The Social Time Bomb of a "One Child" Policy

Thirty years of the Chinese government's "One Child" policy has yielded successful, bizarre, and perilous results. This policy has been so successful that it may one day be known for the eventual demise of a great civilization.

Sky News reports that "three decades of state-controlled family planning has prevented 400 million births." This feat has been achieved with the threat of heavy fines for extra births, the provision of free contraception, and encouraged abortion. [Read the entire article and watch the news video here: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/China-30-Years-Since-The-Introduction-Of-One-Child-Policy-Millions-Of-Girls-Have-Disappeared/Article/201009415741661?lid=ARTICLE_15741661_China:30YearsSinceTheIntroductionOfOneChildPolicy,MillionsOfGirlsHaveDisappeared&lpos=searchresults.]

A traditional preference for male children and the increasing availability of ultrasound technology have intersected in the widespread use of abortion to guarantee a baby boy. These facts have thrown the country's demographics off balance - and are a ticking time bomb for Chinese society.
An elementary school in a small Chinese town illustrates the problem - 100 girls and 197 boys.
"By 2020 it is thought there will be 50 million men who cannot find a wife. In a culture where marriage and reproduction are considered the highest moral duties the result is a social time bomb. Kidnapping of women as brides is already common in China's countryside. In one case last year in the northern province of Shanxi, 25 women were rescued from a village where they had been sold for £3,000 a head to men who could not find wives. Experts predict that kidnappings will rise as further generations of boys grow up to find a shortage of women.

To try to even up the numbers, the government has banned pre-natal sex testing. But the regulation is ignored by many hospitals for which ultrasounds are a lucrative business. In Wuxue, parents gathered at the school gate seemed loath to admit that there was a preponderance of boys. Most denied a preference for male children. Only one old man picking up his granddaughter said that he wanted to speak the truth. He said: 'We can only have one child, so when people fall pregnant they go to the hospital for an ultrasound and if it's a girl they get rid of it. That's why you can see so many boys here. As the one-child policy enters its fourth decade that male majority will likely continue to grow, fuelled by a strange combination of state-enforced family planning, new technology, and age-old prejudices."

Marriage is so critical to Chinese culture and civilization that there is an ancient proverb about why the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvbLJ9rHMMk. With marriage as the strength of a society where men cannot find a wife, it bears repeating: in a culture where marriage and reproduction are considered the highest moral duties the result is a social time bomb.

1 comment:

  1. The "social time bomb," that this article is talking about, absolutely makes sense. I cannot imagine that the Chinese government could make these social incentives without foreseeing any recourse to their actions. With the current technology and abortion option, it is much easier for families to receive the child gender of their choice, and, as the video shows, the preference is for a male in order to carry on the family name and traditions. Now with the enormous gender gap, it almost seems as if the government must frantically give incentives for Chinese families to have female babies. However, this would just continue the vicious cycle of social lunacy. There is no quick fix to this out-of-control crisis, and females are already being victimized due to their rarity. The Chinese government desperately needs to nullify this regulation before the country collapses into social chaos