Two China-related stories kept coming up in the blog chum bucket today, one sounding like a clear solution for the other.
First there was this look at China’s surplus of young men in the Wall Street Journal:
Thanks to its 30-year-old population-planning policy and customary preference for boys, China has one of the largest male-to-female ratios in the world. Using data from the 2005 China census — the most recent — a study published in last month’s British Journal of Medicine estimates there was a surplus of 32 million males under the age of 20 at the time the census was taken. That’s roughly the size of Canada’s population.
32 Million males who can’t get laid is a lot of Limp Bizkit concerts.
On this point, Kenneth Anderson notes that with such a gender difference, you’ve ended up in a situation similar to polygamous societies, with their accompanying troubles with social unrest:
The inequality that is baked into a society in which one husband has multiple exclusive wives is perhaps not primarily or necessarily about the wives, if one makes (extremely, fantastically heroic assumptions, in actual social fact) about their freedom to choose, and if it included the right to divorce not only the husband, but other wives (however that might work in some idealized world). The intrinsic inequality is about the mateless men, deprived of the opportunity to even have a chance to marry and have families and children.
Now, the argument can be made that polygamy comes naturally, as that nature made men as canon fodder and equipped the canny survivors with the ability to spread seed on a mass scale without hardly breaking a sweat. (Though you should. Put your damn back into it!) However, in this modern era with our crazily low homicide rate as compared to the bulk of human history, we men are much better at surviving long enough to be sexually frustrated, often without a socially-sanctioned outlet for hot sex or, barring that, heinous violence.
And then there’s Shanghai this week:
The visibility of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community in China has been growing fast recently but its profile became more prominent this week as Shanghai hosted the country’s first gay pride festival.
What an elegant solution. Too many unmatched males? Why not try gay? Sure beats all the slaughter, exile and slaving that other folks have tried.
Even the numbers look pretty good, according to China Daily:
China has a homosexual population of 30 million people – 20 million gays and 10 million lesbians, said Zhang Beichuan, China’s leading scholar in the field of homosexuality. The government puts the figure at between 5 and 10 million.
OK, so that breaks down to just a 10 million man gay offset in the ranks of all the young dudes. Using the 32 million figure as a target, that means you’ve got 22 million left to convert, boys.
So how might the Chinese government encourage this?
Well first off, letting Shanghai fully get its queer on would help. This is a bit of a difficult proposition, seeing as how the Chinese government is basically an East Asian version of the stodgy town elders from Footloose. If they really want this to work, they need to acknowledge that dancing is the surest slippery slope to gaydom. (Dancing With the Stars… I’m on to you.)
Note on Flag Graphic: Made it myself. Feel free to swipe it and use it wherever.