Bachelor Bomb

Essay by qazwsxedc123High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2007

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Bachelor bomb when talking about China, you may naturally think of its long history, its deep culture, its unique architecture, the difficulty of its language, the rich variety of its cuisine, and, inevitably, connected with the huge population of the nation. You certainly have heard that for every five people in the world, there is one Chinese person. What you may not know is, as terrorism is such a prevalent word in contemporary society, China has also been “attacked” by a special terrorist—The “Bachelor Bomb”. It is reported that by the end of 2020, there will be at least 37 million makes who can’t find wives in the Chinese “marriage market”. The reason for the SRB (the sex ratio at birth) imbalance is a deeply-rooted social preference for boys which has been exacerbated by the government’s one-child policy and facilitated by modern technology that allows pre-birth sex screening. China’s population policy-makers must clearly understand both the causes and the consequences of the imbalances and take action in order to correct the trend and make things back to normal.

The first and the most significant reason for SRB imbalance is the inveterate Chinese culture of preferring boys. There are sayings in Chinese culture like “yang ‘er fang lao” (rear a son for old age) and “zhong nan qing nü” (man is more important than woman) that reflect the cultural bias for males. I remember my dad once told me, my grandpa treated him better than his daughter, so he had the better room; he went to the better school. All this unfairness was because my grandpa believed his son would have a better future than his daughter and then can take good care of him when he is old. The ingrained male preference originated in Confucianism’s central tenets that held “sons were especially important, because they carried on the family line and performed the ritual sacrifices to honor the deceased parents and other family ancestors.” So it was the males’ responsibility to take care their parents in their old age. At the same time, China once was a agricultural based society, consequently it’s essential to have someone who can do heavy work, and males seem more eligible than females.

In 1979, because of China’s overpopulation, the government implemented its “One-Child” policy and suddenly people were faced with a tremendously difficult predicament which also contributes to the SRB imbalance. On the one hand was the above-described societal male preference which still exerted an extraordinarily profound impact on many families despite the government’s best efforts to eradicate it through political and counter-cultural campaigns. On the other hand was the real possibility that a family’s only child might be a daughter. In such cases, people thought it’s really important to make sure their kids are boys, so female-specific abortion happened.

Of course there is no way for you to abort without knowing whether the kid is a girl, but then the invention of ultrasound B machine made the “Bachelor Bomb” explode. There were a lot of couples in China who gave up their children after knowing they were girls. At this rate, people were able to know the sex of the baby; as a result, sex-selective abortion unfortunately occurred.

The impacts on China’s population are almost entirely negative. First of all, the foremost challenge many of the men will face is the lack of marriageable females-there just won’t be any. One stunning statistic quoted by Hudson and Den Boer which indicates “97% of all unmarried people between the ages of 28 and 49 in China are male.” Marriage has a claming effect on male behavior as the responsibilities of caring for a wife and raising children promotes productive activities including seeking higher education, keeping stable employment and abiding by laws and social norms of behavior. On the contrary, unmarried males are far more likely to engage in anti-social behavior like fighting, gambling, patronizing prostitutes (related disease issues), and committing criminal acts. China’s Hainan province, for instance, which has the nations highest reported SRB of 137:100 (M: F), is already undergoing higher crime rates, which officials directly blamed on the SRB gap. Secondly, for female population, admittedly they will have more choices in surplus male “marriage market” and be able to pick and choose instead of settling for a less desirable partner. However, every coin has two sides, as a matter of fact there stronger negative impacts on women from the SRB gap. According to research, in provinces highly imbalanced in gender, women are becoming the victims of human trafficking. Things like illegal and forced marriages as well as forced prostitution have run rampant in some areas.

The deeply rooted social preference for boys is as old as China, while the other two “accomplices” are occurring only in the last three and a half decades. All these three factors have interacted and directly lead to the SRB gap as it stands today. China’s sex ratio at birth imbalance is worsening and becoming a tremendously severe problem not only for China but also for the entire world. In assessing the outcomes of the situation it is possible to see that despite some limited positive benefits for women, the overall consequences are overwhelmingly deleterious. If China wants to get rid of this “Bachelor Bomb”, certain measure such as implementing “Population and Family Planning Law”, “Banning Non-medical need of identifying the gender of a Fetus” and “Sexually Discriminative Artificial Suspension of Pregnancy” must be taken as soon as possible. Once the “Bomb” further explodes, the consequence is unimaginable.

Reference:United States Census Bureau, ‘National and State Population Estimates: 2000-2006,’ 22 December 2006, online. 23 Oct. 2007. People’s Daily, ‘China has 37 Million More Males than Females,’ 10 July 2007, online. 23 Oct. 2007