Millions of Chinese males face difficulty finding a partner

World Today

The gender gap in China continues to be a cause for concern, with millions of men unable to find a female partner. And the situation is forecast to get worse.

Due to the traditional preference for boys, many more boys than girls have been born in China each year since the the one-child policy began in the 1980s. Many men in poor rural areas of China now find hard or impossible to get married.

CGTN’s Hu Chao reports.

Millions of Chinese men face difficulty finding a partner

The gender gap in China continues to be a cause for concern, with millions of men unable to find a female partner. And the situation is forecast to get worse. CGTN's Hu Chao reports.

Wang Jiaya’s village locates in the poverty-stricken county of Loufan in north China’s Shanxi Province. This village has about two hundred males of marriageable age. Over half of them are still single.

“It’s hard to find a partner for my son. Women all demand that the man should have an apartment in the town and most of us can’t afford that.” said Liu Tianping. He prepared a bunglow for his son and his girlfriend to get married many years ago. But the girlfriend left his son because he couldn’t afford an apartment.

Forty-six-year-old Wang Junqin says he’ll always be single. He continues, “it’s because of poverty. I have no money to find anyone who is willing to marry me.”

This village in Shanxi is one of many poor places in China where a lot of adult males with little chance of finding a partner to marry. Due to traditional concepts, most Chinese women tend to marry men with good economic conditions and higher education. Unfortunately, these traditions and severe poverty has deprived these men of the possibility of marriage.

A 2011 Chinese film called Guang Gun, which means bachelor, tells the story of four old bachelors in a small village, reflecting on their poverty and sexual frustration. The film won a prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Now, though, even more men have been leaving their villages and pouring into nearby cities to work, leaving their elderly parents living in the villages.

Tan Kejian, a professor in Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences said, “Now most bachelors in the countryside come to work in cities. But their low income and poor education mean they are still not ideal partners for either urban or rural females. ”

Experts say the huge number of bachelors will be a problem for the social stability.

“China is likely to have 30 million bachelors. Many of them are living at the bottom of the society, which could lead to a rising crime rate. I think the government should help them escape poverty and get more education,” Tan said.

He also mentioned that the traditional preference for boys, illegal pre-natal sex determination tests and the low birth rate are the primary causes of the sex imbalance. The government should make more efforts to promote and ensure gender equality, and also encourage families to have more children.