Monday, March 15, 2010

The Worldwide War on Baby Girls?


boys_off_balance The Economist:

In January 2010 the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) showed what can happen to a country when girl babies don’t count. Within ten years, the academy said, one in five young men would be unable to find a bride because of the dearth of young women—a figure unprecedented in a country at peace.

The number is based on the sexual discrepancy among people aged 19 and below. According to CASS, China in 2020 will have 30m-40m more men of this age than young women. For comparison, there are 23m boys below the age of 20 in Germany, France and Britain combined and around 40m American boys and young men. So within ten years, China faces the prospect of having the equivalent of the whole young male population of America, or almost twice that of Europe’s three largest countries, with little prospect of marriage, untethered to a home of their own and without the stake in society that marriage and children provide.

Gendercide—to borrow the title of a 1985 book by Mary Anne Warren—is often seen as an unintended consequence of China’s one-child policy, or as a product of poverty or ignorance. But that cannot be the whole story. The surplus of bachelors—called in Chinaguanggun, or “bare branches”— seems to have accelerated between 1990 and 2005, in ways not obviously linked to the one-child policy, which was introduced in 1979. And, as is becoming clear, the war against baby girls is not confined to China.

Read the whole thing.


thinking said...

One of the greatest advancements that could ever happen to humanity would be to achieve a world where females enjoyed equal rights and status with males.

It's happening, but the struggle is long and hard. Even here in the "modern" US there still exists far too many examples of sexism. Women still do not get equal pay with men, and most corporate boardrooms are still dominated by men.

Kevin said...

Of course the irony is that "reproductive rights" have been the battle cry of the feminist, which is now being used, by *choice* to selectively destroy women.

thinking said...

The quest for "reproductive rights" has nothing to do with what's happening in China or anywhere else with regards to discrimination against having female children.

Indeed one aspect of reproductive rights is the freedom from coerced abortion, sterilization, and contraception.

And practices discriminating against female children have been used long before there was any organized movement towards "reproductive rights."

Reproductive rights are indeed a key component of women's rights.

As an aside, I'm no fan of abortion, but there is no correlation between incidence of abortion and it's legal status. Ironically in China gender selected abortion is illegal, as is infanticide, yet it still happens.

Kevin said...

So, if a woman should have the right to let the fetus to live or die, then what right would this author have to impose any view on that choice, even if "the cumulative consequence for societies of such individual actions is catastrophic."

However, "those who oppose abortion, this is mass murder" is at least an internally consistent argument that does not violate the logical rules of non-contradiction. This author seems to want it both ways, the ability to destroy an individual (w/ unique DNA) because of location as a function as a "right" but condemnation if that choice of who is to live and die on a large scale is not to the author's liking.

As I wrote in another post, intent and result can be very different.