The Worst Good Idea: Research On China’s One Child Policy

2131 words - 9 pages

Population expansion has been a serious problem to the human society for a long time because the resources and spaces of the Earth are limited. China, as the third largest country in the world, has one fifth of the world population. Chinese people used to believe that a larger population meant a stronger country. Therefore, from 1962 to 1980, which is the China’s baby boom, the population of China grew from 665 million to 981 million. The sharp population increase brought a series of problems, like environmental pollution, traffic congestion and shortage of water and food supplies. To reduce the population growth rate, in 1979, the Chinese government implemented the famous One-child Policy. This policy was planned as a short-term program, but it is still in use till now because of the successful prevention of about 400 million births. Meanwhile, the One-child Policy has been judged as a violation of human rights and a demographic disaster which brings gender imbalance, aging of the population and manpower shortage. On one hand, it truly lowers the birth rate and population growth rate of China. However, on the other hand, the One-child Policy has already done harm for the Chinese society. Although this policy seems to be undermining the right of procreation of millions of Chinese women, it is still the worst good idea that the Chinese government could have to keep the population down.
The One-child Policy, as a mandatory policy, has already brought damages to the Chinese population structure. One of the most significant problems is the increasing imbalance of the sex ratio. The conception that “Boys are more important than girls” is quite common in many Asian societies because boys would inherit the family name (children follow the father’s name, not the mother’s) and men could bring more income to the family than women. In some places of poverty and insularity, having no son is even humiliating. Therefore, years before while Chinese parents were facing the One-child Policy, they were also facing the problem referred to as “a boy or an abortion.” According to statistic information, “Between 1851 and 1948, about 5 percent of female babies were killed in this way” (Scutti), 30000 female fetuses are aborted annually because of the old conception. Sex ratio at birth (SRB) is a concept in demography which represents the amount of boys per 100 girls. In 1979, when the policy was first implemented, this rate is 106 boys to 100 girls which means there are 6 extra boys per 100 girls. The ratio increase to 111 boys to 100 girls in 1990. From the result of the census in 2000, the overall sex rate at birth became to 119:100 while the global SRB is estimated at 107 boys to 100 girls. So there would be about 16% of those boys would be “extra” when they reach the marriageable age. “There will be at least 30 million men of marriageable age that may be unable to find a spouse by 2020” (Annual Report 2008 100), according to the annual report of the U.S....

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