Women in China (November 26, 2007)

To control its population explosion, China imposed a limit of one child per family.    Many families opted to have a son rather than a daughter.  Some estimate that there are four women for every five men in China today and similar disparities in India, Vietnam and Nepal.  The typical ratio in other countries of 105 males to 100 females has been distorted.  In a few reported cases in America, by contrast, the acquisition of more kids, boys or girls, as durable goods provides another symbol/symptom of status.  [See the e-ssay dated Aug. 6 entitled “Kids As Consumer Durables”].

What seemed rational for some individual parents was not rational or desirable for society.  The government promoted what Nature provides in abundance—a scarcity of resources.  There are more males who are and will be unable to marry in these countries that value the family and family values.  There are many very real negative consequences including possible violence against women and social and economic tensions.  However, women are more marketable which could have unexpected consequences.  Although in a minority, women may have leverage.  Women may be able to compel the boys to clean up their acts.  The environmental pollution in China is now estimated to cover an area the size of … well … China.  Women may even compel the country to clean up its act.

Bumper sticker of the week:

A Century of Women on Top

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