A dangerous surplus of sons? Two political scientists warn that Asia's lopsided sex ratios threaten world peace.

The Chronicle of higher education 05/2004; 50(35):A14-6, A18.
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    ABSTRACT: The beginning of the present century has been marked by a shift in attention from “excess” female mortality to discrimination in natality in explaining the “lowness” of the sex ratio or proportion of women in India's population. Such a shift in focus seemingly suggests that discrimination in intra-family allocation of resources has reduced substantially in India. In this context, an attempt has been made to decompose the observed lowness of the sex ratio in India vis-à-vis that of the stable population into that attributable to: (1) age structure difference, (2) excess female mortality, and (3) abnormalities in sex ratios at birth in India. Estimated contributions by each factor suggest that, as late as 2001, excess female mortality or the lowness of the relative survival advantage of women is the single most important determinant of “missing” women in India. The results also point to the importance of age structure difference, which accounts for a little more than 17% of the lowness of the sex ratio in India in 2001.
    The Developing Economies 06/2009; 47(2):177-201. DOI:10.1111/j.1746-1049.2009.00082.x · 0.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The recent formation of the field of security demographics hasdrawn attention to the importance of population as a security issue. For example, Hudson and den Boer argue that the populations of Asia’slargest countries are a threat not because of size but because of asunusual composition – excess males. Their argument is based on theobservation that, after thirty years of population limitation policies, the Chinese population has a distinct gender bias. There are millions more males than females, creating what has been dubbed a ‘bachelor army.’ Hudson and den Boer posit that the problems caused by this ‘bachelor army’ may lead to war. This paper argues that fear about China’s population is not new but has shaped the way China has been portrayed since the foundation of the PRC. The large size of the Chinese population was originally seen as a weakness likely to bring down the government. However during the 1950s and 60s the industrious and organized nature of the Chinese population earned the Chinese people the moniker ‘blue ants.’ It seems more than coincidental that the development of recent fearsabout China’s population coincides with the emergence of China as amajor economic power. After analyzing the development of the genderratio imbalance, this paper concludes that the re-surfacing of fear about China’s male population continues a tradition of Orientalist stereotypes.
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    ABSTRACT: Young populations, and particularly young males, have been attributed a proclivity to aggression and unrest that puts societies at risk. Theories about the dangers of a demographic 'youth bulge' inform public and policy debates about the predictors of violent conflict, as evidenced most recently in the World Bank's World Development Report for 2007. This paper evaluates the validity and utility of claims linking youth bulges to civil conflicts by reviewing different literatures concerning naturalist ideas of young humans' innate aggression and cognitive incompetence as well as environmentalist ideas of environmental stimuli, processes of socialisation, and the dialectical relationship of structural conditions and human agency. This review finds that the moral panic propagated by youth bulge theorists is too often based on only one form of influence on human development and action, whether an aspect of environment, personal experience, or individual traits. A more cogent analysis must integrate the highly complex and dynamic processes involved in cognition and behaviour and aim to develop theories that take account of the social power, ideational and structural forms, and emotional and cognitive processes that young people experience and draw on in times of war. Theories of causality that fail to account for this complexity obscure understanding of the many ways in which young people and conflict may be linked.
    Conflict Security and Development 06/2007; DOI:10.1080/14678800701333051


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