Demographic consequences of choosing male children

I’ve pre­vi­ous­ly “noted”:http://www.inquit.com/article/46/demography-and-destiny the size and slant of demo­graph­ic changes that are sweep­ing North Asia. This weekend’s NY Times Review of Books includes a review of a con­tro­ver­sial book about the poten­tial lega­cy of China’s ‘bare branch­es’. bq. If these young men can­not find wives or jobs or become a viable part of their soci­eties, the book argues, they can pose a threat to inter­nal sta­bil­i­ty and make gov­ern­ments more like­ly to cre­ate mil­i­tary cam­paigns to absorb and occu­py these youths. (“NY Times”:http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/03/books/03SEX.html?pagewanted=print) Crit­ics of this line of argu­ment point out that the impacts of demo­graph­ic trends do not emerge clear cut from the his­tor­i­cal record; there are many com­pound­ing fac­tors. It’s a very long reach from the gen­der imbal­ance to some of its sup­posed con­se­quences (e.g. jihadism, or per­haps cru­sadism). Will a low female-male ratio lead to an improve­ment or a dete­ri­o­ra­tion in the social sta­tus of women? Scarci­ty seems to sug­gest the for­mer. Does a pre­pon­der­ance of males imply polyandry? Or is migra­tion more like­ly? Is there any rea­son to think that war is a more like­ly result than an increase in sex tourism? Pop­u­la­tion growth (from Mad­di­son “The World Econ­o­my: 1 — 2001”)


Pop­u­la­tion growth
YearChi­naWest Europe
159.624.7
100059.025.4
1300100.058.4
140072.041.5
1500103.057.3
1820381.0133.0
1913437.1261.0
1950546.8304.9
20011,275.4392.1

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