Social Question

poisonedantidote's avatar

What arguments or points can you make against China's one-child policy?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21611points) October 28th, 2012

Hi, I am currently helping my girlfriend put together a debate for university.

She has chosen the topic of China’s one-child policy, and is arguing against it.

She has already pointed out how it has not solved the population problem, as well as human rights violations such as forced abortions on 7 month pregnancies, as well as arguing other things.

Can you come up with any solid arguments against the policy that she could maybe adopt in to her debate?

Note: this question would not be considered cheating under the rules of her university.


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6 Answers

Earthgirl's avatar

This is a 10 year old article from the New York Times so strictly speaking it is a lead to follow and needs updating.
It talks about reasons why the one child policy is ineffective, especially in rural areas. One quote from the article to give you an idea:

“Mr. Li said the higher fees now in place will stop him from having more children because he wants his offspring to be officially registered so that they can go to school.

“There are two types of people for whom fees are ineffective: the richest, who just pay them and don’t care, and the poorest, who can’t pay them and don’t care,” said Mr. Chen of the Family Planning Commission.”

Another point to make would be the resultant forced sterilization,late term abortions which endanger women and violate their right to self determination and control over their own bodies.

If you need another reason, how about female infanticide and the resuling imbalance of sexes in the populace? That has many other social implications as well.

Brenna_o's avatar

If a family has a girl first it doesn’t give them a way to have their family name passed on.

Sunny2's avatar

What’s happened in China is that too many people wanted a boy and would abort a girl and now there are not enough women to be mates of the young men. Messes up human instincts.

JLeslie's avatar

@Sunny2 Yeah, but at the same time having few girls means fewer babies born probably, so that would go along with what they wanted to accomplish. Although, it doesn’t take care of wanting hetersexual relationships and romantic bonding.

@poisonedantidote It seems like some countries in Europe have much fewer births, in fact the countries worry about it and give all sorts of benefts to new parents trying to help encourage births. Maybe look at what those countries have done as a better solution for wanting negative population growth. It seems to me women having more independence and freedom has helped lower birth rates. I hve no idea if women in China have that generally, culturally? I am going to assume maybe no since they cared so much about having boy children. That seems like women are probably being submissive to husbands. I could be wrong.

The_Idler's avatar

The Chinese, like many others, have children to increase the wealth of the family, to take care of the parents when they are old. The preference for boys is due to traditions of dowry and preservation of the male line.

Europe has a lower birth rate because child-rearing is expensive and time-consuming, and people want more money and leisure time. People in China also want more money, which is why the Chinese government uses monetary incentives to reduce birth rate. it is not necessarily strictly forbidden to have multiple children, parents must pay a “tax” (unaffordable to most).

In China there were massive problems with abandoned girls, especially in the country, where boys were valued more for working the fields. There was also great anger at the resulting diminished work forces of the family farms. As a result, the policy is much more relaxed in the countryside, with more children often allowed.

This is especially true if the first child is a girl; to prevent abandonments, parents are allowed to try for another. Even then, if it is another girl, they may get more chances.
If the first child is a boy, they have to stop there.

So in a sense, for some, the one-child policy has become a one-boy policy, and I’ve been told by various Chinese that some places actually have “too many” females, because of this development.

In terms of arguments against it… despite population control being a necessity, it has been clumsily implemented. There is much documentation of the negative implications of this, as western-media loves a bit of China-bashing.

I wouldn’t trust a ‘democracy’ to have handled the problem any better.

wundayatta's avatar

People don’t get to choose for themselves how many children they want. That is pretty mean and insensitive. It goes against human nature. Which encourages them to find ways around the law.

But I thought it did help bring China’s population growth down. To what do we owe that, if not the one child policy?

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