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China Has 32 Million More Boys than Girls

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Due to the extreme bias in favor of male babies, China now has 32 million more boys than girls, under the age of 20. This is according to a study done by two Chinese professors and a London researcher. They attribute this huge gender disparity to the fact that Chinese couples decide to abort female fetuses in great numbers.

I have always been aware (as many of us have), of the fact that girls are preferred over boys in China, and that methods of getting rid of them did not, and perhaps still do not, simply consist of abortion; but by ways that involve doing away with them once they were born.

I have read that there are several reasons for preferring boys, and they all seem to be based on issues of economic practicality and just plain tradition, so it seems to me.

Nevertheless one would think that these practices would have disappeared once the communist leader Mao came along.

This study (which was published online by the British Medical Journal, womensnews.com reports) reveals that that is far from the case, and this is regrettable to a tragic degree.

With all those extra 32 million boys running around, I suppose that China's birthrate will drop. The fact that girls are so outnumbered means they must struggle that much harder for everything - from maintaining their dignity in a nation that seemingly does not respect them, to simple basic human rights.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Just a note, I am not anonymous like it says above, but the Anna, the one who posted the article.

April 20, 2009 - 5:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

Yes anything is possible, and I certainly hope that one day, practices and attitudes towards girls become more humane and enlightened in China.

April 20, 2009 - 5:26pm

Hi Susan,
Much work needs to be done indeed. I find it incredible that this strong preference for boys is still very much alive in 2009. It seems so archaic, and of course, at the same time, it is denigrating to women and girls, and by that I mean women and girls everywhere. I have read about India and how it too has an overabundance of boys because they are the preferred gender. When will we see the day when girls are valued and treasured just as much as boys?

April 20, 2009 - 1:39pm
(reply to Anna Portela)

While it seems an archaic preference for male children in 2009, let's not forget that much is still archaic in China. Let's also not forget that China is the longest continuous human civilization, dating back to 3,000 B.C., and a change in archaic attitudes won't happen quickly.

Regardless whether we're viewing an Eastern or Western society, males are still valued more than men. Will we see a change in our lifetime? Anything is possible.

April 20, 2009 - 4:18pm
HERWriter Guide


Thank you for your great post! India is seeing the same imbalance with the sexes, due to the abortion of unborn babies due to their sex. So much so that they have banned ultrasounds that are done in order to find out the sex. When ultrasounds are done for prenatal care reasons, the sex is not told to the parents, in order to try to decrease the amount of subsequent abortions that occur when parents find out they are having a little girl.

The tide is turning very slowly in China. Now that urbanization is increasing and women are becoming more educated, the need for dowrys is less and women are increasing their independence from their parents and husbands. But the traditional and often rural way of life is still going on en masse for hundreds of millions of people.

32 million more boys than girls sounds huge but in a country of 1.3 billion, it's not overly disproportionate. However, if these practices do not stop it will be. Even if China's had one more abortion due to the sex of a child, it's one too many.

Unfortunately, China and India are only two of many countries where little girls and women are considered property and/or second class citizens. Much work to be done.

April 20, 2009 - 11:18am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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