2014 December 27 Saturday
Bride Shortage In China Leaves Low Earning Males Single

Adam Minter has an interesting article about the high male-female ratio as a result of use of ultrasound to do selective abortion of female fetuses.

They are also, in all likelihood, poor and uneducated. According to a 2006 study, 97 percent of Chinese bachelors between 28 and 49 havenít completed high school.

An obvious result: the average guy getting married and making babies is smarter than the average guy who leaves no offspring. Hard on the guys. But the selective pressure is good news for the next generation.

Bride prices are up in rural areas of China. Will the bride prices create significant incentives to have more girl babies?

Suppose you are a Chinese policy maker. You do not need legislative approval or much popular support. What do you do about this situation? Keep a One Child policy? Modify the One Child policy to allow a second baby if the first one is a girl? Or only allow 2 children if both are girls?

I think it is great that some industrializing countries differ so much from the West in terms of attitudes about family, the sexes, and reproduction. We get to see how these policies, so unacceptable to liberals and conservatives in the West, play out on a large scale.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 December 27 07:51 PM 


Comments
James Bowery said at December 27, 2014 8:10 PM:

Circa 1980, I was advising people to teach their daughters Chinese. Today, others are doing so and I'm no longer doing so. The Chinese should be mass producing high-demand females.

Bob said at December 27, 2014 10:43 PM:

James Bowery,

Why were you advising people to teach their daughters Chinese in 1980? What do you mean by mass producing high demand females?

Bob said at December 27, 2014 11:09 PM:

" They are also, in all likelihood, poor and uneducated. According to a 2006 study, 97 percent of Chinese bachelors between 28 and 49 havenít completed high school.

An obvious result: the average guy getting married and making babies is smarter than the average guy who leaves no offspring. Hard on the guys. But the selective pressure is good news for the next generation."

How do we know this is actually the case? Presumably these bachelors are farmers. Traditionally the peasant farmers were the backbone of China. They were self-sufficient and productive enough to furnish a large population and enable the country to be autarkic and self-sufficient in food.

In the US, the "Norwegian bachelor farmers" as Garrison Keilor calls them have been the butt of jokes and have been outbred by other types over the past few decades. I don't know that these earnest farmers being outbred by "smarter" types will be good news for the next generation.

Mike Street Station said at December 28, 2014 12:51 PM:

A 97% non completion of high school doesn't translate to 97% of Chinese males being dummies. Most of the country is still peasant farmers, so I doubt there is much eugenic benefit to knocking them out of the gene pool, unless of course "connections" turns out to be a genetic trait.

But if I were advising the Chinese, I would go with the 2 child policy and 3rd child if the first two are girls. Sure, China has a lot of people, but compared to their aging population, they are almost like a Western country with a population much older than your average 3rd world baby factory. That's bad news for a country that still isn't rich enough to take care of all of the elderly that country is going to have every decade. At least loosening up their ridiculous one child policy would help with (eventually) shortages of marriageable females and day care workers.

James Bowery said at December 28, 2014 1:22 PM:

Bob, in 1980, it was already apparent that the one child per family policy was going to produce a surplus of Chinese males. I had seen how even a mild gender imbalance produces profound pathologies in American universities -- particularly at engineering colleges such as the University of Illinois. These pathologies put the females in very powerful positions. Any American girl born around 1980, who learned Chinese would, today, be in an excellent position with regard to one of the largest societies in the world: China. I know of some such females.

What I mean by "mass producing high-demand females" is simple market dynamics. Even in societies with relatively even gender ratios, the sexual dynamics have produces the equivalent of the University of Illinois of the 1970s throughout society. Multiply that pathology by the gender imbalance China experiences due to excess males and the value of a few million Jayne Mansfields (who purportedly had a IQ of around 150) to China could be immense.

toblerone said at December 28, 2014 3:50 PM:

"These pathologies put the females in very powerful positions. Any American girl born around 1980, who learned Chinese would, today, be in an excellent position with regard to one of the largest societies in the world: China. I know of some such females."

Umm you mean American men, right? I've never heard of American women seeking powerful positions in China or Chinese men. American girls or women tend to go to places like Africa or India, or Italy if they're looking for more developed countries, when they study or work abroad. It's generally American men who go to China and Asia and do well for themselves:

http://www.vagabondish.com/female-foreign-japan/

While the female expats spent Saturday nights alone, crying into their Ramen bowls, their male counterparts drank freely from the dating pool like they owned it. Which in a way, they did.

If youíve ever visited Asia, youíve likely seen the pale, rail-thin, greasy-haired white boy walking hand-in hand with a perfectly made-up, mini-skirt wearing Asian chick. This would never happen anywhere else in the world. Because everywhere else, Barbie ends up with Ken, not his underemployed, socially-awkward, samurai-sword-collecting neighbor, Kevin. But in Asia, dating rules defy all logic or evolutionary law. In Asia, the nerd is king.

James Bowery said at December 28, 2014 6:54 PM:

toblerone, counter-current advice such as that which I give does not go with the flow of the majority so why would you expect those following it to go with the flow -- as boring American women tend to go to Africa, and boring American men tend to go to China, etc?

And by "powerful" I don't mean in the sense you mean it. I mean that they actually have reasonably lucrative careers with reasonable security and marriage prospects while their counterparts in Africa are ending up in low-paying dead-end "careers" (unless they're a privileged cortigiana onesta of the NGOs destined to give a TED talk).

toblerone said at December 28, 2014 11:33 PM:

Ok well I've never heard of American women being attracted to the career and marriage prospects over there, regardless of the gender balance. I don't see how the gender imbalance would change that.

James Bowery said at December 29, 2014 1:28 PM:

toblerone, your responses smack of some sort of personal immersion in the pathologies of which you rightfully speak -- immersion to a depth that you can't read and understand what I've said:

Circa 1980 I was speaking, NOT to the women who would travel to China for a career (got that???) but to their future parents. If there were any women "attracted" to the rational argument for learning Chinese, it would not have been the typical "go with the flow" woman, who is "attracted" by base instincts to self-destructive idiocy such as "service" in subSaharan Africa or India. It would have been girls who were brought up by rational parents who were prepared to listen to a voice in the wilderness such as mine nearly 35 years ago. Why in the world would you think this is a social trend represented by women being "attracted" to rationality when it is so obvious that women in general have had their brains damaged by media and academia not to mention the unnatural mixtures of human ecologies that results in god-knows-what kinds of extended phenotypic manipulations of their limbic systems?

Such American women as I refer to as being in China today are likely as rare as hens teeth.

Black Death said at December 29, 2014 3:42 PM:

I just got back from China a couple weeks ago. It was my third visit. Here is what I was told by several locals (take it for what it's worth) - the Chinese government is thinking about relaxing it's position on having children, but here'e where it stands today. If you live in a city, one child is no problem. You might be allowed to have a second if the first one is a girl or if you're well-connected. If you live in a rural area, two children is no problem. You might be allowed to have a third if the first two are girls or if you are well-connected. Nobody ever has more than three, and even that number is unusual.

As a Westerner, I found China interesting, but I wouldn't want to live there. The rural areas are very poor, and the cities are overcrowded and highly polluted. To a rich Chinese man, the most attractive feature of an American woman might be her passport.

toblerone said at December 29, 2014 6:05 PM:

"Such American women as I refer to as being in China today are likely as rare as hens teeth."

That was my point. So you're agreeing with me.

Even the type of contrarian women who don't go with the flow and might listen to your advice prefer alphas, not betas. The Chinese are beta. This has nothing to do with the media or academia.

Wolf-Dog said at December 29, 2014 9:12 PM:


But there is dramatic improvement in the Chinese education statistics.
Please note that the following article says the following:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/business/chinas-ambitious-goal-for-boom-in-college-graduates.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

EXCERPT FROM THE ARTICLE:


As recently as 1996, only one in six Chinese 17-year-olds graduated from high school. That was the same proportion as in the United States in 1919. Now, three in five young Chinese graduate from high school, matching the United States in the mid-1950s.
China is on track to match within seven years the United Statesí current high school graduation rate for 18-year-olds of 75 percent ó although a higher proportion of Americans than Chinese later go back and finish high school.


The Chinese high school students in Shanghai have superior reading and math scores that surpass all countries. This trend is similar in several regions of China:

http://www.china-mike.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/economist-world-education-performance-shanghai-students.gif
http://www.china-mike.com/facts-about-china/facts-chinese-education/
Moreover, the college education is also improving dramatically.

Black Death said at December 30, 2014 8:24 AM:

@JB -

I suppose it works both ways. Zuckerberg's wife, Priscilla Chan, is an American of Chinese ancestry.


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