Thursday, September 16, 2004

You know you'd miss us if we weren't here

China's finding out what I'd been telling them all along - you really need TWO genders to make up a society:

China is asking where all the girls have gone.

And the sobering answer is that this vast nation, now the world's fastest-growing economy, is confronting a self-perpetuated demographic disaster that some experts describe as "gendercide" -- the phenomenom caused by millions of families resorting to abortion and infanticide to make sure their one child was a boy.

The age-old bias for boys, combined with China's draconian one-child policy imposed since 1980, has produced what Gu Baochang, a leading Chinese expert on family planning, described as "the largest, the highest, and the longest" gender imbalance in the world.


From a relatively normal ratio of 108.5 boys to 100 girls in the early 80s, the male surplus progressively rose to 111 in 1990, 116 in 2000, and is now is close to 120 boys for each 100 girls at the present time, according to a Chinese think-tank report.

The shortage of women is creating a "huge societal issue,” warned U.N. resident coordinator Khalid Malik earlier this year.


The vast army of surplus males could pose a threat to China's stability, argued two Western scholars. Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. Den Boer, who recently wrote a book on the "Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population," cited two rebellions in disproportionately male areas in Manchu Dynasty China.

Full article here.

I saw a study, ages ago (read: pre-internet) that did some demographic archeology (don't know if that's a real field or if I just made it up) and plotted some variable like 'percent of population that is male between 18-35' against a timeline. Interestingly, whenever the percentage reached some point, there was a big ol' war. Mother Nature's way of bleeding off excess testosterone and Restoring Balance, perhaps.

40 million surplus males. Hmmm... maybe we could recruit them to OUR army for our Imperial Wars?


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