I recently came across the statistic that, when China's one-child-per-family generation comes of age, there will be thirty million more males than females of marriageable age. Thirty million guys for whose sakes roughly fifteen million of their older sisters were sacrificed in utero or at birth. Thirty million sons, repositories of their parents' fondest hopes, now unable to find a mate.
O.k., not all those guys will be looking for a woman. Say that five million are gay and out of the Chinese closet, that still leaves twenty-five million frustrated heterosexual males.
My first reaction when I saw the statistic was "serves them right!" Serves them right for being so male-centered. Serves them right for all those gender-based abortions and female infanticides. (NB: I believe in reproductive freedom but agree with Bill Clinton that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.) Serves them right for all those baby girls languishing in orphanages.
Who is going to pay the price for this outrageous manipulation of Nature? Not the men and women who did the aborting and the abandoning, but the precious boys for whom such sacrifices were made. Thirty million of them--o.k., twenty-five million--will fail to bring home dutiful daughters-in-law and beget grandsons to gladden their parents' old age. And what are they going to do with themselves?
Will they raid other countries in search of women, as primitive tribes used to do?
Will they worship women because of their scarcity, and grant them equal, or even superior, rights?
Will they vie for women's favors by making themselves beautiful, or will they joust and duel and clobber each other until the gender balance is reestablished?
Will they vent their testosterone overloads on fast cars and motorcycles and cigarette boats, thereby increasing planetary pollution levels to all-time highs?
Will they seclude themselves in dark basements and spend their lives playing video games?
Will they form male harems serving a single woman?
Will they turn to each other for solace?
Will they declare prostitution a sacred profession?
If they manage to beget a child, will they insist on aborting the fetus if it is male?
Will they roam war-ravaged countries, looking for widows?
Will they become celibate monks?
Will they swear never to fool Mother Nature again?