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China's Own Marriage Crisis

Gender imbalance due to sex-specific abortions signals imminent crisis in the Chinese family.

Family planning has become a controversial phrase in China, due to the government's One Child Policy, a vast social experiment launched in 1979 to cap population growth and speed up economic development. State media reported recently that more than 24 million men in China are expected to be without spouses by year 2020. This is the latest consequence of a policy that has led to utility-based, sex-specific abortions (when faced with only one choice, boys have greater economic potential for parents) and created a critical gender imbalance.

The report, from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, raises critical questions about what the Chinese nuclear family will look like in 10 years, or whether it will even exist. Along with the impending marriage crisis and already endangered family unit, subsequent problems will likely include increased underage marriage and forced prostitution.

Zhao Baige, vice-minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission of China, maintains that ...

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