One Child Policy in China
   Xiaoxue Yang

In 1970, Chinese academics predicted that the population of China would pass 2 billion by the end of the twentieth century, so the government wanted to implement a plan to slow the population growth. From that time on, families were allowed to have only one child except the minorities and some people who live in the rural areas, who are allowed to have two children. Even though the policy has managed to keep the Chinese population within 1.4 billion by 2012, I disagree with the policy. I was born in 1985 and grew up under the one child policy, and this policy has caused two major problems in China:  the 4-2-1 model of the family and unnatural selection for births.

The first problem with the one child policy is the 4-2-1 model of the family. The 4-2-1 model means a man and a woman who are both single children get married and have one baby. The new family includes 4 grandparents, 2 parents and the new baby. The only child is easily spoiled by the 6 adults who hope the child will grow happily and be healthy. They give the child all the best things that they can give and let the child do whatever the child wants to do. The child becomes the little emperor in the family. In China the retirement system is not good, so the child has to support the parents after they retire, and as the parents get older, the married only child has to take care of all the older kin. This is a very heavy responsibility and pressure.  Another problem is if the only child is born with a birth defect or is handicapped by accident, the whole family will get a crushing blow. Even though the government allows the parents in these unusual cases to have a second child, some moms need to have an operation to remove the intrauterine device, but they still have difficulty conceiving the second child. In short, I think the one child policy is economically unfeasible with the current Chinese social security system.

The second problem with the one child policy is the procedures used for unnatural selection. The Chinese still live in a strongly patriarchal society. If the government only allows the family to have one child, most parents prefer to have a boy. They believe only the boy can inherit the family name, so the parents all want to conceive a boy. Although use of ultrasound procedures to detect the babyís gender before the baby is born is illegal, some of the parents still check the babyís gender. A small percentage of parents canít accept the results if the baby is a girl, and then they choose to have an abortion. There are even a small number of parents who refuse to accept the baby girl after birth, and then they abandon her. Now, lots of European families and American families who want to have a child are keen on adopting girls from China because these baby girls in Chinese orphanages are healthy. They were abandoned just because they were girls. Now that the one child policy has continued for 30 years, 20 million men who are at the marriage age find it difficult to meet girlfriends. China has disproportionately more males than females due to unnatural selection.

In short, the one child policy in China changed my generationís destiny. People who were born during this period have undergone a dramatic transformation. I disagree with the policy because it negatively affects the family structure. The unnatural gender selection that results from this policy has led to the uneven male/female ratio, which will cause further instability in society.