This short article (from Tianya) was written by a student from the countryside. It has no statistics, nor is it necessarily anthropological, but it is an honest testimony from personal experience, which in my opinion, is sometimes more valuable than quasi-objective statistical conclusions.
It starts out:
I, myself, am a person from the countryside。 I’m not writing this to be discriminatory, I just hope it leads to reflection, and maybe to finding the source of the problem.
Generally, everyone thinks that the countryside stands for conservativism, and so kids that come from the countryside are more simple, better behaved, but if you closely examine the current situation, you will find that it is quite the opposite. On the streets, women from the countryside are more likely to expose their bodies; rural women rely more on sex and dubious relationships to be promoted, or exchange sex for opportunities and money. They are also more likely to prefer vicious forms of competition.
The superficial reason is, because their parents are busy with their own livelihoods, they are left at home for long periods of time, and so it is difficult for them to form positive mentalities. Also, oftentimes, the countryside is far from simplistic, in the past, in order to fight for land, to fight for access to water to flood rice fields, to fight for a modest amount of estate, even brothers would use knives on each other. Neighbors even became enemies. So saying that the countryside is simplistic might just be a bias that everyone holds!
The mid-level reason is, the process of growing up poor makes life itself competitive. If your brother or sister got more, you would naturally get less. Thus, “conflict” become the norm, (of course they think that this is just progress), prematurely, and this is conflict without any rules. This makes them always worrying about access to resources when they are adults in the workplace. Most importantly, they often do not feel guilty when they hurt others in competition.
Now for the deeply-embedded reason. Currently, society lacks a medium for social classes to fluctuate and change. The kids in the cities always use more resources, while these resources are lacking for kids in rural areas. External help is lacking, and their own abilities are lacking, so people can only use their own bodies as a resource, women use sex to get money and opportunities, and men use force to get money and opportunities.