What is gender structure?
- A gender structure is how many males and females there are in a poulation.
- If there is gender variation there can be negative impacts on the population including social problems for the age groups affected.
- China is a country with gender variation and is a good case study to use in exams.
China's Gender Variation
- A study done in 1997 found that there 131 males to 100 females.
- In rural areas there were as many as 316 males to 100 females (1995.)
Why has this happened?
- Its believed that this was due to the one child policy that was in place to very recently causing the traditional preference to have male babies to increase and the possibility of determining the sex of the foetus increased the number of illegal abortions.
- Female infanticide is more of a problem on china than any other country in the world.
Impacts of Gender Variation in China
- Men will find it harder to to reproduce with there being less women. This shortage of women could increase mental health problems as some men might become lonely and increase the amount of socially disruptive behaviour.
- It has also resulted in the trafficking of women for marriage and an increase in commercial sex workers.
- There is worry that this could lead to a rise in HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- The political impact is that the Chinese government has had to relax its one child policy due to fear of threats to China's future stability.
- India has had a similar problem to China where there are also more males than females.
- Females are an economic burden due the high cost of wedding and dowries. (a tradition whereby the family of the bride have to pay the grooms family).
- Research carried out in Mumbai in 1995 found that for every aborted male there were 1000 aborted females.
Other Causes/Impacts of Gender Variation
Japan has more older women than older men because women have a higher life expectancy and a lot of men died during WW2.
Designer babies- when an embryo is specially selcected. This can be used to avoid genetically transmitted disease. However in the future this could be use to pick the sex of your child. This is very controversial and if it were allowed to happen it could cause gender inbalance.