China’s One Child Policy and Its Implications

China’s One Child Policy and Its Implications

Earth’s population is steadily increasing. By 2050, there is projected to be about 10 billion humans. However, what is the maximum capacity of human life on earth? In 1970s, the Chinese Communist Party implemented a One Child Policy to help the world avoid the answer to this vital question. The country feared that in time it would not be able to provide for its citizens.[1]As of right now in China, there are about 1.4 billion people and counting; subtle hints of evidence that the One Child Policy is failing.

What is it?

China’s One Child Policy made it law that urban couples were only permitted to have one child and rural couples only permitted to have two if both parents were also single children. The Chinese government persuaded citizens that having one child was the means to a prosperous life to help reduce population growth. [2]

[3]Drawing of a Chinese couple.

Social Implications

In Chinese culture, boys were needed to take care of their aging parents; girls were just marred off and could not provide any help to their old-aged parents. Due to this, the social message was,” Survival depends on sons, and daughters are only a burden.”[4] As a result there was an increase in female infanticide and loathing toward females within communities. These negative connotations of females in Chinese society also lead to a huge disturbance in the sex ratio at birth ratio (SRB). Normally there should be about 103 to 107 male babies born for every 100 females babies.[5] As of 2010 the SRB is about 118. Due to this spike in males, there are about 33 million more boys than girls under the age of 20.[6]

Since there about 40 million too many men, 12 to 15 percent of young adult males go unmarried.[7] According to numerous studies, 48% of unmarried men suffer from discrimination and are more likely to become depressed or suicidal because they were not able to pass down the family name.[8]

Financial/Political Implications

Families that violated this rule faced many hardships. Many women were forced to have abortions or to become sterile.[9] While families honoring the one child rule had better child care, housing, and cash bonuses, families that had more than once child faced economic hardships.

Effectiveness: Was it worth it?

Before the 1950’s the Totally Fertility Rate (TFR) was about five children per women. After the implantation of the one child rule, the TFR dropped to two children per women.[10] As the numbers show, the One Child Policy was not very effective; it did not stabilize the population as hoped. However, it did slightly slow down population growth. After all the hardship, tragedy, inequality, and trauma, China’s population is rising- 1.4 billion people and counting.

Works Cited

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg. “The party calls for the partisan to set an example of having only one child.” PBS. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/population-campaign.html&gt;.

Krock, Lexi. “Population Campaigns.” PBS. N.p., 20 Apr. 2004. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/population-campaign.html&gt;.

Scutti, Susan. “One Child Policy Is One Big Problem For China.” News Week. N.p., 23 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://www.newsweek.com/2014/01/24/one-child-policy-one-big-problem-china-245118.html&gt;.

By: Jasmine Randle

[1] Scutti, Susan. “One Child Policy Is One Big Problem For China.”

[2] Krock, Lexi. “Population Campaigns.”

[3] Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg. “The party calls for the partisan to set an example of having only one child.”

[4] Scutti, Susan. “One Child Policy Is One Big Problem For China.”

[5] Scutti, Susan. “One Child Policy Is One Big Problem For China.”

[6]Scutti, Susan. “One Child Policy Is One Big Problem For China.”

[7]Scutti, Susan. “One Child Policy Is One Big Problem For China.”

[8] Scutti, Susan. “One Child Policy Is One Big Problem For China.”

[9] Krock, Lexi. “Population Campaigns.”

[10]Krock, Lexi. “Population Campaigns.”

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2 thoughts on “China’s One Child Policy and Its Implications

  1. Hello Jasmine: I think you did a nice job on this post. However, you did not touch on a few things. Why is the one child system failing? How do you know it is not working? From class we learned that it takes a lot of time for changes to truly show its affect on a population. The decrease in population shows that it is working to become more stable and that in a few decades it could be stabilizing. Also why did the TFR drop so much, people can still break the rules. Do you think it is mainly due to the rule or could it be something else? Women’s education for example is quite high and we learned that in areas were women are educated more there are likely to be less children. I think you could have talked about that when you talk about social impacts. This could be viewed as a positive. Yes the rule is awful and takes away human rights but there were positives. Women were becoming more educated and the population growth rate was beginning to decline.

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  2. Hi Jazzy, I found many points in your post relevant to me. It bothers me so much that the preference to boys has caused today’s unbalanced gender ratio in China. Because so many people want a boy, many girls were either aborted when they were still fetuses or abandoned after they were born. This makes it illegal to test the gender of fetus in China now. The one-child policy has causes lots of bad consequences, and like you said, is not as effective as the government hoped. From my perspective, this might be one of the only ways that China’s government can use to control population growth.

    The policy has also caused the aging of China’s population. In order to keep enough working-age population, the government has slightly changed the policy. However, many of those are qualified for having a second child do not want to have one. I recommend you to read the article “Many in China Can Now Have a Second Child, but Say No” on New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/world/asia/many-couples-in-china-will-pass-on-a-new-chance-for-a-second-child.html?_r=0) to explore more.

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