Chinese government poster from 1980s promoting its one-child policy
A new study published by BMJ, which used to be known as the British Medical Journal, has documented a worsening problem on which WND has been reporting for 12 years: the domination of males in a Chinese society that encourages the abortion of unborn daughters.
The new report says males under the age of 20 outnumbered females by more than 32 million and warned, “China will see very high and steadily worsening sex ratios in the reproductive age group over the next two decades.”
One of the authors, Therese Hesketh, told the Associated Press that translates into a huge threat of criminal activity.
“If you’ve got highly sexed young men, there is a concern that they will all get together and, with high levels of testosterone, there may be a real risk, that they will go out and commit crimes,” said Hesketh, a lecturer at University College in London.
A commentary in the BMJ said the China policy of limiting families to one child “is one of the most controversial policies ever implemented.”
“It has reduced the fertility rate and has helped raise living standards for most people in China, but it has been heavily criticized for violating human rights and having many negative social consequences, one of which is an excess number of male births,” the commentary said.
Chinese families often use abortion – or actual infanticide – to eliminate daughters in favor of sons. Some estimates suggest there have been hundreds of millions of deaths because of the policy.
BMJ said the result is a “discouraging picture of very high and worsening male to female ratios … in China.” It also said the study confirmed the “imbalance” can be attributed at least partly to the one-child policy.
The average number of children in Chinese families has fallen from 5.9 to 1.7 over the last four decades. “This large reduction in the fertility rate, whether by choice or by coercion, has inevitably increased the male to female ratio because of the preference for sons and the availability of contraception and sex selective measures.”
Besides the potential for additional crime, social problems are expected to peak because of the millions of men who ultimately will be unable to find a mate.
“Nothing can be done now to prevent this imminent generation of excess men,” the report warned.
While China still reported 119 male births for every 100 girls, industrialized nations around the world reported a ratio of 107-to-100.
Hesketh told AP the availability of technologies, such as sonograms, that reveal the gender of an unborn child, has led to a rise in abortions to eliminate daughters.
The review assessed populations in China’s 2,861 counties.
“Overall sex ratios were high across all age groups and residency types, but they were highest in the 1-4 years age group, peaking at 126 … in rural areas. Six provinces had sex ratios of over 130 in the 1-4 age group. The sex ratio at birth was close to normal for first order births but rose steeply for second order births, especially in rural areas, where it reached 146 (143 to 149). Nine provinces had ratios of over 160 for second order births,” the report said.
“Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males,” it said.
When the special was broadcast, WND founder and editor Joseph Farah wrote that what he in 1997 dubbed “gendercide” was one of the first big stories he broke for WND.
“It came about when the World Health Organization issued a report saying more than 50 million women were estimated to be ‘missing’ in China. These women had not run away. They had not been kidnapped. They did not just disappear,” he wrote.
“Their lives had been snuffed out before they ever really began – victims of institutionalized killing and neglect of girls due to Beijing’s population control program that limits parents to one child.”
“Later, I believe I was the first reporter in the world to notice another disturbing trend resulting directly from the coercive one-child policy. Back in 2004, I noticed what appeared to be an epidemic of child kidnappings in China,” he wrote.
WND has reported Chinese adults desperate for children have fueled a major criminal industry in child kidnappings. So great is the shortage of young women in China, many men are taking to “purchasing” foreign “brides” – sometimes actually sex slaves. The price for Burmese women – many of whom are desperate because of poverty – is between $600 and $2,400, depending on youth and beauty.
Some Chinese couples who want a boy simply choose to abandon female infants to die. Desperate couples without a son sometimes resort to buying one on the black market.