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China one Child Policy

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China one Child Policy

Abstract

China is a land that contains an overpopulation crisis. With a current estimated 1.4billion people living in China, something needed to be done in order to lower the birth rates and control the fast growing population. The solution the Chinese government came up with was called the One-Child Policy, where a couple is only entitled to have one child. They set up number penalties and benefits in order to encourage the Chinese people to cooperate with this policy. The predicted outcome was to reduce the birth rates and reduce their population, which was ultimately affecting the Chinese economy. However, the One-Child Policy created an unexpected crisis of its own, the creation of unequal demographics of gender and the start of a new cultural and economic trend. This essay is going to demonstrate the demographic changes between males and females as well as the cultural impact it has had in present day China due to the enactment of the one child policy in 1979.

Background

For centuries China has stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences. On the other hand, over the last decade it has plummeted economically. A big factor for this massive downfall is the population of the country. China is overpopulated, at the dawn of this century there were some 426 million people living in China. Today the population is about 1.2 billion. (Wiki 2010) About two-thirds of this 900 million-person increase was added within the last 50 years. In essence, the Mainland China alone contributes to at least twenty percent of the world's contribution. (Ogilvy 2000) The Chinese government realized that something had to be done or they would never be able to prosper as a country. They decided to set up a plan to reduce the population growth. They called it China's One-Child Policy. This policy limits a Chinese couple to bearing only one child. (Milwertz 1997) The One-Child Policy has had a range of demographic and social impacts in China including the growing proportion of the elderly, the massive gender imbalance and an establishment of an illegal human trafficking system. The One-Child Policy had been introduced as a means of birth control as the population of China was exceeding controllable limits. But, there had been many consequences of this policy, which has changed the world and its perspective on China and the Chinese people. Initially, the Chinese government adopted the policy in order to reduce the severe famine that plagued the country. They realized later that it would also help them prosper economically since the overpopulation held them back.

The One-Child Policy, although not formally written into law consisted of three main points. Advocating delayed marriage and delayed child bearing, supporting fewer and healthier births, and promoting one child per couple. (Wang 1995) Immediately after the policy was enforced, infanticide was introduced. How could a couple murder their child just because it was a female? Gender played a huge role in the Chinese culture. Males were definitely the dominant sex and a family without a male child was looked down upon. With the introduction of the One-Child Policy in China, a major demographic gender imbalance occurred. Some argue that at least in larger metropolitan areas, this sentiment is changing more equal valuation of male and female children. However, the most recent large-scale survey of reproductive health and fertility provides evidence to the contrary showing that the increased sex ratio continues to be present in both rural and urban areas.

Problem

The Chinese tradition implied that there must be a boy among the children in order to continue the family. They felt that the males carried the name of their ancestors and they needed to carry the name for the next generation. Therefore, whenever a couple had a female child they reverted to infanticide. They would either abandon the child or even worse, kill it. This way they had another chance at getting a boy. As technologies advanced, they were able to determine the gender of the child before birth and used abortion as a means to eliminate a female birth. These wide uses of infanticide obviously arouse some issues. The sex ratio was totally unbalanced and the infant mortality rate was horrible. Males were completely dominant in China. They did most of the work and were the head of the household. The one concept that the Chinese people are not considering is that in the future there will be far too many males and far too less females. Sure, the One-Child Policy will reduce the population growth rate, but it might lower

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