Friday, January 12, 2007

Speaking of Sex Selection . . .

IsThatLatin clued me into this interesting piece from the BBC on the shortage of Chinese wives. The one child policy lead to a preference for boy babies, and of course, this is going to be a real problem for the population if there aren't enough women around for marriage. The article points out:

"The increasing difficulties men face finding wives may lead to social instability," the report said.

The report went on: "We need to develop a 'movement to embrace girls'... and effectively contain the trend towards greater gender imbalances."

I found these two sentences rather puzzling. On the one hand, the shortage of women is a problem for social stability. And, on the other hand, the state needs to encourage more gender equity and "girl power" to counteract this threatening state of affairs. The first sentiment is largely patriarchal: embracing heterosexual marriage as the cornerstone of social stability. While the second is rather feminist.

What a dilemma India will find itself in too with the tradition of female feticide. I wonder how they will tackle the looming social problem. Moreover, it seems that gender equity is a far easier goal to obtain in Communist China than in India.