In both China and India there’s currently the widespread practice of aborting female fetuses. The sex of the fetus is discovered by ultrasound. Use of ultrasound for this purpose is illegal in both countries, but such laws are routinely flouted.
In both countries, male children are seen as more desireable than females. The reasons are different in the two countries, although they both ultimately boil down to money. In China, it’s the result of their one-child policy. Boys are expected to support their parents in old age and so if people can only have one child, they want it to be a boy. In India, it’s a result of the dowry system. When girls marry, their families are expected to provide a substantial dowry, thus making girls a liability to the family.
I have several questions about this.
Does this practice happen in other countries? Well, I’m sure it happens sometimes, but is it widespread anywhere else?
Has anyone projected its effects on the future population of the two countries? An article I read recently said that about 7000 fewer girls are born in India every day due to this practice. It seems to me that this would have a significant impact on the future growth of India’s population. Anyone put numbers to this?
Is it still going on in China? I understood they relaxed their one-child policy, so perhaps it isn’t done much there anymore.
There’s going to be (or maybe already are) lots of bachelors who can’t find wives. What’s the effect of this? Will India’s dowry system collapse or even reverse (families charging bride prices)?
I heard a guy (who, in turn, was just theorizing himself) say that although China had relaxed their one-child rule, they now have a generation of only-childs who want to keep that going as they figured it is advantageous to have to care for just one and are not accustomed to large extended families, anyways. I would guess that this means there would be less pressure on first childs and only families who really want a boy would start screening the fetus’ gender for the second pregnancy if they got a girl the first time around.
There have been many news specials on this, and It’s a problem. The same aditude that supports killing these girls, is the same aditude that expects to treat a wife as a burden and not a life long partner. Prostitution is not a practice accepted by them either. The practice seems to have become easier for them to do, because of being able to abort a child, instead of throwing the child down a well, not that their beyond doing that still. The aditude is we need women, but the neighbor should have the girls, I just want boys. The society has created a really lopsided population, so much so that I hope they enjoy not getting married before they die, because there are not enough women to go around to the sons that are looking. I don’t know if they’ve reached the point where they could’nt sustain there current population in the near future or not. I wish I knew what the special was that had a large group of young farmer men in their 20’s. They couldn’t find a wife to marry, only one man had a prospect at the time.
Along these same lines, I wonder if Muslim terrorism is partially caused by a lack of available women, due to polygamous marriages. If you’re a Muslim guy, and you know you’re a loser who isn’t likely to attract one of the relatively few women available, then maybe that’s what causes some of those guys to drift into terrorist circles and become suicide bombers and things like that.
Slight hijack: Last year when I was in Libya for the solar eclipse, our local tour guide told us that in that country a man was allowed to have multiple wives. However, before he can do so, he must have the first wife’s permission! He said it rarely, if ever, happened.
It’s probably noteworthy that many terrorists are not eager young turks (in the sense of being rough youths, not actual Turks), but middle-aged and moderately successful and educated men. This has led many to believe that terrorism can attract grunts from disaffected young men, but that the best terrorists come from thoe pissed off at the lack of opportunity in the (largely dysfunctional) muslim world.
It’s not just aborting female fetuses that is decimating China’s women; there have been many stories of western couples who adopt female babies from China’s orphanages. Are lonely chinese men going to start kidnapping korean, vietnamese, and japanese women for brides?
Another unanticipated aspect of China’s “one son” policy is the psychological effect it has had on these men. I recently read that many of these boys were essentially raised as the “prince” of the family and grew up in an atmosphere which said that their mere existence made them important. Obviously, there’s going to be problems when several million young men confront the reality that they can’t all be the center of the universe.
If anything, I would anticipate the opposite. The majority of women who become prostitutes do so because they lack better alternatives. In China, the severe shortage of women will make it possible not only for virtually every woman to find a husband but usually have a choice of several different prospects.