China’s growing gender gap

imgresThe now well-known gap between the male and female population in China continues to widen. Increasingly, the growing number of men is raising questions about what it might mean for the nation’s future – and it’s long term stability.

“Three decades after China implemented its contentious one-child policy, coupled with a lingering cultural preference for boys and the advent of cheap and accessible ultrasound technology, the country’s skewed gender ratio has only gotten worse,” reports todays GlobalPost. “Social scientists in China say the upcoming census results could reveal a gender ratio of 122 boys born for every 100 girls. Under natural conditions, there are typically 105-106 boys for every 100 girls.”

“Through a series of changes and loosening restrictions, the one-child policy is beginning to fade, and in fact, it only affects about half of couples. The Chinese government is reluctant to let the policy go entirely, but seems perpetually on the verge of abandoning it. Still, the damage is done. The social experiment is well underway, thanks to strict enforcement of the rule for more than 20 years.

“By 2020, sociologists expect an ‘extra’ 35 million Chinese men — males for whom there are simply no available female partners. That’s slightly more than the population of Canada.

“This army of single young men is coming of age now. Looking at the next decade and the questions loom large: What risks do they pose and how will China handle them? The questions are particularly relevant in the wake of uprisings in the Arab world, where restless young men are often pointed to at the heart of protests.”


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