The bad effects of too few women
When there is a shortage of women like in China, South Korea and India, one thing leaps out at you. Women don’t benefit inspite of being scarce. The reason is simple. There is a shortage of women in that region precisely because women are undervalued and therefore aborted in large numbers. Their shortage just makes the situation worse. The effects of the shortage of women depends on the existing status of women in the society.
Overall this is what happens:
1) Trafficking and kidnapping of girls and women increases dramatically.
2) Cases of rape and molestation go up.
3) Women and girls from regions where the sex ratio is normal (and where the status of women is higher) are ‘imported’ as brides and often live unhappy lives as they find it hard to adjust to a male dominated, restrictive atmosphere. And these are the luckier women! In many cases the women are treated like slave labour. However, there are cases of happy unions too, but its the women who have to adjust.
While in India brides are being imported from other regions (southern and eastern India, where the sex ratio is normal), in countries like China (shortage of women is a problem all over China because of the one-child policy and the preference for boys. There are 120 boys for 100 girls) they are being imported from countries like Burma. In South Korea, another country where women are in short supply, men in search of brides often go to Vietnam. Countries like Cuba and Venezuela are also suffering from the disease of gender selective abortions.
4) In India there are reports of wives are abandoned or passed on to someone else as they come from different cultural background. This happens either because they cannot adjust, cannot give birth to sons or are simply disliked.
5) Cases of polygamy (without the woman’s consent) increase.
6) Suicide rates of young women go up.
7) Fewer women go out to work.
8. Very young girls are pushed into marriage…there is an increase in child marriages. This leads to less women being educated and health problems as children are born to very young girls. This is a big problem for India, because the country was already struggling to get rid of the age-old practice of child marriages, which ironically are most common in the regions where women are in short supply today.
9) There is a bad effect on men…but mostly the poorer men. They are the ones who have to often do without wives. Unfortunately if they are unemployed they may never get wives…and that is one of the reasons why crime against women increases. Interestingly, in a situation where there is an excess of women, it’s the poor and not very good-looking women who find it difficult to get husbands.
10) One good effect is that the imported brides usually come from poor families and the evil of dowry (where brides’ families have to shell out a lot of money to purchase a groom – endemic in certain parts of India) is done away with. In China where the system of dowry has never been as hard on the bride’s family as it is in India, it’s the brides who are being purchased.
The map below is from the wiki and tells us about the sex ratios of the world. Blue represents more women, red more men than the world average of 1.01 males/female.
(The photo of the girl is by me)
Related Reading: Sex selection is big bucks in India
Daughter-in-laws are not supposed to have any feelings
The devaluation of cooking
How women are portrayed in the Indian media
Wife battering happens for trivial reasons
India’s sex ratio
Some reasons for the preference for male children
‘Reputed’ doctor involved in sex-determination rackets