The gender balance in Asia is significantly shaped by the male-biased sex ratios of two of its most populous countries, China and India. The rapid fertility declines in the two countries, resulting from China's one-child policy and India's two-child norm, combined with the advent of sex determination technologies, has contributed to the birth of fewer girls. As a result of these factors, both countries now have an excess of males and a shortage of females.
There is increasing concern over the likely adverse consequences of such highly masculine populations. Most work on adverse sex ratios has dealt with the identification, patterns and causes of skewed sex ratios; Too Many Men, Too Few Women is the first book to focus specifically on the social consequences of the skewed sex ratio in both India and China. Well-known sociologists, economists and demographers come together to explore the social consequences of a skewed sex ratio from varied perspectives: the position of women in communities with fewer women; the likely increase in incidents of crime and violence; the impact on cultural practices such as dowry and bride price, as well as on domestic violence; and possible policy and reform measures that governments can undertake to correct the gender imbalance.
Based on new empirical work and ethnographical accounts, this book takes a critical look at demographic approaches and policies in both India and China. It will be essential reading for students and scholars of sociology, as well as researchers, policymakers, and funding agencies involved in population studies and problems related to male-biased sex ratios.
Ravinder Kaur is Professor of Sociology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi.
List of Tables and Figures
Mapping the consequences of sex selection and gender imbalance in India and China
Part I: Exploring Consequences
Chapter 1: Signs of change? Sex ratio imbalance and shifting social practices in northern India
Mattias Larsen and Ravinder Kaur
Chapter 2: The effect of a male surplus on intimate partner violence in India
Sunita Bose, Katherine Trent and Scott J. South
Chapter 3: China's Marriage Market and Upcoming Challenges for Elderly Men
Monica Das Gupta, Avraham Ebenstein and Ethan Jennings Sharygin
Chapter 4: Dowry, daughter aversion and demographic change: A sociological critique of the ‘marriage squeeze’
Part II: Social Challenges of the Marriage Squeeze
Chapter 5: Understanding marriage squeezes: Sex ratio imbalance, gender and social policy in China
Chapter 6: ‘Bare Branches’ and the Marriage Market in Rural China: Preliminary Evidence from a village-level survey
Xiaoyi Jin, Lige Liu, Yan Li, Marcus W. Feldman, and Shuzhuo Li
Chapter 7: The Dark Side of the Marriage Squeeze: Violence against Cross Region Brides in Haryana
Chapter 8: Imbalanced Sex-ratio and Cross-region Marriage: The Challenges of Transcending Caste Boundaries
Part III: Interrogating Policy Responses
Chapter 9: Social Management of Gender Imbalance in China: A Holistic Governance Framewor
Shuzhuo Li, Shang Zijuan and Marcus Feldman
Chapter 10: Acts of Omission and Acts of Commission: The Adverse Juvenile Sex Ratio and the Indian State
Chapter 11: Understanding Policies on Sex-Selection in Tamil Nadu: Ethnographic and Sociological Reflections
The Policy Challenges: Note by the RGICS
About the Editor and Contributors