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Demographic consequences of child murder in China

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The saying, ?A married girl is like thrown water? or ?a stupid boy is better than an astute girl?, these phrases illustrate the consideration shown towards Chinese women. The practice of child murder involves denying the life directly or indirectly from a child. In China, child murders are regarded as illegal practices. Boys are generally preferred as they ensure the worship of the ancestors. Before the advent of Communism, the successions were made in a paternal manner. In the areas of Han settlement, the phenomenon of child murder was worsened by the restrictive policies. The cultural and political practices are the result of the current imbalance between men and women.

However, China is not the only country to be blamed in this regard to the child murder, because Pakistan, India, South Korea, Bangladesh and Taiwan are also known for these practices. The work of the demographers indicates that the child murder will have serious effects on the demography. Thirteen years ago, Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen invented the expression called ?missing women? to designate these girls who were killed at birth or even before seeing the first light of the day. According to the work of Stefan Klasen, these ?missing women? would be around 100 million in Asia, including 41 million in China. This document, will analyze the impact of child murder on the Chinese demography, the mechanisms of child murder, the political answers to this phenomenon and finally the prospects which concern the Chinese population.

The preference for boys is a feature of ancient patriarchal systems in rural societies of Asia. Girls once given in marriage, leave their family to go live with their in-laws, while contributing fully to the domestic economy of their new family. In a patrilineal and patrilocal, the son will be the representative of the clan. The boy will keep the heritage house, including land and other productive assets, the name and honor, and will have to conduct important ritual functions for his parents or his ancestors. He will also provide support and protection to his aging parents. The birth of a son and survival are essential to the future of the family. The family size is limited by government decision, the girl, taking the place of a boy who will be born, is therefore inappropriate.

Tags: China; girl child murder; demographic consequences; political answers to this phenomenon

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