‘Surplus of men, deficit of peace?’
Jonathan Power; 30/11/09
A census released in Beijing reported that there is now an extraordinary imbalance in birthrates: 117 boys are being born for every 100 girls. In southern Hainan province, the gap widens to an astonishing 135/100 ratio. In China today, about 97 per cent of all unmarried persons aged between 28 and 49 are male. China is probably the world leader in using cheap scans to enable parents to know the sex of their child in the womb and, despite breaking the law, to find a doctor who will abort a foetus for no other reason than that it happens to be female. However, this practice is also widely practised in many other Asian countries. India is not far behind. Adding the two countries together, there are perhaps between 60 and 70 million missing females in Asia. The historical record suggests that societies that breed surplus males end up with more crime and with a higher propensity for going to war. Within 20 years, both China and India will end up with around 30 million young surplus males. They have no brides, no families, and thus will tend to be roamers, migrants and putative warriors.