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Men and Women

The New Gender Gap

Nature provides that male and females are born in roughly equal proportion (a slight edge going to the females, perhaps because of the inherent reproduction dangers posed to them before the advent of better technology).  But technology may have gotten the better of nature (for now) in the East.  Niall Ferguson writes about the growing gap between the number males and females, particularly in Asia.  In China, for example, because of a cultural preference for boys and a strict one child policy, 123 males are born for every 100 females.  As Ferguson puts it, there are consequences to these developments:

This means that by the time today's Chinese newborns reach adulthood, there will be a chronic shortage of potential spouses. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, one in five young men will be brideless. Within the age group 20 to 39, there will be 22 million more men than women. Imagine 10 cities the size of Houston populated exclusively by young males.

Ferguson draws upon economics and history--but most of all, on Hemingway--for examples of what might be on the horizon in an Asia without female influence.  Interesting and important to contemplate?  Yes.  Appealing or cheering?  Decidedly not. 
Categories > Men and Women

Discussions - 6 Comments

Actually, more males than females are both conceived and born. There are a number of hypotheses as to why, including, a) the Y chromosome is lighter, and, therefore, sperm carrying it move more swiftly, and b) males are more "complicated" to produce since we are at base all female...you have to add testosterone to build a male. Males represent a higher proportion of miscarriages and still-births, and males are more likely to die in infancy. Males are, in many ways, genetically more fragile than females.

This natural differential is, of course considerably exacerbated in China with the one-child policy (which is, I think, currently under reconsideration if not already reversed). Lest you forget, China has only recently tightened their adoption policies which further eroded the female population to wealthy adoptive families.

Anon, I may have misunderstood you, but wouldn't tightening their adoption policy increase the number of females in the population?

As far as the article is concerned, it isn't a matter of whether or not China will become aggressively expansionist in the next several decades, but how America will choose to react when it does.

See Nick Eberstadt of AEI on "The Global War Against Baby Girls," http://www.aei.org/speech/25399
Unfortunately, the Asian practice of sex-selecting girls for abortion exists among recent Asian immigrants to the U.S.

China's infant genocide program has definitely not worked out well for them. On top of this issue, their population will be mostly over the age of 65 by 2030.

The infant genocide program in the United States since Roe V Wade has also had an tremendous effect on the population in the United States. Dubbed "The Roe Effect", abortion has killed more "would be" democrat/liberals/progressives than "would be" conservatives - think - 78% of Planned Parenthood Murder Clinics are in minority neighborhoods. The book "Freakonomics" has a chapter on this theory and it has been written about many times in the past decade.

The policy is enforced in some parts of the country and not in others. In rural populations it is largely ignored, although no one has the large familes of Chinese tradition any more. A friend who is a China scholar told me this.

In the US and Western Europe, sex selection balances out since single women planning parenthood are more likely to select for girls.

This trend has been in place for some time although it is exacerbating. The 2000 Chinese census found that there were 19 million more boys than girls under the age of 16. Demographers, sociologists, and some Chinese scholars have long lamented the long-term effects of the one-child policy regarding a grossly imbalanced sex ratio. Bridal kidnapping, violence, crime, etc,. have all been and continue to be key concerns as there is a growing gender imbalance among the adolescent and young adult Chinese population. And it's not just in China -- India as well has had an imbalanced sex ratio for many years (although not as stark as that of China). A significant portion of young men will not go through two of the key markers of adulthood -- marriage and parenthood -- due to the lower supply of young women. It is bound to have enormous (and generally negative) consequences.

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