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Too Many Men

Too Many Men | Geography Education |

"Nothing like this has happened in human history. A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world’s two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are far-reaching consequences to the gender imbalances in India and China.  The fantastically rich article covers four major impacts: 

Village life and mental health. Among men, loneliness and depression are widespread. Villages are emptying out. Men are learning to cook and perform other chores long relegated to women.

Housing prices and savings rates. Bachelors are furiously building houses in China to attract wives, and prices are soaring. But otherwise they are not spending, and that in turn fuels China’s huge trade surplus. In India, there is the opposite effect: Because brides are scarce, families are under less pressure to save for expensive dowries. 

Human trafficking. Trafficking of brides is on the rise. Foreign women are being recruited and lured to China, effectively creating similar imbalances in China’s neighbors.

Public safety. With the increase in men has come a surge in sexual crime in India and concerns about a rise in other crimes in both countries. Harassment of schoolgirls in India has in some towns sparked an effort to push back — but at a cost of restricting them to more protected lives.


Tags: gender, ChinaIndia, culture, population.

Frances Meetze's curator insight, September 10, 2018 6:19 PM

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 2, 2018 9:20 AM
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 7:59 PM
This is interesting, and brings up an issue that is new to many countries. In past it would be rare for a nation to have to many men (though it did happen more often the problem was lack of men due to death in war or death at grueling careers). Today in India and especially China the men are drastically outnumber the women. This has with modern medicine and better access to resources enabling a higher birthrate, and cultural reasons. In the case of China especially this also has to do with government policy and control over the population during the one child time period, making people have only one child led to mostly males being born for cultural reasons.   
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Why China and India face a marriage crisis

"What has lead to this marriage squeeze?  First, millions women have gone 'missing'. A generation ago, a preference for sons and the greater availability of prenatal screening meant first Chinese couples, then Indian ones, started aborting female fetuses and only giving birth to boys. At its extreme, in parts of Asia, more than 120 boys were being born for every 100 girls. Now, the generation with distorted sex ratios at birth is reaching marriageable age. The result is that single men far outnumber women."


Tags: gender, ChinaIndia, culture, population.

Dustin Fowler's curator insight, September 18, 2016 12:23 AM
Great food for thought!
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 4:58 PM
This video talks about the marriage crisis India and China will be facing over the next few decades. The one child rule that was enforced in the region caused many couples to selectively abort their daughters so they could have sons instead, doing this caused a major population gap between men and women. Now as this group of the population where men so drastically outnumber women come of age the countries face a marriage crisis. With men so drastically outnumbering women and marriage being such an important part of the culture in India and China the countries could undergo severe cultural changes. 
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Missing Girls...

"In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called 'gendercide' or femicide."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Part of me hates to bring up this issue since it is so disturbing, but silence itself is a part of the problem.  Just know that I don't bring this up lightly and I wouldn't share this with students of all ages.  Read more on in the this topic in the accompanying article here.  The filmmaker has explained why he was motivated to produce this, but not everyone thinks the message of the full documentary is fair and balanced.

Questions to Ponder (with a heavy heart): what cultural, political and demographic factors create the conditions where a situation like this can occur?  What should and can be done?

Tags: gender, development, India, China,

Sreya Ayinala's curator insight, December 3, 2014 2:52 AM

Unit 3 Cultural Processes and Patterns

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, December 15, 2014 8:45 PM

This femicide is extremely disappointing.  Genocide is expected in third world, war torn countries.  The fact that it's 2014 and female babies are murdered for being girls, and parents are scared for their  children's lives, show how much power the government has over the people's lives. It is sad to think the government has the power to dictate how many children families can have and what gender.  On the flip side, these are countries that are extremely overpopulated.  The one child policy in China is what China is currently using (along with this femicide) as population control.  This is an important issue because there needs to be some sort of population control, but to what extent? This is taking away someone's basic human right - to procreate. Parents do not have control over what gender they produce and if they produce a female, their child may be taken and murdered from them. The state takes away what you created, your offspring and there is nothing they can do about it. 

Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 30, 2018 10:24 PM
This video addresses the problems with having a girl versus having a boy baby. It talks about families killing babies if they are girls, aborting them, all so they can go on to have a son. According to the video 200 million girls are missing throughout the world. Many of these missing girls are daughters that were aborted or killed so their families could go onto have a son. 
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China's one-child policy creates massive gender imbalance

The Chinese government says its so-called "one-child policy" has succeeded in reining in its population. But more than three decades after the policy's imple...

Via Natalie K Jensen
Seth Dixon's insight:

This short video is an excellent summary of some of the societal consequences of China's one-child policy in a culture that prefers male offspring.  

Tags: gender, China, population.

Shelby Porter's curator insight, September 21, 2013 10:28 PM

This video gives a summary of the extreme consequences the "one-child policy" China has set in place. There are so many more men than women now, many are left to be bachelors for life. Many Chinese women are moving into the city looking for a rich and powerful man, and they succeed because there men are eager to marry. The Chinese have always had a preference for male children over female children. Now that the difference in population in so high, the government has made it illegal for doctors to tell parents the sex of their child before birth. This is a great example of the different kinds of culture that exist on the other side of the world. 

Li ShiJia's comment, February 4, 2017 3:15 AM
The one child policy, a part of the family planning policy, was a population planning policy of China. It was introduced in 1979 and began to be formally phased out in 2015. According to the Chinese government, 400 million births were prevented. This policy has created a massive gender imbalance because the Chinese prefer boys over girls and with only 1 child allowed, many girls abortion have occurred. The number of boys over girls are at a shocking ratio of 177 boys to 100 girls. This caused a re-evaluation of the policy in November 2013, and in 2015, it was reported that the existing law would be changed to a two-child policy.
Li ShiJia's comment, February 4, 2017 3:15 AM
The one child policy, a part of the family planning policy, was a population planning policy of China. It was introduced in 1979 and began to be formally phased out in 2015. According to the Chinese government, 400 million births were prevented. This policy has created a massive gender imbalance because the Chinese prefer boys over girls and with only 1 child allowed, many girls abortion have occurred. The number of boys over girls are at a shocking ratio of 177 boys to 100 girls. This caused a re-evaluation of the policy in November 2013, and in 2015, it was reported that the existing law would be changed to a two-child policy.
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China's New Bachelor Class

China's New Bachelor Class | Geography Education |
Gender imbalances in China have created a generation of men for whom finding love is no easy task
Seth Dixon's insight:

Cultural preferences for boys in China has led to a gender imbalance which has some unintended consequences, especially for the those seeking to have families with limited financial resources.

Tags: gender, China, population

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 2014 4:19 PM

Because of china’s one child policy the pool of available women had gone down, this leads many rural women to wish to marry up in economic circumstances leaving many rural men unmarried and once they pass the age of 30 less likely to ever marry.  China’s quandary with unbalanced sexes is a graphic example of what happens when one gender is preferred above anther leading to a reversal within a generation when scarcity of the other sex sets in.  Hopefully this experience will teach China to value both men and women in the future.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 20, 2014 2:22 PM

The one child policy coupled with a traditionally patriarchal society has created a major problem in China in regards to men finding a wife. The preference towards having a baby boy over having a baby girl has led to abortions and infanticide in order to secure a male child. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a severely larger male population. In China's growing economically aware society, women have all the power to ultimately chose their spouse, often times considering wealth and status over any other characteristics. In a way, the power and fate of China has shifted to the women of marrying age while millions of poorer, working class men are left to live their lives unmarried and alone.  


Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 1:42 AM

The more well off Chinese males are more apt to get with woman. Due to the gender imbalance caused by the one child policy of China, it is harder for the men who are born into less fortunate families to get married and that will cause them to lose out on love.

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In Russia, a lack of men forces women to settle for less

In Russia, a lack of men forces women to settle for less | Geography Education |
When Russia and China vote together on UN Resolutions (such as their recent veto of the UN Resolution on Syria), I always think to myself that in the two countries’ collective unconscious they realize that they are going to have...


Demographic facts: 1) China has more men than women. 2) Russian has more women than men. While these two facts are rather straightforward, their impact on society, gender roles, politics, economics and culture are quite complicated. This article chronicles how this 'shortage' of men in Russia has led to an imbalance of power in heterosexual relationships, altering cultural gender norms.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 19, 2014 3:02 AM

When hearing of Russia's imbalance of men vs. women I did not think further into how much this fact could affect not only hetero relationships, but the relationships amongst the sexes themselves as well.  Morality is altered in this society where men are so scarce and are "shared" by the women.  It is known that Putin, a married man is married and has had a long term affair, and child with another  women.  The article states "no one really cares."  With our fair share of presidential affairs both in the far past and fairly recent, we see how unacceptable society finds such behavior.  But would the game change if all of sudden men were so scarce?  It is also disheartening that the female population is not united due to the lack of men.  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 5:14 PM

This is a great example of population geography shifting cultural geography. The altering of gender norms in Russia due to the shortage of men shows how all types of geography are intertwined and cultural and population are related deeply. This is a contemporary example of that.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 8:38 PM

Russia: where the men are men. And too many women are nervous wrecks

A great article about how huge an impact unequal gender proportions can have on society norms. With Russia's male population outnumbering women 100 to 40 men have a monopoly. This has increased male infidelity, domestic violence against women, and problems with female friendships.

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Gender Divisions in Iran

Gender Divisions in Iran | Geography Education |

For my non-Farsi speaking readers, this map displays a 'male' province and a 'female' province.  These two provinces are separated by barbed wire, 20-meter trench and the Great Wall of China with ground-to-air missiles.  


While not a "cartographically accurate" map of the divisions within Iran, it does symbolically highlight the enormous gulf between men and women.  Men and women are not in separate provinces, but what might the symbolic spatial gender division on this map represent for Iranian society? 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:15 PM

An extreme exaggeration that still addresses a real issue in Iran. Although there is no barb wire and missiles that divide genders in Iran there are cultural as well as structural barriers that keep men in the public sphere while women are kept in the private sphere. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 15, 2015 3:16 AM

This map here shows the gender division of men and women sides of the country. Running down the middle would be a a barbed wire with ground to air missles. One issue of this would be the fact that birth rates would drastically drop with the separation of the men and women. However the women would be allowed to go out the house and not have a man with them and be able to be out without fear of being hurt or killed. This would be a sure way to demolish a country.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, October 31, 2018 3:03 PM
In this article it is shown on the map the separation of the female and male province. These two provinces are separated by barbed wire along a 20 meter trench with crocodiles at the bottom. There is also the Great Wall of china with ground- to- air missiles.
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'Leftover Women' in China

"Chinese women face immense pressure to get married before they turn 27. In many Chinese cities, so called marriage markets are a common sight, where parents go to post and match personal ads. A number of brave Chinese women have finally stood up to speak their mind against society’s labels and their parents' pressures."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This emotional ad about 'leftover women' in China has received a lot of traffic and is now invigorating a national conversation about marriage customs, gendered norms, and cultural expectations.  What isn't as explicit in the video is how demographic policies and cultural preferences for boys has created the situation that puts added pressure on single women


Questions to Ponder: How is this (at least partially) a lingering impact of the One Child Policy?  What traits of traditional Chinese culture led to this current situation?   


Tags: gender, folk culture, China, culture, population.

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China to end one-child policy

China to end one-child policy | Geography Education |

"All couples will now be allowed to have two children, the state-run news agency said, citing a statement from the Communist Party. The controversial policy was introduced nationally in 1979, to reduce the country's birth rate and slow the population growth rate. However, concerns at China's aging population led to pressure for change."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The most extensive and controversial anti-natalist program in the world was China's one-child policy (see also BBC's '5 numbers that sum up China's one child policy' and NPR's 'unintended consequences of the one child policy').  Experts have been concerned with how fast China is aging and that the population was shrinking faster than would be healthy for the economy (not to mention the gender-imbalance that it creates). Today that policy was been relegated to the history books, but the impacts of the policy will continue to have far-reaching impacts (for more see this Population Reference Bureau article, CNN video, Guardian article, Bloomberg Business article, and BBC video/article).

TagsChina, populationdeclining populations, unit 2 population, gender.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:37 AM

Lets not forget the expansion of china also with its economic strength and its military strength which is a threat to other countries in the area because china can take control and with Chinese moving into Africa and United states as residents china is going to need to populate its own country.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:55 AM

First implemented in 1979 and diminished in 2013 It is good to hear something like this has finally come to an end. Although it deemed successful by stopping the birth of an estimated 400 million babies, there were some places that allowed two children in rural areas if the first was a girl. It is assumed though that even though this is no longer a required policy, many couples may only have one child since it is accepted as a social norm. 

Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 10, 2018 1:42 AM
China enacted a one child policy in hopes of controlling the overpopulation problem in the major cities. It was not a strict law per say that you would go to jail if you had a second child, you got tax breaks if you managed to only have one child. The one child policy ended up working and because of it there are 300 million less children than if they did not have this policy. However they stopped the policy because of the problems that the future generations and rural families faced. The one child policy was bad for rural farmers because they needed more than one child to work the land or work in general to help support the family. There was also a surplus of males because of the ultrasound, the females were usually aborted because makes are seen as more valuable. As well one child will also be burdened with taking care of all there elders, which is costly for one person.  
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For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price'

For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price' | Geography Education |

"China's one-child only policy and historic preference for boys has led to a surplus of marriageable Chinese men. Young women are holding out for better apartments, cars and the like from potential spouses...30 to 48 percent of the real estate appreciation in 35 major Chinese cities is directly linked to a man's need to acquire wealth — in the form of property — to attract a wife."

Tags: gender, folk culture, China, podcast, culture, population.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 12, 2014 1:16 AM

I feel as though marriage can be complicated in China due to the one child policy. The amount of males outweigh the females. Therefore, there will not be as many marriages because there are not enough females to go around. Grooms have to put out so much for their brides. For example, in this article, her groom is unable to even get in the room to see her unless he puts up a chunk of money first. This is a typical ordeal for Chinese weddings. People describe it as a negotiation process. He must do whatever is told of him before seeking her hand in marriage. The "bride price" is when the groom gives the brides family a fair amount of money. A typical amount for an ordinary family to give is around $10,000. This is so much to get married and on top of all this, gender roles are typically unbalanced. In order to get married in China, you best make sure your a man ready to fulfill every request of your bride.

Elle Reagan's curator insight, March 22, 2015 9:53 PM

I always heard that men were more desirable in China because they are the ones that carry out the family name and provide for the family. Women, however, are seen as much weaker and are treated as lesser. For the newly wed couple in the article, they hope to have a baby girl because it is much cheaper when she gets married. I never thought of it this way but having a girl would be much cheaper as the parents would not have to pay the "bride price" or for the apartment in which their daughter will be living in. 

Bella Reagan's curator insight, May 27, 2015 5:48 AM

Unit 3


Cultural Practices

Cultural practuces in China are changing, but old customs are staying the dame. An old tradition is still being help up, called the "bride price.;This is a price that men must pay in order to marry. In China the male to female ratio is vey off, with 117 men to every 100 women.


Women are still being given a price on their head. It's a little different than it is in America.The culture behind the bride price is still going on in China and with China's ways of remembering traditions. China is a very traditional place with cultures following old traditions. The One Child policy, resulting in many males compared to females, and the strong traditions in China all result in why their customs stay for so long. 

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Technology and Tradition Collide: From Gender Bias to Sex Selection

Technology and Tradition Collide:  From Gender Bias to Sex Selection | Geography Education |

"Every year, as a result of prenatal sex selection, 1.5 million girls around the world are missing at birth.  How do we know these girls are missing if they were never born? Under normal circumstances, about 102 to 107 male babies are born for every 100 female babies born. This is called the sex ratio at birth, or SRB."

Seth Dixon's insight:

How do local cultures create these demographic statistics?  How do these demographic statistics impact local cultures? 

Tags: gender, technologyfolk culture, statistics, China, population.

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Over 27 and unmarried? In China, you’re an old maid

Over 27 and unmarried? In China, you’re an old maid | Geography Education |
January and February are sweet times for most Chinese — they enjoy family reunions during the spring festival, which this year fell on January 23, and they celebrate Valentine’s Day, which is well-liked in China.


Gender roles in cultural norms change from country to country.  What also needs to be understood is how the demographic situation of a given country influences these patterns. 

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:13 AM

Being 27 years old and unmarried in China considers you to be an old maid? I had to do a double take when I saw this. In the United States, 27 years old is around the average age a couple decides to get married. In China, Valentine's day is a really well liked holiday. Therefore, you would think that there would be excessive amounts of marriages, especially around this time. However, we know about the one child policy put into place at China. I can imagine that this might play a role because of the gender imbalances. As horrible as this sounds, in China, they call the women who are thirty and single "leftovers". During the season of the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day, the "leftovers" just get questioned about their relationship status or go to matchmaking parties. However, the "leftovers" are said to have three good things; good career, good education and good looks. This is interesting because if they had all these good qualities, why would they still be single at 30 years old? As the article continues, we talk about true love and believe it or not, some "leftovers" still believe in true love and that they may experience that one day.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, December 15, 2014 9:14 PM

The fact that success relatively young women are seen as leftovers in China is a completely foreign idea to me.  n the United States we are seeing that more and more women are marrying later in life after they have received an education, higher education and have been established in a career.  Emily Liang is an extremely successful women who should be proud of her accomplishments, yet has to declare herself as "divorced" in order for men to think something isn't "wrong" with her.  It is extremely obvious that the role and view of women in China is significantly distorted. 

Matt Chapman's curator insight, April 26, 2018 5:26 PM
Gender roles in many countries in the world are still a huge problem.  In China, the gender roles are really bad and it shows that although the country is rapidly advancing in many ways it still sticks to its old roots where the women are not as respected as the men.
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The Plight of China's Favored Sons

The Plight of China's Favored Sons | Geography Education |
For China's government, social stability is threatened by a gender imbalance likely to leave up to 40 million Chinese without a wife.


There are many results of population policies such as the 'One-Child Policy' in China, which is primarily aimed at reducing population growth. Some on these consequences are unintended; due to parents preferences for male children there is a strong gender imbalance in China which has some serious sociological and cultural implications. For more about Asian society, follow:

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China's village of the bachelors: no wives in sight in remote settlement

China's village of the bachelors: no wives in sight in remote settlement | Geography Education |
Surplus of males caused by preference for sons means poor subsistence farmers have no chance of finding a mate...


One-child policy, gender preference, rural-urban divide in modernizing China...the list of applications goes on. 

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, October 22, 2013 12:33 AM

I don’t understand how China could kill Chinese girl’s baby’s and not see 20 years down the road how that would affect there country. Even if it’s the family doing it because the boys can work and help the family eat, the government should have created job opportunities for girls motivating the poorer families to raise there children equally.  Maybe they wanted to thin overpopulation in china so they skipped a generation, it seems horrible but empires have done terrible things in history to maintain power.

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 20, 2013 11:23 PM

This was going to happen anyways because china having that one child rule was going to imbalance the population more males less females. Those rules being in place family members were forced to have boys because they would be the one to take over and inherent the land its parents left them. If they would have a girl they that land will go to the husbands family and plus boys would be the favorite child because they can work much faster than what a girl would. That being said the girls would be given up or killed. Now china has millions of males and little females. Which makes it difficult for the males to get married and have children of their own.

The ratio to males to females is six to one talk about crazy. But now that china has allowed a family to have two children instead of one. Now over the years we will see and increase in females and as well as males because of the imbalance of the country. But china allowing to have more than one kid will come at a price because

that is more people they have to maintain and china already being overpopulated will make it even worse for them.