Big changes ahead in China

Today I have written something like 1300 words or so only about 200 words till I reach my target but I will reach that when I finish my editing and write my conclusion.

The funny thing is that the essay I am doing is one that I have found reasonably hard to write even though it is on a topic that interests me more than any of the other essays I have done in my life. It is on a topic that I know really well and without a doubt will be a topic that I will follow for the rest of my life irrespective of what field I end up in.

I am doing my essay on the implications that the growing disparity in birth sex ratios is starting to cause in China.

You say what? Parts of East and South Asia are seeing a massive shift away from the natural population sex ratio that is roughly 104 males to 100 females. The reasons behind this vary from country to country.

In some provinces in China this ratio is 137 males to 100 females, this was in the 1-4 years age group in the 1995 census.

Think about that in a society where traditionally 99.9999% of the population were married at some stage of their life, even if a son died before he was able to get married, a ghost marriage would occur typically with a girl who had died before marriage so that their souls would have peace. Historically in Western Europe, about 85% of the population or so would marry. In the case mentioned if there was no migration in or out of this province and 2% of the females for some reason did not marry, there could be at least 2 in 5 males who would not have the chance to marry.

In saying that though the average for the lower age groups ie the people who have not yet married is around 116:100 – which would mean that you at looking at what 1 in 6 males not marrying who are going to have to adapt to a life of bachelorhood in a society where it has not been a traditonally accepted lifestyle.

This will increase before it decreases. Big changes ahead in China.

Why are the ratios so large? In China it is due in part to a number of reasons.

  1. Cultural preference for a son, as they carry on the family line.
  2. Declining total fertility rate which was pushed rapidly along with population control introduced in 1979 aka “One Child Policy”
  3. Access to prenatal sex determination technology and abortions.
  4. Neglect or infanticide of girls.
  5. Underreporting of female births (though in the whole this is believed to a lesser problem).

That is just some of the stuff I am writing about and I really enjoy it. So there is a sneak peak into the life of a final year Asian Studies student.

Bit of a change away from what I normally write about but hey it is something that interests me.

Ohh and you may have noticed a few cosmetic changes round the place. I have changed the images in my banner and a few other little things.

One Reply to “Big changes ahead in China”

  1. I’ve been following this also. It caught my attention after reading an article about young Chinese girls being kidnapped/sold off to families with male sons because of the high male-female ratio. They’ve only recently been following the trend as these children have now grown up.

    I’m gonna enjoy seeing where you go with this. Rock on.

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