Chinese couples often had gender-based abortions when they found out the fetus was a female. The Chinese government outlawed gender-based abortions in 2004. This leads back to the subject of this column. When Chinese couples had a baby girl, they very frequently put it up for adoption immediately, gave it to an adoption agency or, more darkly, sold the baby girl on the black market so they could go back to the business of trying to make their single child a son.
This decision, made millions of times, is why there is an overwhelming number of adoptions of baby girls in China. It is these dynamics that have led to all the dark and questioning stories around the adoption of Chinese infants. Currently, China is the only country in the world that has a ratio greater than 1.06 of boys to girls under the age of 15. The only country!
This creates a national dynamic that is potentially very disruptive. There is now a full generation of men in China who have little or no chance of finding a spouse. If the ratio of young men to young women is 120 to 100, those 20 more men might never find wives. Imagine if there were 20 percent more men than women in the 15-35 age group in the U.S. What social disruptions might occur? It is chilling to think about this. Of course, some of you women are thinking that the dating and mating scene would be wonderful.
When several horrific knife attacks on school children in spring 2010 occurred, I was struck by one fact: All the attackers were single men. Did they do this out of total depressed anguish that they would never become fathers? Did they lash out due to anger and self-pity? There is not enough data to conclude it, but it certainly should be considered.
I know this is a slightly darker and less personal column than usual. However, sometimes it's worth looking at the big picture, the macro trends that create the personal stories we read about or experience.
Are there other issues you consider about foreign adoption? Share you thoughts in the comments area.
David Houle is an award-winning futurist and strategist who has launched successful brands and is an in-demand speaker about the future. He writes the popular futurist blog Evolution Shift and lives his life slightly ahead of the curve.
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