Chinese one-child policy creates sociological nightmare
posted at 2:55 pm on April 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
What do you get when you combine a Big Brother governmental decree on procreation with a cultural preference for one gender? A sociological bomb that will eventually destabilize the Big Brother government. China now has 32 million more men than women, a disparity that will continue to grow, thanks to their draconian one-child policies.
China has 32 million more young men than young women — a gender gap that could lead to increasing crime — because parents facing strict birth limits abort female fetuses to have a son, a study released Friday said.
The imbalance is expected to steadily worsen among people of childbearing age over the next two decades and could trigger a slew of social problems, including a possible spike in crime by young men unable to find female partners, said an author of the report published in the BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal.
“If you’ve got highly sexed young men, there is a concern that they will all get together and, with high levels of testosterone, there may be a real risk, that they will go out and commit crimes,” said Therese Hesketh, a lecturer at the Centre for International Health and Development at University College London. She did not specify what kinds of crimes.
The study said analysis of China’s 2005 census data extrapolated that males under age 20 exceeded their female counterparts by a whopping 32 million.
Beijing may get more population reduction than they bargained for. Marriage and procreation have a civilizing effect on young men, one of the reasons why human society has valued marriage and long-term commitment. By making that unattainable to millions of their subjects, the Chinese autocracy has literally created millions of potential criminals and malcontents that will shortly find themselves launched into society and straitjacketed by a lack of choices.
In a way, it’s an echo of what we see in large societies with plural marriages. It has the same effect; when older men take on multiple wives, it denies many younger men the opportunity to marry and procreate, which gives them less investment in building a community. In those cases, it feeds either wars or radical behavior, as the men have to compete to have any chance at all for marriage and for stability, and some simply choose to opt out entirely.
Have the Chinese opted to re-think their criminalization of procreation? Of course not. Now they’re banning gender-specific abortions, despite the regime’s blessings on abortions in general — state-provided and highly recommended, and in some cases, demanded. The problem will be trying to determine intent for abortions, especially since Beijing is inordinately enthused about them overall. Besides, won’t banning gender-specific abortions just send these families to the back alleys to get them anyway? Where’s NARAL when you need them?
A rational approach would have allowed people to make their own decisions on procreation, while the government could have set up incentives for smaller families through taxes, entitlements, etc. They could still do that and attempt to return some sanity to their population management. However, given the brutal nature of the one-child policy in the past, I’m guessing Beijing will have something more Biblical in mind as a corrective.