China: July 29, 2002

Archives

China's draconian "one family, one child" rule has long been expected to produce social problems due to the high number of female children killed by their own parents at birth. (In China, the only real retirement program is that the son takes care of his parents. Daughters take care of their in-laws, not their own parents. The result is that sons are strongly preferred.) The first year group of young people since this policy reached widespread use is now reaching the age of 15, and there are 500,000 more men than women in that age group. Marriageable daughters are, reportedly, going largely to the upper social groups within each village or district. The sons of the poorest families are, to a great extent, not finding wives as why would a family (in a culture of arranged marriages) not find it better to marry their daughter to the best available bachelor? The problem will get worse as years go by, the surplus males of each year group try to find brides among the next younger year, leaving more and more of those men frustrated. Reports of women being kidnapped or purchased in other countries and brought into China for sale as wives are common, but
unconfirmed. Dire predictions of social upheaval are rampant, but no mass movement has been seen. Perhaps the men realize that the government cannot manufacture 15-year-old women in a single year. But given that realization, would the men become more likely to support the invasion of nearby countries or to start a civil war over the available women? Or will they, as Chinese have done for a thousand years, simply accept their fate?--Stephen V Cole

 

Article Archive

China: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close