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The gender imbalance could prompt a “crisis of masculinity” as traditional roles are upended and males embrace socially regressive stances to prove their manhood, said Prem Chowdhry, a researcher and social scientist in New Delhi. If they remain single, they will be declared not men at all.The basic function of a man in rural society is to have a family and look after that family.” “In rural areas, men who didn’t get married are really marginalized; even socializing in the village is difficult,” said Therese Hesketh, a professor of global health at University College London.Those consequences are not confined to China and India, but reach deep into their Asian neighbors and distort the economies of Europe and the Americas, as well.Barely recognized, the ramifications of too many men are only starting to come into sight.The number of newborn female babies compared with males has continued to plummet, even as the country grows more developed and prosperous.The imbalance creates a surplus of bachelors and exacerbates human trafficking, both for brides and, possibly, prostitution.
Boys outnumbered girls in the isolated mountain village where he grew up, in the factories where he worked as a teenager, and on the construction sites where he now earns a modest wage.Officials attribute this to the advent of sex-selective technology in the last 30 years, which is now banned but still in widespread practice. The biggest gap between men and women of marriageable age, defined here as 15 to 29, will come in the next few decades, as the babies of the past decade grow up.In the two countries, 50 million excess males are under age 20. Both nations are belatedly trying to come to grips with the policies that created this male-heavy generation.“Girls have very high standards; they want houses and cars.They don’t want to talk to me.” Li’s problem is not only that he is poor and struggling to save enough money to buy an apartment of his own; it is that in China there are simply too many men.
“In the future, there will be millions of men who can’t marry, and that could pose a very big risk to society,” warns Li Shuzhuo, a leading demographer at Xi’an Jiaotong University.