In the modern world, there is a tendency of identification and active fight against gender issues. Nowadays, China faced a problem of an acute shortage of the female population for the first time. Throughout the millennia, a huge number of traditions, rules, and restrictions concerning marriage and wedding was developed strictly regulating social roles and functions of men and women. Thus, this paper examines in more detail the problem of the supremacy of males over females in China in order to find and estimate the most thorough ways of its solution, considering cultural and sociological aspects of the Chinese society.
As the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences states, by 2020, 24 million Chinese men will have the insuperable problems connected with search of brides and creation of a family. Women will not suffice for these millions of Chinese men. In the first decade of the 21st century, the ratio between boys and girls born was 118:100. At the same time, in a number of rural areas, this ratio looked even more frightening — 130:100 correspondingly. Moreover, the gender imbalance continues to aggravate. Experts are convinced that if the tendency remains, it will negatively affect social stability in the country (McLaughlin, 2014).
The gender gap in the ratio between the sexes of newborns arose in the late 1970s, and the early 1980s, it began slowly, but inevitably rise. In 1982, for every 100 girls, 108 boys were born. In the early 1990s, 111 boys were born, and in 2000 – 116. Actually, experts believe that for this period, China has lost more than nine million females. Besides, these losses continue to increase. Obviously, such situation will mostly damage those men who have low income and educational level. For the country where family values always had and still have a huge value, the current situation can be fatal (Brooks, 2013).
Researchers believe that the emergence and aggravation of the issue of biological unevenness of the Chinese society has some reasons. Traditionally, in the Chinese society, the priority was given to boys, but the birth of girls becme the compelled need when it was found out that there was not enough girls to marry. Negligence to girls often led to mortification. Even today, the preference is traditionally given to boys as the direct heirs in the family (Jacka, & Sargeson, 2011). The modern equipment allows defining the sex of the child at an early stage by means of ultrasonic scanning. In this regard, in the late 1990s, authorities were compelled to forbid ultrasonic scanning to pregnant women since very often pregnancy was interrupted artificially if the girl was to be born, and the number of abortions sharply increased. However, for a special payment, married couples could bypass a ban on abortions based on gender (Brooks, 2013).
One more important reason is the policy of family planning adopted in the early 1980s, according to which each family had the right to give birth to only one child. Clandestine abortions, especially those which were made out of medical institutions, are often believed to be the third reason of gender complications in China. Abortions increase the number of infertile women and destroy family values. Despite rigid punishments concerning the medical workers performing operations clandestinely, abortions still remain in the list of the reasons able to cause a gender collapse (McLaughlin, 2014).
Researches conducted in 2010 showed that the ratio of unmarried men and unmarried women at the age of 27 was 169 and 100 correspondingly. Such gender issue has negative consequences. The market of brides starts getting ugly forms. Girls from poor regions of the country are stolen and sold to those who are capable of paying. The number of cases of smuggling women from other countries increases. However, there is one more problem, which saddens thte existence of married Chinese women. According to researches, approximately ten million Chinese women married male homosexuals who concealed their orientation. These women are often exposed to emotional abuse and domestic violence by their husbands. Besides, gender deformations lead to other social defects. The issues of easy excess to testosterone, loneliness, and absence of a girlfriend demannd the solution. As a result, demand creates supply and conducts to the development of the sex services market, i.e. prostitution with its rigid criminalization and economization (Lee, 2011).
The issue of gender inequality in China requires deliberate solutions. Growth of discontent of the unmarried men who are representatives of the poorest social segments can develop into resolute actions with the application of brute force. Because of the shortage of brides in China, there were already conflicts such as the Black Flag Army Uprising, the Boxing Uprising, and The Eight Trigrams Uprising (Louie, 2002). However, if the Chinese government starts worrying that the compelled bachelors will be able to undertake a revolution, it can try to send social concern to the Chinese army. In that case, it can lead to the manifestation of extreme nationalism and realization of foreign policy, which means belligerence and provocation.
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Thus, for example, the government can actively introduce financial incentives for the birth of girls. However, the adoption of such measures is limited by general demographic situation in the country. Scientists assume that by 2020, population of the country will reach 1.5 billion people (Lee, 2011). Thus, birth rate encouragement, on the other hand, can lead to the uncontrollable growth of the total number of the population. Probably, educating population about the modern principles of gender equality can become the most effective method of the solution to the gender inequality issue in the country. However, this approach also can be dangerous, because the attempts to change ancient traditions can cause social unrest.
Taking into account all the abovementioned information, it should be noted that ancient tradition of Chinese culture led to the appearance of the gender issue in the country. The issue is that the number of the female population has dramatically reduced for the last century. In this regard, Chinese men faced the dramatic lack of brides, which caused social and economic problems.