Li Shuzhuo, director of the Institute for Population and Development Studies at Xi'an Jiaotong University, has revealed that China's male population now outnumbers the female population by 36 million.

China's unbalanced

gender population ratio nowadays is the accumulative result of Chinese people's gender preference and gender selection before birth, especially in rural areas.

Traditionally Chinese people have preferred to have boys to girls so as to carry on the family name. After the family planning policy was implemented in the 1980s, many families chose abortion so their only child would be a son. This has resulted in the great gender imbalance after three decades.

Moreover, another negative effect of Chinese people's gender selection is tens of millions of men in the countryside have difficulty finding a wife.

To essentially change people's preference for boys means first changing the old idea of "raising a son to support the parents". The authorities should improve the social security system and the support system for the elderly, especially in rural areas.

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