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April 11, 2009

It's the biology, stupid

Ed Morrissey* explains a problem faced by a totalitarian government committed to population reduction in light of a deep seated Chinese cultural preference for boys over girls.

Beijing may get more population reduction than they bargained for. Marriage and procreation have a civilizing effect on young men, one of the reasons why human society has valued marriage and long-term commitment. By making that unattainable to millions of their subjects, the Chinese autocracy has literally created millions of potential criminals and malcontents that will shortly find themselves launched into society and straitjacketed by a lack of choices.

In a way, it’s an echo of what we see in large societies with plural marriages. It has the same effect; when older men take on multiple wives, it denies many younger men the opportunity to marry and procreate, which gives them less investment in building a community. In those cases, it feeds either wars or radical behavior, as the men have to compete to have any chance at all for marriage and for stability, and some simply choose to opt out entirely.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 11, 2009 06:47 AM