Saturday, November 06, 2004
Massive gender imbalance influences violent crime
Jamie Miyazaki writes in the Asia Times of the huge gender imbalance in the Peoples Republic of China: ‘there aren't enough Chinese women out there, and it appears to be getting worse. According to a 2000 census, the sex ratio at birth in China is now 118 boys for every 100 girls; in most countries the ratio is roughly 105 boys born for every 100 girls. And it's not just a rural phenomenon, as widely believed; in affluent coastal Jiangsu province the imbalance is over 120 - that is, 120 boys for every 100 girls born”.
The PRC's "missing girls" are regarded as an “unintended consequence” of the Communist Party's one-child policy, where sons traditionally have been more highly valued than daughters. Government campaigns in rural areas - largely futile - remind residents that "girls are worth as much as boys", and aborting female fetuses is illegal in some places. But it may still be too late. In China's poorer provinces of Shaanxi, Ningxia and Guangxi, there are already scatterings of "bachelor villages".
“A good trade in foreign brides has emerged around the North Korean and Vietnamese borders to satisfy the bride shortage. One enterprising doctor in Guangdong province was arrested last year after drugging and selling mentally ill female patients from a psychiatric ward to men looking desperately for wives,” Miyazaki reports.
He also quotes a warning from Andrea den Boer, co-author of Bare Branches: Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population: "We are already seeing signs of societal instability in parts of China where segments of China's large floating population of up to 150 million (overwhelming men) are believed responsible for the increase in violent crime in urban areas."