New Delhi (NVI) In China, men are facing a peculiar problem. They are increasingly finding it difficult to find a spouse even after attaining the marriageable age.
That’s because there are 17.52 million more men of marriageable age of 20-40 than women, according to a Chinese media report.
Such is the situation that at several places, men have to pay hefty amounts of money, as a kind of ‘dowry’, to get a bride, said the Global Times report
Some villages in lesser-developed provinces, including Shanxi, Shaanxi and Guizhou, were even dubbed as “bachelor’s villages” for their high population of single men, it said.
A survey on 267 villages in all 31 provinces in the Chinese mainland showed that, single men and women accounted for 5.92 percent and 3.62 percent, respectively. In other words, there were 63 single women for every 100 single men, according to the survey conducted by the Central China Normal University in 2017, the Global Times said.
“This means that a large number of Chinese men may not be able to find a wife,” Xu Tianli, head of the Shanghai Marriage Introduction Organization Administration Association, was quoted as saying in the report.
“Most of them live in rural areas,” Xu said.
The gap in the number of marriageable men and women has put pressure on many men, particularly in many rural regions, where people tend to prefer boys to girls, said Liu Zhijun, Deputy Director of the Social Science Experiment Center of Zhejiang University.
“Women in these areas are usually fewer than men as a result of selective abortion in the past decades,” Liu told the Global Times.
The high competition between men for women has also pushed up the price of brides in rural areas, a kind of reverse dowry that men pay to the family of their future bride.
The price of a bride in Jiaocun town was reported to be between 150,000 yuan ($23,295) and 200,000 yuan in 2017, and it “continues to rise by 10,000-20,000 yuan each year”, the report said.
Per capita net income in Jiaocun town, by contrast, was less than 8,000 yuan in 2016, the Global Times reporter found.
Some scholars worry that the large number of single men in rural areas can be a potential risk to local social stability and may lead to higher risks of sexual crimes, especially those targeting children and women, it said.
The reason for the difficulties for men in rural areas to get married, is economic, said Liu Wenrong, an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Sociology under the Shanghai Academy of Social Science (SASS).