China has made astounding advances in recent decades, but a destabilizing gender imbalance threatens the country’s progress. In the old China, baby girls were often left to die in the gutters. In the cruel modern China, they are aborted by the tens of millions, using all the latest technology. And there is even an ugly new word for this mass slaughter: gendercide, the Daily Mail (UK) reports.
The state policy – which has limited many families to one child since 1979 – combined with a marked preference for sons has led to skewed gender ratios: in some areas, up to 168 males for every 100 females. By the year 2020, there will be 30 million more men than women of marriageable age in this giant empire, so large and so different (its current population is 1.336 billion people) that it often feels more like a separate planet than just another country.
Nothing like this has ever happened to any civilisation before. The nearest we can come to it is the sad shortage of men after the First World War in Britain, France, Russia and Germany, and the many women denied the chance of family life and motherhood as a result.
The fear of abduction is so great that some parents keep their kids in cages or tethered to posts. “The police, of course, say they are looking, but they have seen so many of these cases they are numb,” the father of a kidnapped child said. “When it comes to keeping the lid on this, the government wants peace and quiet.”
It’s a famous fact that men without women are altogether more troublesome than women without men, especially when they are young. And China’s authorities now fear that young men who are unable to find a woman to marry will turn to crime, war, and the vast prostitution market that is already a major industry in every Chinese city. [via Daily Mail (UK); image via MotherBoard]