ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
By David Swartzentruber
AseanAffairs 26 October 2011
However, there is another issue that could trouble these countries and that is the ratio of men to women in society.
The natural birth ratio is 104-106 males to every 100 females. In India and Vietnam the figure is around 112 boys for every 100 girls. In China it is almost 120 to 100 -- and in some places higher than 130. The skewed gender ratios could fuel the emergence of volatile "bachelor nations" driven by an aggressive competition for brides.
Sex-selective abortion is illegal in both China and India, but officials say the law is incredibly difficult to enforce. The convergence of traditional preferences for sons, declining fertility and, most crucially, the prevalence of cheap prenatal sex-determination technology are the factors propelling the imbalance.
So, is there a problem?
French population expert Christophe Guilmoto says that even if birth ratios normalized within 10 years there would still be a marriage problem for decades.
Some forecast an increase in polyandry and sex tourism, while others predict cataclysmic scenarios with the rise of male-surplus societies where sexual predation, violence and conflict are the norm.
Historians point out that societies where there are significantly more men than women are often unstable and violent.
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