Saturday, August 20, 2011

When Boy’s can’t Get Laid

It’s a little tempting to be smug about being ethnic Chinese these days. America is in deep financial trouble and so the world is looking to the cash-rich Chinese for a bail out. Britain has gone through the shock of riots that are better associated with the Middle East and one is tempted to gloat at the fact that we’ve not seen an ethnic Chinese amongst the rioters. The Western is losing its shine and the Chinese world is glowing.

As tempting as it is to gloat, it’s probably best to hold the celebrations for a while yet. While China is currently and increasingly being viewed as an alternative bedrock for the rest of the world, it’s quite possible that the Middle Kingdom is going to be the source of a host of geo-political problems in time to come.

The reason is simple – China is going to be filled with boys who can’t get laid. In a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in January 2011, some 24 million Chinese men of marrying age could find themselves without a wife. Thanks to a combination of a “One-Child” policy that has been in effect since 1978 and cultural preferences for boys coupled with growing economic development (which usually takes away people’s interest in making babies), China is going to be awash with lots testosterone. The statistics are fairly simple – there are 119 boys for every 100 girls born and in some parts of the area, the imbalance goes up 130 boys per 100 girls.

What does this all mean? Well, for a start, it’s clear that women born in China can expect to have a lot more fun while men are going to have a problem. Men are going to outnumber women by quite a large margin. Culturally, women tend to marry older and more established men. So, in a family of more than one boy, the younger brother is going to be competing with his older brother from the same pool of women when it comes to looking for a bride.

For women, this situation can be fun. I remember being at Churcher’s College when girls were first welcomed into the junior classes (there were a handful in the 6th form.) The 13 girls who entered the first year had the undivided attention of 400 boys. They were to put the centre of much wanted attention. The gender imbalance at school got a little more balanced within two-years when girls could enter in the third year. However, by the time I left, things had cooled down a bit but the lads still outnumbered the girls.

It wasn’t all bad for us as the lads. For those of us who didn’t get a girl in school, the solution was simple – look outside the school grounds. There were, for example, enough desirable chicks in the local comprehensive and right at the other end of town, there was Bedales, my sister’s school, where the girls were known for being good looking (much better than at Churchers) and for being wide open to having a bit of fun.

Unfortunately for the boys born in rural China, they’re not going to have this alternative since this gender imbalance is going to be nation wide. Look at it this way, if you’re a peasant from rural China, what are your choices? Move to the city and you compete with the better off and more sophisticated city boys as well as sophisticated foreigners. Move abroad and chances are you’re still at the bottom of the social ladder when it comes to looking for a bride.

It’s cool to talk about the Chinese surplus of cash. It’s not polite to talk about it at the moment but will probably become vital to discuss, is the surplus of Chinese testosterone. China is going to have 24 million young men who are going to have a problem getting laid. Just to put things into perspective, that 24 million is larger than the entire population of Australia and New Zealand combined. There will be more Chinese men looking for brides than people in the Nordic world (Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark).

Testosterone can be tricky because it’s the very thing that makes men aggressive. This is the thing that drives men to want sex. Napoleon Hill, the author of “Think and Grow Rich,” makes the point that a high sex drive can be highly beneficial for a man – he just needs to know how to control it. You’ll find that men tend to blossom in later years (late 30s to early 40s) because it takes a while to learn how to divert the energies that you’d use into getting laid into productive work.

It’s not unreasonable to assume that married men or men in steady relationships are going to be a lot more focused on economic productivity than on getting laid. Simply put, if you are getting laid at home – you don’t need to keep looking elsewhere for it.

When you look at these assumptions, it’s not hard to see that the possibility of 24 million men who can’t laid, running round the place is going to be problematic.

The solution is simple – you either find them a bride or you keep them so busy and channel their energies into other things that they forget about their lack of opportunities. The third alternative is you export them out of the place.

Finding a bride is the toughest option of the lot. The gender imbalance is the result of 30-years of upholding a “one-child” policy in a culture that promotes men over women. To reverse it, you’re going to have to get people to start making girl babies and those girl babies won’t be any use for reproduction for at least 16-years.

This becomes even more complicated by the fact that China has been on the express rout to getting rich. As the developed world has discovered – when you get rich, you find people being less interested in having kids.

There is the possibility that you have to import women from elsewhere. Short of promoting human trafficking, you have the problem of making the men attractive enough for the women to want to be imported from elsewhere.

This leaves us looking at the possibility of keeping them busy. At the most peaceful stage, the solution is to keep this number of men in jobs that are going to occupy so much of their time and take so much of their energy that getting laid and the lack of opportunities to get laid will be the last thing on their mind.

Somehow, the domestic economy needs to be grown at such a rapid rate that these numbers of young men who can’t get laid coming into the market are absorbed in jobs. The London riots have shown what can happen when you don’t keep young men busy and if you have 24 million young men who have a problem getting laid and getting work, you have the perfect recipe for disaster.

Alternatively, one can look at sending these men into institutions like the army. However, armies are expensive for the state and China already has the largest army in the world by population (something which the Chinese government is trying to reduce). Getting them into the army means you may have to do things like give them a purpose – which means pick fights with people – bored men with the skill to kill are an especially lethal combination.

So, we look at exporting them. However, you have to ask yourself, where exactly are you going to export them to? The Western World as well as Japan are struggling to give their own citizens jobs, so they’re not likely to give yours any jobs. One possibility has been in the countries you invest in. One of the chief complaints about Chinese investment in Africa is the fact that China has also exported its labour to do the jobs – which means the African nations don’t the get the number of jobs they were hopping to get. However, things between China and Africa seem to be working out in some way.

This is a problem that requires imagination, which isn’t exactly a quality China’s central planners are known for. You can’t expect a world currently preoccupied with an economic crisis to look at 24 million horny men in 2020. However, this is going to be a major problem and unless China and the world focus on it now, we can expect 2020 to be a very interesting year

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