China’s Sex Ratio: How Skewed Is It?

Chinese One-Child Policy poster (The Galloping Beaver)

Chinese One-Child Policy poster (The Galloping Beaver)

Late last year, China ended its one-child policy, where each family was only allowed to have…one child. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.) Though its rules have relaxed in recent years, this is the first time the practice has been officially abolished. (But we’ll see how long it takes for the policy to actually die down, data-wise.)

We’ve all heard about how skewed China’s sex ratios are; we’ve heard about how the country overwhelmingly favors male children to the detriment of an equal sex ratio. But what are the numbers behind this phenomenon?

Consulting firm Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. released data in 2010 that revealed that Chinese women bear .71 of female births during their lifetime. That year, men outnumbered women by 50M+. The birth rate at that time was 120 boys per 100 girls, which works out to a sex ratio of 1.2.

If you’re a visual learner, here’s what that ratio looks like, especially in context with other countries:

China's male births compared to other countries' male births ('Business Insider')

China’s male births compared to other countries’ male births (‘Business Insider’)

As Business Insider notes:

That means lots of single, possibly angry males. Hard to imagine anything good coming out of this.

The policy was made into law in 1979, and abolished in 2015. That’s 36 years. Thirty-sex years of selected sex-selection in favor of boys at the expense of girls. (Fun fact: Kim Kardashian West participated in this when she was trying to get pregnant with her now-son.)

Scary, right? We’ll see how the new policy helps attempt to reverse this long-running trend.

 

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How Many Active Female Users did Ashley Madison Have?

Ashley Madison homepage (Ashley Madison)

Ashley Madison homepage (Ashley Madison)

I’m loving this Ashley Madison hack for the sheer volume of data it’s bringing to light! It makes a numbers nerd like me very happy.

This may not come as a shock (well, hopefully it doesn’t), but Ashley Madison didn’t have a whole lot of active female users. The site claimed to have around 31M+ male users and 5M+ female users. So already, the women on the site are outnumbered by the men at a 6:1 ratio. This wouldn’t be a promising sign for any man who was a registered user. (Side note: Do you think any of the men knew to what degree they were competing with the other men? I’m really curious about this.)

But wait, there’s more: Annalee Newitz at “Gizmodo” crunched some numbers on on-site interaction between members (and made some fun bar graphs), and the results trumpeted the sex ratios loud and clear. Some examples: For every woman that checked her messages, 20 men did. For every two women that used the online chat system, 11 men did.

With those numbers in mind, how many of these men interacted with a bot? My guess is quite a few.