China’s one child policy, which has always favored boys over girls, has finally turned around and bitten them in their proverbial butts. For decades women have been aborting, or giving up for adoption their baby girls, as a result there is an overabundance of males. It’s estimated that by 2020, with the female marriage pool drastically reduced, more than 24 million mainland Chinese men will have no wives to choose from.
A study by the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences named the gender imbalance among newborns as the most serious demographic problem for the country’s population of 1.3 billion.
“Sex-specific abortions remained extremely commonplace, especially in rural areas,” where the cultural preference for boys over girls is strongest, the study said, noting the reasons for the gender imbalance were “complex”.
When you have major restrictions on how many children you can have, and the earning potential for older males is higher than females, the parents are going to obviously choose the child that will be more liable to help them in older age. And in rural areas (where the problem is more abundant) males are even more coveted for their ability to help with farming.
The study figures that lower income males will have a far more difficult time finding a wife, and that there could be a greater age difference between couples. One researcher, Wang Yuesheng, stated that
men in poorer parts of China would be forced to accept marriages late in life or remain single for life, which could “cause a break in family lines”.
“The chance of getting married will be rare if a man is more than 40 years old in the countryside. They will be more dependent on social security as they age and have fewer household resources to rely on.
Which is problematic since their social security system is apparently not sufficient enough to sustain a growing older population. Unfortunately, in areas with more males than females people have been resorting to abductions, forced prostitution and illegal marriages to curb the problem.
In their efforts to stop the population explosion, they’ve created a major problem for themselves that won’t easily be rectified.