Cultures that tend choose male babies over female babies could be unknowingly contributing to the destabilization of their society, according to a new study by researchers in England and China. The researchers say their study suggests men who find themselves without marriage prospects are more likely to turn toward antisocial behavior, like crime and terrorism.
The researchers report in parts of China and India there will be 12-percent to 15-percent more men than women over the next 20 years. "These men will remain single and will be unable to have families, in societies where marriage is regarded as virtually universal and social status and acceptance depend, in large part, on being married and creating a new family," write the authors.
The men who are not able to marry are more likely to be poorer and less educated than men who are able to find a wife, according to the researchers. "When there is a shortage of women in the marriage market, the women can marry up, inevitably leaving the least desirable men with no marriage prospects," they write. With no family or outlet for sexual energy, these men could be part of trend toward increased levels of antisocial behavior and violence.
A positive outcome of an unbalanced society could be the raised social status of women, suggest the researchers. The researchers propose measures to reduce sex selection, equal rights for women, and public awareness campaigns about the dangers of gender imbalance.
The same applies of course to Islamic countries -- where poorer men are deprived of women not by infanticide but by polygamy.
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