Cultural gender preferences are so widely held that after a few decades, there will be more men on earth than women.
A new study found that “abortions of female babies caused around 45 million births to disappear between 1970 and 2017,” reports the Daily Star.
Since the 1970s, more boys than girls have been born in Southeastern Europe and Asia. Furthermore, 95% of aborted female births occur in India and China.
The research was published in BMJ Global Health and led by Dr. Fengqing Chao. The study reviewed data from 204 countries to predict different sex imbalance possibilities.
If selective birth practices continue, Chao predicts that at least 4.7 million female births will be lost by 2030.
The report also notes that the gender imbalance will have long-term consequences. Having more men than women will certainly create a “marriage squeeze” — or difficulty finding a wife with whom to raise a family. A reduced number of females could also change the behavior of the men left to survive.
“Fewer than expected females in a population could result in elevated levels of antisocial behaviour and violence, and may ultimately affect long-term stability and social sustainable development,” said Chao.
According to the World Atlas, there are six countries where the population is at least 60% male. This includes Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Maldives, and Kuwait. The disparity is attributed both to a cultural preference for males and a higher rate of immigration of men seeking economic opportunities.
The increasing gender disparity also coincides with a new resistance to marriage in several countries. Not only are there fewer women, but those women are less likely to get married.
Chinese millennials, in particular, are forgoing long-term partnerships. CNN notes that “in just six years, the number of Chinese people getting married for the first time has fallen by a crushing 41%, from 23.8 million in 2013 to 13.9 million in 2019, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics.”
Chao’s study did note that the collapsing female birth rate would not necessarily last forever. Most likely, the sex ratio at birth will stabilize and decline within less than 20 years in countries currently affected by sex imbalances at birth.
Male preference and selective abortions are not universal. For example, Nepal, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus all have populations with at least 3.5% more women than men.