Friday, January 13, 2006

The World’s Missing Girls

I have been writing in my two previous posts about the shortage of girls in India and China. Today I want to add the even greater sex ratio imbalances in many Muslim countries. Reliapundit, at The Astute Blogger, had a series on Muslim demography, which pointed out that of the 30 countries with significantly more males than females, 20 are predominantly Muslim. Reliapundit speculates that honor killings, and misogyny in general, are a significant factor in producing this imbalance.

Samuel Huntington, in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, argues that one of the reasons that “Islam has bloody borders” today is because the Muslim world’s population is so young. Nations with large numbers of young men are prone to violence internally and war externally. Civilization’s great cure for the violence of young men is marriage. If there are more young men than young women, the men are less likely to marry. This is why a male-skewed sex ratio is dangerous in general. In addition, polygamy would make the effects of a gender imbalance worse, by making it even less likely that low status men will be able to marry.

So here we have the largest countries in the world, China and India, with significant numbers of young men who are not likely to be able to marry. They border on countries, notably Pakistan, which also have significant numbers of young men who are not likely to be able to marry. This is a recipe for war.

Facing them are the industrialized nations with more balanced sex ratios. However, the industrialized populations are old. The upside of these two facts is that men are more likely to find mates and less likely to make war. The downside, though, is that if, God forbid, there were to be a large-scale war, the industrialized nations would be demographically overwhelmed by those places which are already demographically primed for conflict.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting links!

Terri

tpraja said...
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