Banana Counting Monkey

Thursday, May 13, 2004:

Surplus Sons


Brothers Judd blog pointed this out in the IHT, and I think this is another demographic timebomb that will help shape the conflicts of the 21st century, along with Europe's suicide.

The most populous nations in Asia, including China, India and Pakistan, have acted upon their deep cultural preference for sons by culling daughters from their populations through the use of ever more efficient sex selective technologies. Amniocentesis and ultrasound as a precursor to sex selective abortion have been joined by sperm-sorting technologies that increase the probability of conceiving a son.
The technology to select male offspring before birth began to spread in the late 1980s, and the birth sex ratios began to rise. In China, the official ratio is 117 boys born for every 100 girls, but the reality is probably 120 or more. In India, the official birth sex ratio is 111-114 boys per 100 girls, but spot checks show ratios of up to 156 boys per 100 girls in some locales. For comparison, normal birth sex ratios are 105-107 boys born per 100 girls.
The bottom line is that there will be appreciably more young men in their societies than young women. Using conservative estimates, in 2020 India will have about 28 million more young males (aged 15 to 34) than young females. In China, the figure will be closer to 30 million; in Pakistan it will probably be 3-5 million.

The comment I left on the brojuddblog was..

I'm curious if there is any such effect in the muslim world as well. Given that muslim culture esteems sons over daughters, it would seem to follow that similar things would be happening among muslim populations. I've heard about the Indian and Chinese issues before, but never any indication of the same among the muslim world.

I wonder why? Is the technology simply not availalbe there or is there a consensus against its use?

In the long term, will this lead to a demographic collapse in China and India of the same type as Europe?

One solution that I think is likely to arise will be something like the "mail-order-brides" of the past. Given that China and India will have higher standards of living than many of the surrounding countries, it would be an attractive proposition for many women in the less developed nations. Of course, this would require the men of China and India to get past some of their traditional racist notions about other countries.

It also appears that Adam Smith's "invisible hand" works in population control as well. Is it just coincidence that the two nations with this problem are ones will very large population pressures?

Response from Orrin Judd was:


China doesn't face population pressures but population collapse.

ISLAM (not sure where someone found these #s):

Bahrain 1.3 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Djibouti 1.07 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Jordan 1.1 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Kuwait 1.5 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Oman 1.31 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Qatar 1.93 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Saudi Arabia 1.24 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
UAE 1.51 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Question for MonkeyLeader: What's happening in Kuwait? the stats here imply 1.5 men to 1 female. Does this fit what you saw? Did you see any awareness of the problem and anything being done to address it?

My followup comment on Brojudd:

I assume that that's the birth ratios. I wonder how many years this has been going on for? How close is the first imbalanced generation to adulthood?

Is there any sign of Egypt or Libya being similarly skewed?

If this trend carries over to the population that Europe is importing, the implications are unpleasant for any sort or peaceful transition to Eurabia."

BCM // 7:25 AM

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