality.) Will frustration make them dangerous? Prone to crime or rebellion?

Is there any solution? Can China export its surplus males and/or import foreign females? The government could simply abandon the “one child” policy, but it would take time for the gender balance to be restored. Perhaps too much time.

The males around now of marriage age would simply go for younger females, til they reach the point of too young. After that, all bets are off. Maybe they send a lot of the males into a war.

War typically gets rid of lots of a society’s males. Look at post-WWI Britain, for example.

Just an observation.

I hope that fact never comes to the attention of the PRC government . . .

Brain drain is another, less scary option. Already lots of bright Chinese college students study abroad, many never to return.

There was an article on the effects of gender imbalance in Scientific American last year, though I don’t remember which issue. The gist of it is that a large surplus of young males is always bad in many ways. It leads to poor economic conditions, high crime, and a general lack of social stability. In effect, men who are unable to have a long-term relationship with a woman are more likely to have crummy jobs and become criminals. (This is not true of men who choose to avoid a relationship with a women, only of men who are forced to remain single by the social system.)

Hmm. The former Soviet Union apparently has an oversupply of women. China apparently has an oversupply of men. The two areas are next to each other.

I sense a possible solution.

Why do the Soviets have extra women?

I’ve read that some desperate Chinese young men have taken to kidnapping girls–usually from rural areas.

60 Minutes did a piece on this tonight.

It’s well understood that a surpluss of unmarried men (especially young men) will cause the crime rate to increase. Perhaps this will aid the Party since it will make people crave law and order-- something a strong, authoritarian regime is often better at delivering than a democratic one. Given the size of the Chinese population, I don’t see any way to solve the root problem in the short term, but the government has instituted several policies to incentivize (to use the government’s term) parents to want girl children.

Men die pretty young there, and drugs/alcohol along with crime and unemployment make a lot of men basically unmarriagable.

I’ve been predicting for ten years or so now that the wife business will be a big thing for the countriies surrounding China. That’s still my personal bet.

Somehow I see the basis of a gay porn movie in all this.

No the PRC will just start forcing young boys to get gender reasignment surgery. I read an article on it in the paper (guess which one).

Yeah, but those are intelligent, successful men with excellent long-term earning prospects. THOSE men may move to Europe or the USA for a number of reasons, but they wouldn’t have any problems finding women in China. It’s the blue-collar unemployed or underemployed males in China who are going to be out of luck. And there are going to be tens of millions of those.

As Canadian conservative columnist Mark Steyn puts it, China may have to become the first gay superpower since Sparta!

It’s not just China, either. Abortion for sex selection has been common in India for some time, and the gender imbalance is notable there, too. That’s already had interesting results. The caste system had already be declining, but gender imbalance has completely destroyed it. To put it simply, a proud Brahmin family that once would have insisted on a proper Brahmin bride for their eldest son is now in no position to be choosy. Girls are in short supply, and those girls can be very selective. If young Vijay is able to get a girl from the grocer caste, he now considers himself lucky.

And the gender imbalance is not the only problem- in the long run, it may not even be the worst. People speak of Chinese overpopulation as if the overpopulation problem were spread evenly through all age groups. Not so! There are a LOT more elderly Chinese than young Chinese, and the percentages will be far more lopsided before long.

The CHinese government will soon be faced with tens of millions of impoverished young males who have no hope of ever finding women… and it will have to demand that those young men fork over most of their small incomes to take care of the huge population of Chinese retirees.

YOU want to be the one to tell them that?

I wonder if this will make females more valued in the culture.

One obvious, rational solution would be polyandrous marriage. But the Chinese (even as “Communists”) are so culturally conservative that I can’t imagine them experimenting along those lines.

Europe has the same “grayby boom” problem – is it worse in China?

You gotta wonder. My wife and I are currently researching any and all family-building options, and adoption from China is one of the most orderly and sought-after. A conservative estimate puts the percentage of girls reliquished for adoption at around 95%. Virtually all the boys being adopted have some obvious birth defect. At a conference someone mentioned a book, China’s Lost Daughters, which we will probably pick up. I’ve asked my colleagues at work about it, and the response was rather surprising: They insist the statistics are made up by propagandists in the US govt. to paint yet another negative picture of China. It’s generally believed that if the Maoists achieved anything worthwhile, it was instilling a sense of need for sexual equality, etc. It’s really quite amazing.

Another shocking story was told by a group of mothers of adopted Chinese girls who had attempted to retain a bridge between their daughters adoptive culture and the culture of their birth, by enrolling their children in weekend Chinese schools that dot the Boston and Providence suburbs. All of them had the same experience: Their daughters were ostracized, often subjected to humiliating abuse by the teachers, who were always women, and taunted mercilessly by the other children. Some of the offending children cited their parents’ derision of these rejected girls as justification for their cruelty.

Again, quite sobering.

When I was considering getting a tarantula as a pet, I found that most people want females because they are larger and live much longer. Which means there’s a shortage of male tarantulas for breeding, and therefore a big demand for fully grown males. This hasn’t changed the fact that most people want female tarantulas.