China’s One Child Policy has some flaws (surprise, surprise)

If you’re concerned about the environment and reducing your carbon footprint, forget about local food and driving a Prius.  One of the biggest reductions you can make is to not have that second kid you were thinking of.  It’s worked in China, hasn’t it?

Well, not really.  Chinese culture works similar to the West in that the male child retains the family name.  But in addition, that male child will be around to take care of the aging parents.  Girls, on the other hand, basically become part of their husband’s family and have little to no contact with their birth family.  While that may be changing in the cities and more modern areas, the old ways prevail in rural China.  And there’s a lot of China that still behaves that way.

So what to do?  Well, first off a family hoping for a boy that first time around will abort any females.  Demographically, this is a nightmare as it leads to a surplus of males, some of whom will resort to violence to spread their genes, while others might resort to something a bit kinky, like wife-sharing.

If you can’t get your boy the natural way, China’s got a market for that, too. Roughly 190 children a day go missing in China.  For comparison, England and Wales combined report less than half that number in an entire year.  A boy can fetch several hundred pounds, about six months’ salary for a factory worker.

Something must be done about the population, but trying to make a law about something like this without taking culture into account can lead to big problems.  A better way might be providing contraception to those who need it.

(image via September Mourning)