Abortion and infanticide are the awful answers to this huge imbalance!
While the difference of gender at birth has been decreasing in the country over the past decade, China still boasts the world’s most skewed sex ratio at birth at around 114 males born for every 100 females as of 2019.
However, what is alarming is the boys-to-girls gender ratio of 119.1 per cent among those aged 10-14; and 118.39 per cent among those aged 15-19 by the end of 2019.
MOSCOW: China has almost 20 per cent more men than women among young people under the age of 20, reported Sputnik news agency, quoting the latest data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday.
According to the NBS’ latest data on China’s population structure, the country’s boys-to-girls gender ratio reached 119.1 per cent among those aged between 10-14 and 118.39 per cent among those aged between 15-19 by the end of 2019.
The gender imbalance among the age group of 20-24 stood at 114.61 per cent by the end of 2019, the latest data showed.
More than 40 years after China’s infamous “One Child Policy” was introduced in the early 1980s, the country’s gender imbalance continued to worsen in recent years. Because Chinese families traditionally favoured boys over girls, the “One Child Policy” pushed many families to selectively avoid having girls through sex-based abortions.
The growing gender imbalance has made it more and more difficult for young Chinese men to marry as they face steep competition for the limited number of available women. Chinese men from the southwestern Yunnan and Guangxi provinces reportedly began to pay for foreign brides from neighbouring countries, including Vietnam and Pakistan, in recent years.
As part of their efforts to address the gender imbalance and the country’s aging population, Chinese authorities began to relax their strident family planning policies in late 2013 by allowing some couples to have two children and expanded the “two-child policy” to the entire population by 2015.
However, the relaxation of family planning policies failed to boost birth rates in China in recent years, as young Chinese couples began to focus more on their personal development and became wary of having more children over concerns of the rising cost of raising them.
In recent weeks, a number of Chinese demographic experts called on the authorities to further ease family planning restrictions by allowing Chinese couples to have a third child. – Bernama
Many Chinese couples desire to have sons because they provide support and security to their aging parents later in life. Conversely, a daughter is expected to leave her parents upon marriage to join and care for her husband’s family. In rural households, which as of 2014 constitute almost half the Chinese population, males are additionally valuable for performing agricultural work and manual labor.
A 2005 intercensus survey demonstrated pronounced differences in sex ratio across provinces, ranging from 1.04 in Tibet to 1.43 Jiangxi. Banister (2004), in her literature review on China’s shortage of girls, suggested that there has been a resurgence in the prevalence of female infanticide following the introduction of the one-child policy. On the other hand, many researchers have argued that female infanticide is rare in China today, especially since the government has outlawed the practice. Zeng and colleagues (1993), for example, contended that at least half of the nation’s gender imbalance arises from the underreporting of female births.
According to the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the demographic shortfall of female babies who have died for gender related issues is in the same range as the 191 million estimated dead accounting for all conflicts in the twentieth century. In 2012, the documentary It’s a Girl: The Three Deadliest Words in the World was released. It focused on female infanticide in India and China.
China, the most populous country in the world, has a serious problem with an unbalanced sex ratio population. A 2010 BBC article stated that the sex birth ratio was 119 boys born per 100 girls, which rose to 130 boys per 100 girls in some rural areas. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimated that more than 24 million Chinese men of marrying age could find themselves without spouses by 2020. In 1979, China enacted the one child policy, which, within the country’s deeply patriarchal culture, resulted in an unbalanced birth sex ratio. The one child policy was enforced throughout the years, including through forced abortions and forced sterilizations, but gradually loosened until it was formally abolished in 2015.
When sex ratio began being studied in China in 1960, it was still within the normal range. However, it climbed to 111.9 by 1990 and to 118 by 2010 per its official census. Researchers believe that the causes of this sex ratio imbalance are increased female infant mortality, underreporting of female births and sex-selective abortion. According to Zeng et al. (1993), the most prominent cause is probably sex-selective abortion, but this is difficult to prove that in a country with little reliable birth data because of the hiding of “illegal” (under the One-Child Policy) births.