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This isn't my normal focus, but I found this dispatch from the good people at China Smack amusing.
The contradiction here is that, while reports of skewed gender ratios in China in the 1980s sometimes focused on the re-emergence of a very old method of diminishing the number of girls in an area (infanticide by drowning), the single biggest factor in the current tilt toward boys in many parts of Asia has been sex-selective abortion by couples who have learned, after amniocentesis or more often a sonogram, that a pregnancy (in many cases, a second or third one in a son-less family) would lead to a daughter's birth.
What we have here is a messy combination of factors that take us far beyond a clash between "traditional" values and state policies.
For simplicity's sake, we can boil these down to contradictions linked to visions of what it means to be "modern" and contradictions tied to technology.
A central element in the first sort of contradiction pre-dates the implementation of the one-child family policy.
We find instead situations in which old preferences are reinforced by new practices (e.g., the economic reforms in the Chinese countryside) and can be acted upon by using new machines.
There is no "typical" Asian couple responsible for contributing to the large number of "excess men" (males growing up in areas with too few female age mates), but Hvistendahl shows that, when imagining one, we might do well to conjure up a couple striving to embrace a modern ideal (only having two children) and making use of modern technologies, rather than let our minds think only of a "traditional" and "backward" pair who need to be educated by the state to have their ideas brought up to date.It goes back to Western writings in the 1950s and 1960s that harped on the apocalyptical implications of high birth-rates in the developing world.Here, in a much stripped down form, is my paraphrasing of the way Hvistendahl lays out the situation, in sections that owe and acknowledge a considerable debt to Columbia University historian Matthew Connelly's important book, Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population (Harvard University Press, 2008): If only, some proponents of "population bomb" thinking argued, methods could be found to ensure that couples outside of the West embraced more "modern" small family ideals.By Gretchen Livingston and Anna Brown In 1967, when miscegenation laws were overturned in the United States, 3% of all newlyweds were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.Since then, intermarriage rates have steadily climbed.Given the strong bias toward sons in many places, one thing needed was to make sure that couples who kept having daughters would not just keep trying and trying to have a male offspring.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating