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One Child Policy

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One Child Policy: The Gender Epidemic
During the 1970’s under Mao Tse-tung’s ruling, China’s population was increasing toward one billion people. When he was the ruler, Mao allowed the people to have as much babies as they wanted because to him, “of all the things in the world, people are the most precious.”(Ho) Soon, the population kept rising and the government came to a conclusion that popution control is nesscesary because they fear that there won’t be enough food or resources to support the people. After Mao passed away the next leader, Deng Xioping established the One Child Policy in 1980 to limit the population growth in China. The policy strictly allow couples in China to have only one child with a few exceptions in some areas. If couples disobey the law and have a second child, they would have to pay heavy fines. They can also lose their jobs and create a bad name for their family. In the government’s view when the policy was being introduced, fewer births ment fewer mouths to feed which ment that there is a better chance at prosperity for the people. (Evans 102) According to Paul Wiseman from USA Today, the goal of the policy was to keep the Chinese population below 1.2 billion people through 2000. As it turned out, the policy has failed because the population today is 1.3 billion. It did however lower birthrates due to birth control, abortions, and early deaths of infants.
Throughout the years, China began to have an imbalanced gender ratio. There is a significant amount of more males than females due to the one child policy. One of the main reasons why there are so many males over females is because males are more preferred than females. Boys are more preferred mainly because they are the ones who will carry on the family name and they are expected to take care of their parents financially in the future. According to China’s latest Census, 116.9 boys are being born for every 100 girls.(USA Today) China is now beginning to face the consequences of having the country filled with mostly men than women because the policy has caused an imbalanced gender ratio.
The problem begins with the preferance to have boys rather than girls. Since the policy strictly enforces that couples can only have one child, Chinese couples wants to make sure that they have a boy. In the eyes of the Chinese people, boys are more valued than girls. My grandma is part Chinese and even though she has a lot of love for all her grandchildren, everyone in the family knows that she favors the boys more than the girls. For instance, on Chinese New Years my grandma gives out money in lucky red envelopes to everyone. Every year, she gives more money to the boys than the girls. When she cooks, she would serve the boys first and when there’s an argument, she would always defend the boys. Everytime one of my aunts gets pregnant, my grandma would hope that it’s a boy. If the baby turns out to be a girl, she gets disappointed. But in the end, she would still love the baby.
Boys are more valued because they carry on the family name. Carrying on the family name is a very important Chinese tradition. My grandma has 16 grandchildren total. Out of 15 of us, there are 5 boys but only 3 have the last name “Huynh” . When we have family gatherings where all my cousins and I are together, my grandma would always make a comment on how there are only 3 boys out of 16 that will carry on the family name. The daughters will eventually get married and change their last name. Once daugthers get married, they move out and take care of the in-laws. To the Chinese people, the daughter would no longer contribute to the family because they would have other responsibilities at their new home. On the other hand, if Chinese couples have a boy, the boy would be responsible to take care of his parents once he grows up and gets a job to finacially support everyone. In China, men are known to be the leader of the family. They work to provide for the household so therefore, they get to make the decisions for everyone. If a family doesn’t have a boy or a man in their family, then that family is considered to be weak.
Aside from being males, when they are little boys, they are spoiled by their parents and their grandparents. The parents and grandparents raised the boys into “spoiled, self-centered, lazy, and selfish men.” (Hirchberg) The personality of these men will eventually affect the society of China. Because they are so use to doing what they want, these men who are selfish and self-centered wouldn’t want to follow the authorities. Instead, they would want to have control over others which is common to an idividual that favors communism.(Hirchberg)
Because the one child policy has caused an imbalanced gender ratio of more males than females, millions of Chinese men would not be able to find a wife, settle down, or start a family. It is estimated that over the next two decades, 40 million Chinese men would not be able to settle down with a wife and family. (USA Today) Now the Chinese parents have to worry about their children growing up and not being able to marry. The more wealthy the family is, the more likely their child will find a wife. According to Paul Wiseman from USA Today, “due to the shortage of females, women are becoming more picky when choosing husbands.” Instead of men choosing who they want to marry like the past, women now have control over who they want to marry. When looking for a husband, women would look for the ones that are weathly, high paying jobs, and educated. That makes it harder for the men who are poor and uneducated to find wives. Majority of the men would have to get use living as bachelors there just won’t be enough women to marry. Getting married and starting a family are one of the lifefulling goals all over the world. As a result, men who won’t get married and start a family can cause a severe social problem. Since many Chinese men wouldn’t be able to marry, they become angry and act violently to express their anger. These men would start fights, disturb buisnesses, and stop obeying the laws. Here in the United States, studies have shown that single men tend to commit more crimes than married men. George Gilder in his book Men andMarriage wrote that 40% of single men are criminals and they commit 90% of major and violent crimes. Single men in China and the U.S. commit similar crimes such as rape and other disruptive behaviors.
The Chinese government had to take actions to deal with these angry bachelors. Government officials have sent them away from the cities to work elsewhere and trained them to become part of the police force. (Wiseman) But as noted earlier, it is predicted that 40 million men will not get married. China is not just dealing with 100 angry and frustrated men that they can have control over when they act violently. They will possibly be dealing with millions of single men. Together, these men can created significant damage to China and threaten the safety of the people living there in the future.
So the question is asked, “Where are all the girls?” When some women become pregnant for the second time or if she is having a girl, they would go into hiding in a secured place to have their babies. Once the baby is born, she would either keep the baby or abandon her. The newborn girls are usually abandoned on the streets, railroads, or in front of buidings where they can be easily seen. When they are found, they are put into orphanage homes. People don’t know where all the girls are because many of them are kept hidden from the government officals. These girls are “living on the edge of the law.”(Hirchberg) If they are founded, the parents can face servere consequences. To keep her, families would have to pay a lot of fines because they broke the law. Parents that are keeping their second child would have to pay up from hundreds to thousands of money to keep their child. In China, it would take almost 2 decades to pay the fines to the government because it is too expensive. Another way why there is a shortage of girls is because they are dying through neglect.(Hirschberg) In a family where they can afford 2 children with a boy and a girl, the boy will always get the attention first. If there isn’t enough food, the boy gets to eat first and the girl eats whatever is left. According to Stuart and Terry Hirschberg, if they are both sick, the boy gets more medicine and the girl gets less than half the amount of medicine. That can lead to death through starvation and not getting treated enough when they are sick.
Many of the girls don’t exist because of abortions. “Abortions have became a way of life.”(Hirchberg) In 1982, there was a mass production of ultra sound which gives women a chance to know the sex of their baby. When a woman gets pregnant, she will get an ultra sound to find out the sex of her baby. In Mara Hvistendhal’s book called Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of World Full of Men, doctor Cho Youong- Youl talked about womens’ reaction when they find the sex of their baby. Youl said,”If it was a boy, the woman would be overjoyed. If it was a girl, she would start thinking about what to do- about whether to have the baby or get an abortion.” Majority of the women would most likely choose to have an abortion. That way, she can get pregnant again and hopefully have a boy.
“About 10.5 million pregnancies are aborted each year with the majority of them being females.”(Hirschberg) According to Hirchberg, “the United States perform about 1.6 million abortions each year. Despite the fact that China has a larger population, China still has more couples or doctors. To them, both groups receive benefits; the doctors are making money and the couples can find out the sex of their child and go from there. Abortions have become such an issue that China made it illegal for women to get ultrasounds to identify the sex of the baby unless ultrasounds are needed for medical reasons.(Schorn) Although it is against the law, couples can still get ultrasounds if they are really determined to do so. They can get an ultrasound by “going underground, in the back of alleys, or illegal doctor clinics.”(Schorn) From there, the couple can still decide if they want to get an abortion or not.
The imbalanced gender ratio that the one child policy has created also caused women to be scared living in China. According to the US. Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Rersons Report says, “A major consequence of the widening gender imbalanceis the increased demand for forced marriages and prostitution.” The imbalanced ratio has caused men commit crimes such as rape and force marriages on women. Many women and girls are being forced into prostitution. Some of the victims of prostitution are very young. “Some are just 11 or 12. Some even 10.”(Hvistendahl) The majority of the girls were kidnapped from their homes or they were abandoned by their families. Men visiting the brothels and committed other sexual crimes can lead to viruses and sexually transmitted diseases. (Hesketh, Lu, Xing) If the diseases don’t get treated or there is no cure, they can spread the diseases on to other people.
There has been an increased of human trafficking for the single Chinese men to “purchase” their wives due to the imbalanced gender ratio. Mark Lagon, from a department that monitors and combat trafficking said, “the lack of women fuels the demand for victims of trafficking.”(Hvistendahl) Women in China or women in neighboring countries are being kidnapped and sold to become the wives of the men who can’t find one on their own. It has become such an issue that China officials have to warn women from being kidnapped. They broadcast the warnings on tv and caution them to be careful when going somewhere alone. (Hirschberg) Sometimes, men are marrying girls that much younger than them because there are no women who are their age. These men could be up to 30 years older than their wives. (Lee) The imbalanced gender ratio will be causing economic problems for China in the future. As the economy contiues to grow at a rapid speed, the birthrate of girls is still relatively low. In the future, there won’t be enough workers to keep up with the rate that China’s economy is growing. If the men aren’t to find a wife and get married, they wouldn’t be able to have children. Without the children, there will be no workers in the future for China to expand economically. There are many buisnesses that require women labor such as textile factories. Many buisnesses closed down due to lack of female labors. Men are moving away from China to find wives causing shortage of workers in some areas. Those buisnesses would either close down or move their buisness elsewhere where there are enough workers to hire. There are more of the older generation than the young generation. Once people from the older generation retires, there won’t be enough of the young workers to take over. (Hesketh, Lu, Xing) China has a major role in globalization so they need many workers to produce items. Because of the policy and the preferance that the Chinese have for boys over girls, it has caused an imbalanced gender ratio. Now, China is having a shortage of females, men without wives are becoming violent, and soon the imbalanced gender ratio will affect China economically. Starting to realized the issues that the imbalanced ratio is causing, China has begun to change the view of the tradition of the preferance of males. The government officials have begun a campaign called “Care for Girls” to promote gender equality.(China Daily) The campaign encourages Chinese couples to have girls and offers supports to the families. The program gives money to the families and supports help when they start going to school. In some areas in China, they are allowing couples to have a second child if their first born was a girl. They are only allowed to have a second child after several years of gap after the first chold.(Ho) To ensure that doctors don’t reveal the sex of the baby during an ultrasound, “two doctors have to be present and the exam is recorded on a closed circuit tv.”(Schorn) That way if a doctor gives any hints or gestures to reveal the gender, the China officials can punish the doctor. Girls who were raised into successful women are now righting for females rights in politics hoping to change the policy and peoples’ view on girls.
I believe China’s perception and discriminating females are wrong. Chinese people should consider what females can do for their economy. Females are capable of going to school and become successful. They too can also provide for the family if they are able to get a good education. These women can become nurses, secretaries, buisnesswomen, politicians, and etc. With a job like those, not only can they take care of their families but they can also contribute to China’s economy making it stronger.
Perhaps to find more women for the single men to marry, I think China could attempt to attract women from other countries to come live in China. That way, men wouldn’t commit as much sexual crimes such as rape, forced marriages, or human trafficking. But since China’s goal is to keep their population low, why would they want to attract outsiders to move there? China could make the fines less expensive and give families time to come up with the money. That way if a couple has a second child, they wouldn’t worry about having an abortion or abandoning the baby. Instead of punishing the parents who kept their girls in hiding, the government could help them too under the Care for Girls program. China can be destroyed as the issues are slowly creeping up in the future. Today, some people believe that the one child policy was a mistake, and others say that the policy contributed to the prosperity of China. Either way, what’s done has been done and there’s no way to change it. What China can do is to come up with solutions to attempt to solve the issues and make changes for a better future.

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China One Child Policy

...China's population The most surprising demographic crisis A new census raises questions about the future of China’s one-child policy May 5th 2011 | BEIJING | The Economist * * DOES China have enough people? The question might seem absurd. The country has long been famous both for having the world’s largest population and for having taken draconian measures to restrain its growth. Though many people, Chinese and outsiders alike, have looked aghast at the brutal and coercive excesses of the one-child policy, there has also often been a grudging acknowledgment that China needed to do something to keep its vast numbers in check. But new census figures bolster claims made in the past few years that China is suffering from a demographic problem of a different sort: too low a birth rate. The latest numbers, released on April 28th and based on the nationwide census conducted last year, show a total population for mainland China of 1.34 billion. They also reveal a steep decline in the average annual population growth rate, down to 0.57% in 2000-10, half the rate of 1.07% in the previous decade. The data imply that the total fertility rate, which is the number of children a woman of child-bearing age can expect to have, on average, during her lifetime, may now be just 1.4, far below the “replacement rate” of 2.1, which eventually leads to the population stabilising. Slower growth is matched by a dramatic ageing of the population. People above the age of 60 now......

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