Thursday, August 8, 2013

How much is a good wife worth?

Families with multiple daughters in India are increasingly faced with a fixed multiple choice question for their family.
 A. Impoverish your family by paying dowry for multiple daughters to get married.
 B. Risk vengeance for not paying enough dowry to the future husband's family.
 C. Avoid dowry and condemn your daughter to an uneducated life of poverty with potential for a future in prostitution.
 D. Encourage your daughter to marry a man who will mistreat her rather than honor her.
 E. Abort daughters or allow them to die after birth.
 F. Find a way to end this cycle, offer equal education, and seek forgiveness for the past.

 There is a shortage of 60 million girls in India. 
 In just 7 years, there will be 28 million more men of marriageable age in India than women available to marry.

 Granted, 28 million is only 4% of India's population, but with a targeted 50-50 ratio this number represents an 8% shortage of women by 2020. 

For these men to have wives, it would take almost the entire female population of the UK to fix the imbalance.

 Consider if someone went into every classroom of 24 boys and girls in the US and killed one girl out of the 12 girls and told 1 boy out of the 12 boys that he would likely never have a wife.

 Eventually this number will grow to at least a 10-12% shortage as the remainder of the children affected by the disproportionate population grow up.  Our world has seen populations with more women than men due to war, but never has our world encountered such a huge disparity caused by the absence of women.  The ancient world witnessed the acceptance of polygamy as the women outnumbered the men due to the death rates of warfare and occupations.

 What will this situation look like a decade from now?  While change can occur in the future, the generation that will experience this issue has already been born and the ratios are already set in place.

 Will wives be in such high demand in India that the law of supply and demand will override culture such that husbands will have to pay dowries to get a wife instead of the reverse?
 Will the structure of their traditional culture collapse and force change?
 Will there be a generation of 28 million men living in singleness as commitment to marriage unravels?
 Will a previously unseen wave of massive immigration and emigration occur as Indian men seek wives?
 Will the rapidly growing populations of places that discourage the birth of daughters like India and China burst at a ceiling of growth and decline as rapidly as they grew?

 The future in which the answers will be seen will be here very soon.  There is also a deep moral lesson for America to learn about what happens when people play God and try to determine who lives and who dies. 

Almost the identical story holds true for China, with 2020 expected to see a similar 30 million men of marriageable age without a wife to be found.  There will be an unprecedented game of musical chairs building up to 2020 when 60 million men in China and India are ready for marriage.

To put this number of 60 million men looking for wives into perspective, there are currently about 60 million women between the ages of 25 and 45 in the entire 28 countries of the European Union.

60 million is approximately the total number of women in the US between the ages of 20 and 49.