- Apr 18, 2008
April 11, 2009
New Study Shows Extent of Gender Imbalance in China
By SHARON LAFRANIERE
BEIJING - A bias in favor of male offspring has left China with 32 million more boys under the age of 20 than girls, creating “an imminent generation of excess men,” a study released Friday said.
For the next twenty years, China will have increasingly more men than women of reproductive age, according to the paper published on-line by the British Medical Journal.
“Nothing can be done now to prevent this,” the researchers said.
Chinese government planners have long known that the urge of couples to have sons was skewing the gender balance of the population. But the study by two Chinese university professors and a London researcher provides some of the first hard data on the extent and the factors contributing to the disparity.
In 2005 , they found, China had more than 1.1 million excess male births. There were 120 boys born for every 100 girls. This problem seems to surpass that of any other country, they said — a finding they wrote that was perhaps not surprising in light of China’s one-child policy.
They blamed the imbalance almost entirely upon decisions by couples to abort female fetuses. The trend toward more male than female children intensified steadily after 1986, they said, as ultrasound tests and abortion became more available. “Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males,” the paper said.
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/world/asia/11china.html?hpw