China prepares to face the consequences
In 2005, the mainland China sex ratio at birth stood at 118 females to 100 males, having already increased from 108:100 in 1981 to 111:100 in 1990. It is substantially above the natural baseline which ranges from 103:100 to 107:100. By the year 2020, there will be 30 million more men than women, according to a report by the State Population and Family Planning Commission.
The social implications are disturbing. A recent media report says that based on a Statistics Canada survey, the rate of robbery offenses for women is just 13 out of every 100,000, versus 110 for men. The same survey shows that men are seven to 10 times more likely to commit serious crimes, including robbery, homicide, sexual assault and car theft, and that women are less likely than men to re-offend or escalate their crimes.
If those figures hold true in China, visitors in 2020 may find a generation warped by a huge gender imbalance, raising questions about what one does with a society where one man in five cannot find a wife. That question appears to highlight Chinese leaders’ concerns about the one-child policy creating a demographic time bomb.
A 2006 study conducted by Therese Hesketh of the Institute of Child Health at University College London and Zhu Wei Xing of China’s Zhejiang Normal University for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that 94 percent of all unmarried people in China aged between 28 and 49 are males, and that 97 percent of them have not completed high school. Some critics have predicted that the phenomenon of a growing number of young men in lower echelons of society who are marginalized and who have little outlet for sexual energy will lead to higher levels of anti-social behavior and violence.
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