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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for June, 2010

Bizarre Sexual Demographics in China

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Probably the most loathed  government policy in China is it’s one-child policy, which make no sense. Birth rates were too high in the early days of the People’s Republic.  Mao Zedong  advocated an unrestrained Chinese birth rate. At one point (1970) this meant an unsustainable 5.9 births per female. Ultimately, Beijing’s technocrats adopted a mostly voluntary “late, long, few” program that limited population growth. As a result, birth rates plummeted and 1979, Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping, promulgated the one-child policy. During this coercive program, China’s birth rate fell from 2.9 births per female to around 1.6 or 1.7 today, well below the replacement rate of 2.1.

Chinese leaders congratulated themselves for preventing up to 300 million births. But this program has created demographic abnormalities that will not be remedied for decades. It has resulted in the world’s most abnormal sex ratios.

A 2005 “mini-census” revealed that the sex ratio at birth, expressed as the number of boys per 100 girls, was 119, whereas the global average was between 103 to 106. In some provinces the ratios were over 130, and the ratio for second children as high as 146.

Today, in the under-20 age group, there are 32 million excess males in China.  This imbalance, partially the product of “gendercide,” has already resulted in increased prostitution, elevated HIV-infection rates and renewed trafficking in females. Females are being abducted in Vietnam, Burma, and North Korea, and transported to China.

The implications of the abnormal ratio are not fully understood, because there are no historical parallels. But it might serve as an important impediment to China’s efforts to become a true world power.

Personal Musings

Monday, June 7th, 2010

I’ve been absent from my blog for a couple of weeks ––– personal issues requiring my full attention. But I’m back and have several items to address briefly (more at a later date).

1. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. British Petroleum is, of course, to blame, since it is their rig, and it blew possibly because of failure to do all that was necessary to guard against the accident, and of course, to know what to do if an accident were to occur. But now, the mainstream media is finally addressing the fact that the various government departments responsible for oversight before and after the well was drilled, were remiss in failing to insist on the elements necessary to prevent this calamity. So, the Obama administration is now being blamed for its culpability in this Gulf disaster. It took 40+ days, but finally some reporters, even at the New York Times, have recognized a more complete story on how “the ball was dropped.”

2. The weapons embargo on Gaza. The deaths of nine people, the non–humanitarian humanitarians, is lamentable. But what is Israel to do? Surrounded by enemies that wish to destroy it and throw all the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea (or back to Poland, Germany, the United States, or wherever ––– ala Helen Thomas), what alternatives do the Israelis have? I guess when you’re small and have a population of only 6 million, the rest of the world has an easy time in preparing for your funeral. Hey, has anybody heard of Iran, North Korea, Venezuela? I guess they’re too big (or too bad) to worry about.

More to come with a couple of items that interest me but might not interest anyone else.

William S. Frankl, MD, All Rights Reserved