China as a big lab for infanticide studies

| November 5th, 2010


If a system of death camps were set up in the United States
of the sort we had seen in Nazi Germany,
one would be able to find sufficient personnel for those camps
in any medium-sized American town

This is the quote from TV interview with the prominent American social psychologist Stanley Milgram. One of his most important works were the “shock” studies of obedience to authority. After running a series of experiments with different sets of participants, Milgram came to conclusion that in any country and any nation it is possible to create certain conditions in which people will be able to do absolutely senseless and cruel things, such as war-time atrocities.

The practical value of such studies lies in possibility to recognize and prevent the social patterns in which we – people – can show our evil side.

Unfortunately, with its one-child policy, today’s China has created “favorable” conditions for the expression of other cruelty deeply ingrained in human nature – ability to kill our own babies. In this way China became a huge stage for verification of another social theory. I am talking about research in the field of infanticide made by the famous biologist and anthropologist Sarah Hrdy. Let me first introduce the main aspects of Hrdy’ theory and then show how they apply to China.

Early in her scientific career Sarah Hrdy became interested in the topic of infanticide in different species of animals. Having an expertise in primatology she traveled to India for field observations of langur monkeys. To her surprise she discovered that in some cases langur newborns are at high risk to be killed by their own mothers (which was quite a shocking finding for the species with slow reproductive rate).

However, the longer Hrdy researched this subject, the more clear was her conclusion that infanticide is an important adaptive mechanism that can be observed in most mammals species including human beings. Moreover, on the larger scale survival was possible only for the species in which mothers in certain circumstances were able to cold-heartedly kill their own offspring.

For primates the mentioned circumstances are the combination of four following conditions:

1)   female’s young age

2)   child’s low weight at birth

3)   gender of child (more exactly – if the gender is not desirable)

4)   probability that nurturing the child would only decrease the survival chances for both mother and the child

How are all these things related to China? Well… anyone who had lived in China or followed after Chinese news for a while, knows about the worrying gender imbalance resulting in the excess of young males of marriageable age. An unnaturally high proportion of boys among live births in China (1.19/1 vs. normal 1.05/1) proves that such imbalance is primarily caused by sex-selective abortions.

Although abortions is not quite a human means of population control – yet most people won’t put them in the same category with infanticide. In this regard it’s interesting to note that in China the proportion of boys in the cohort of 5 years old children is even higher than at birth (!!!). This tendency is clearly reflected in the results of national censuses showing how the proportions of infant mortality rate by gender “unexpectedly” changed in males’ favor from the census of 1982 to the census of 2000 (see for example the report on Country Gender Assessment by Asian Development Bank).


It is known, however, that in the absence of external intervention the mortality of males is higher than mortality of females in all age groups. Thus, there should be some “external intervention” that results in the excess of Chinese girls’ deaths from birth to five years old.

Of course, killing girls by inserting needles into their head (as “kind” grandparents from Chengdu tried to do) is a little bit risky. But there is no doubt that parents have enough power to achieve the same goal in a more subtle manner.

Let’s take another look at 4 premises of infanticide formulated by Sarah Hrdy. Infant’s low weight and mother’s young age are the variables that can be present in any population albeit with different incidence. The third factor is the gender preference making either boys or girls less wanted. And as in any agrarian society, China’s preference for sons (especially in its rural parts) is not an exception.

It is, however, China’s one child policy that adds the fourth crucial component into equation, turning it into a huge natural lab for anthropologists and socio-biologists.

And you know what? Indirectly, China’s government recognizes the negative consequences of one child policy. Otherwise, why would it allow rural Chinese families to have a second baby if the first one is girl?

But I can only fear for second baby’s fate if it appears to be a girl again…

Crystal Tao is the author of LoveLoveChina

156 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Devin says:

    Take up 1st position before reading the news

  2. Devin says:

    I can’t figure it out why title has “infanticide studies” .. It implies something???I think It’s just a article about imbalance of article in china

    • Crystal Tao says:

      What title would you suggest?

      • Theodore says:

        So… the take home message of your article is China is a cruel nation for allowing abortion. Isn’t that right? Geez, if that is your message, you don’t need to put that much convoluted studies reference, it just weakens your points.

        • Crystal says:

          Actually, Theodore, your response is exactly the reason why I started from Milgram’s quote.
          Many people learning about war-time cruelties feel easier to blame Germans or Japanese instead of recognizing that in certain circumstances any nation is capable of such things.
          And it is China’s misfortune (and not cruelty of Chinese people) that our country has all “right” conditions for mechanism of infanticide to be launched.

          Also, I put the accent on infanticide and not abortions.
          Thus, my take-home-message is different: it is exactly one child policy that completes the formula of Hrdy’s equation and triggers infanticides.

          • Theodore says:

            No, I understand your song. But personally, I feel that your article lacks conveyance. So, I just put my critics here, just so you know.

          • Voice of China says:

            Please feel free to read below as to why the causative link is missing in your line of authoritative reasoning.

            However, as quick point, I’d just want to say that infanticide does not encompass abortions of fetuses or embryos which are not a thing capable of being killed. There are ethical and medical differences which prevent such a generalization from being asserted.

            By the way Crystal, I think your English is really good to have set out a defacto journal article as per above. A lot of your mistakes are understandable and can be attributed to lack of attention to detail with regards to writing an accurate academic statement. I’m sure most people can understand what you are trying to say. It’s just that it is very dangerous to make such a link without distinguishing causation with correlation.

            • Gary says:

              “infanticide does not encompass abortions of fetuses or embryos which are not a thing capable of being killed”

              This assertion is amazing. Developing babies are most definitely killed by abortion. Your attitude is a perfect example of what the article is about: people can come to believe horrible behavior is OK as long as it is government policy.

            • Mengxiang says:

              吧哈哈哈, 傻屄。。。

          • Mark says:

            Thanks for drawing attention to this study. Your thoughtful posts are always interesting. Similar studies and reporting have been done with respect to India, were the low cost ability to test for gender in utero is resulting in mass abortions of female gender fetuses. The study you cited looks at infanticide as opposed to abortion but the broad picture is a traditional cultural bias against allocating resources in the family to the female gender in both India and China.

            Only government policy and incentives can change deeply ingrained bias against women. In China’s case the one child policy has only made the problem worst.

            • Crystal says:

              You are right – India has very similar problems.
              And not only regarding sex-selective abortions but infanticide as well.

              Here is the quote from an interesting research “Community based retrospective study of sex in infant mortality in India”:
              In 10% of deaths there was no preceding illness and no satisfactory cause was found. Three out of every four such deaths were in girls.

              • Mark says:

                The problem seems to continue into maturity with women in India. If one looks at the abuse of women at the hands of mother in laws from being set of fire, to acid attacks and honor killings. Although not related to infanticide it shows the low status of women that starts with a families preference for a male child over a female child. With respect to India women are seen as a costly liability that require the payment of a dowry to get rid of.

              • adam says:

                you just went against your own argument as theres no law i know of in india limiting the number of babies or in any way punishing people having more. are you saying that indians are cruel? i say they are nasty animals but so are the chinese. chinese girls are hot though. i would prefer parents give them to me instead of destroying them

                • Mark says:

                  You did not read my comments carefully. I mentioned the one child policy in the context of China.

          • piliz says:

            i can’t imgine if there is no one-child policy in China. A Large population is scary.

  3. Voice of China says:


    I’m sure you know, in our generation, most urban parents probably do not choose to abort children based on gender. The principles in your article apply mostly to rural areas where a son is seen to be beneficial to carry on family title and perform physical labor.

    I simply can’t see young men and women in Beijing, Shanghai, Chong Qing, etc using abortions as a means of gender selection based on an archaic principle that no longer applies to modern urban society with evolved methods of wealth generation unrelated to a person’s physical shape. I do take note that you refer primarily to agrarian societies, which is the main problem I guess.

    I do find that your analogy is troubling in that there is very weak correlative link between your authority to suggest that abortions in China based on gender selection is a result of the state’s harnessing of conditions that promote cruelty based on self preservation which are analogous to studies of monkeys; so much so that I think it borderlines the realm of being a logical fallacy.

    I drawn your attention on some examples below:

    Argument: Taxes fund necessary services such as police, courts, and roads; this demonstrates the necessity of taxation.

    Problem: The fact that taxes currently fund certain services does not prove that taxation is the only means, or the best means, of funding those services. Although, in all fairness, it is a deductive fallacy to claim that the logical possibility of something (funding public services without taxes) implies its practicality, probability or even existence.

    Argument: More cows die in India in the summer months. More ice cream is consumed in summer months. Therefore, the consumption of ice cream in the summer months is killing Indian cows.

    Problem: It is hotter in the summer, resulting in both the death of cows and the consumption of ice cream.

    What I find equally troubling is your formulation of words, for example comparing abortions with infanticide under the roof of ‘population control’. The words ‘yet most people won’t…’ implies that you hold a belief that there is some analogy should be drawn. However you don’t continue and give a substantiated reason why.

    On the contrary, I submit there should be no reason why they should be contained in the same category. An infant has been born, where the medical arguments around abortion as to when a life begins in relation to embryonic growth is not easily defined.

    If you are implying that they should be included in the mortality rate table, then you would have to prove that it is possible to define when the mortality of a child begins. Then you would be dealing with a matter of law and medical opinion.

    Again, impliedly comparing abortion of sometimes singular celled organisms with killing girls by inserting needles into their head is another overt analogy. By taking the example out of context, you fail to notify the reader that the nail in the head was placed before the girl was born. There are significant arguments as to when a fetus can be considered an ‘person capable of being killed’ in legislation.

    This is your first article on Chinahush and it isn’t in relation to Chinese news but rather a fairly awkward analysis of social reform, expert evidence about human nature, abortion which together formed an erroneous conclusion based on a fallacy that lacks substantive causal components.

    The problem with this article is that it lacks a succinct and uniform argument. If you wanted to draw so many sources together, and do it properly, to form an academic opinion, I guarantee that it would not be possible without the space of at least several thousands of words. Overall, I do understand the nature of your argument but I find that it tends to be misleading. You’ve made various mistakes in your analogies and use of expert evidence. This post would have been better if it focused purely on the one child policy or the link between that and trends in human evolution.

    I hope you realize Crystal that this piece of writing acts more like an informal journal article and differs to what Key usually posts. It is much easier to translate news because you take on a clerical role. Here, you are taking on a role of an academic in relation to science and human behavior. A role which you really don’t have the educational merit to successfully pull off.

    • Crystal says:

      The needles (and not just one needle) were placed in girl’s head AFTER she was born.
      How exactly do you think that her grandparents could insert needles into fetus through mother’s belly?
      Even if they would be trained surgeons and had ultrasound – they wouldn’t be able to do that.

      • Voice of China says:

        Wow.. I just assumed there may have been more subtle ways of killing an actual infant, such as a pillow over the face. But you’re right, I was thinking that they put needles through the belly rather than say, punching the belly but now I think back on it, that sounds fairly ridiculous.

  4. Crystal says:

    You are right – I don’t have the required background – that’s why the article was published under “Opinion” category.
    Anyway, regarding some of your arguments I want to bring to light few facts:
    1) The fact that sex-selective abortions are the result of China’s one child policy is not based on my authority but the fact which is widely recognized by all researchers in this field AND Chinese authorities themselves!
    2) Even if you find it difficult to extrapolate from researches on monkeys to human beings, you might be interested to learn that “sudden infant death syndrome”, which often hides the cases of infanticide has a worrying proportion of all 4 premises described by Hrdy present. Adding also this argument to the text of post would make it even more lacking form (and I should agree that it does). I can however refer you to any of Hrdy’s books to read more on the topic.
    3) Finally, it’s not exactly me putting abortions and infanticide under the same roof. Did you know that there are few prominent Western scientists who propose infanticide to be legalized for the first 72 hours of infant’s life? Now THIS I do find as troubling!

    • Voice of China says:

      Regarding point 1: I know that, and you did you provide emphasis in your discussion to rural areas which contain a large proportion of Chinese population – I gave you credit for that in my original comment but I made a conditional comment based on city dwellers such as yourself. Can you imagine your female friends getting an abortion simply because they were told they would have a daughter?

      Regarding point 2: It’s not that I have difficulty linking animal studies to humans in general but also the issue of linking this particular phenomenon to the culture of accepting abortions as well.

      It’s hard to figure out sometimes whether you are talking about abortions, infanticide, human/animal behavior or Chinese policy. Most of them are not prima facie causally related. I’m not sure that I picked out how infantacide was relevant to China as an embryo or fetus is not exactly an infant

      Regarding point 3: A body corpus before a certain point in development cannot be considered as a ‘thing capable of being killed’ by legislation in many countries. An infant is a term used colloquially as something that has been born. A fetus or a embryo is not born. It’s very hard to say they can be grouped together.

      • Crystal says:

        OK, check the link number five in the article

        Information from the table no. 16 “Provincial Sex Ratio at Birth: 2000 Census”:
        Beijing – 114.58 boys/ 100 girls
        Shanghai – 115.51boys/ 100 girls

        The normal ratio is no higher than 1.07 !!
        Now – since you know the difference between causation and correlation, I have a question for you.
        Is the UNNATURALLY high proportion of boys at birth in these urban areas related to their geographic longitude and latitude, or maybe you will admit that it has more to do with sex-selective abortions?

        I believe thus that urban dwellers do sex-selective abortions (although not so often as rural Chinese).

        Oh, by the way, take a look at proportions in Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mogolia (106.65, 97.43, 108.48). Why are they smaller? Is it because minorities have relaxations in one-child policy or due to some secret ingredient in their diet?

      • Crystal says:

        I’m not sure that I picked out how infantacide was relevant to China as an embryo or fetus is not exactly an infant

        My fault – I didn’t underline one VERY IMPORTANT point in the post. Thus I made it bold now!

        … the proportion of boys in the cohort of 5 years old children is even higher than at birth (!!!)

        Explanation: at birth the proportion is 1.19/1.0. At five years old the proportion is EVEN HIGHER (reported to be 1.26).

        Question: Why is it higher?

        Answer: because from birth to five years old more girls died than boys.

        Fact: due to a natural biological advantage mortality of females in all age groups is lower than that of males.

        Question: why in China it was different?

        Answer: (I am sure you can figure it yourself)–> worse nutrition, worse access to medical services and… ooops… infanticide.

        • Voice of China says:

          Ok, having that in bold makes more sense now..

          But if your article is now going to focus on infanticide, then put more weight on it by giving us direct evidence rather than your opinion.

          • Crystal says:

            Evidence… sigh.
            Do you really think that it is possible to get the reliable statistics of infanticides in China?

            For example, take the report on infant mortality in China between 1990 and 2008. I give the link below, but it’s just the abstract (if you want the full text, you can get it by subscribing for free to “The Lancet” online journal).

            So, the report summarizes the reasons of infant mortality for the given period. You will find there digestive problems, pulmonary infections, congenital abnormalities, accidents and so on.

            And then there comes a mystical figure – 20% –> “OTHER”.
            Don’t misunderstand me – I am not saying that most of this figure hides infanticides. But if I take the Western statistics – I clearly see that homicide is responsible for about 1%-1.5% of infant mortalities.

            How much in China? We will never know.
            Thus, my awkward (yes, I recognize the bad style of my writing) attempt to arrive to the truth through monkeys 🙂


  5. Voice of China says:

    Is the UNNATURALLY high proportion of boys at birth in these urban areas related to their geographic longitude and latitude, or maybe you will admit that it has more to do with sex-selective abortions?

    I like the play on words, its cute… but I was merely implying that the benefits of having a male child would be more highly felt in areas where physical strength has a bigger role in survival.

    In modern Beijing or Shanghai, I really can’t see parents choosing abortions based on gender selection. Call me naive, but I tend to think most ordinary people in large cities choose that they are either ready to have a child or not. I think, although I’m not completely sure, that at the time the surveys were done, most Chinese weren’t even aware of gender screening.

    In all truthfulness, I don’t believe that any single person I’ve known in my life has or would ever base a decision on having a child based on what gender they will be. What about you?

    • Crystal says:

      Dear Voice of China, if denial makes you feel better – that’s OK with me.
      But I show you the figures and you answer that you don’t believe in existence of cruelty in this world. So, yes… I will call you naive 🙂

      As for availability of gender screening in China – it was available since 1985.

      By the way, do you know that China has outlawed the in-pregnancy sex screening?
      Do you have any idea why? [… not that people lack access to illegal medical services – just like in countries were abortion itself is prohibited]

      If you need more proves that Chinese widely practice sex-selective abortions – I can shower you with facts. I am afraid, however, that you might change your critical approach to emotional responses of “I don’t believe” or “I don’t want to believe”.

      • Mark says:

        Some need to repudiate any information that is critical of China and comes from the West regardless of its veracity or even potential benefit.

        • Voice of China says:

          Mark – you’re a troll – nothing more needs to be said in this regard. You’ll follow me into every post trying to put in a snide remark or two. I expected this from the outset.

          Crystal – Saying that I don’t believe that most inner city people base their decisions on abortion on sex does not mean that I don’t believe in the existence of cruelty. That is again disingenuous mistake in interpreting what I said based on a logical fallacy.

          If you are implying that gender screening is illegal now, that even further substantiates my opinion that abortion facilitated gender selection is not causative of overall gender imbalance. Perhaps you can show me facts to the contrary, but without further research into the validity and the size of the samples, date the sources, credibility of the claims, the hospitals tested, confirmation by the government, I find there no reason to take your word for granted.

          Your article deals with infanticide not abortions. So far, you’ve said that there is a gender imbalance and provided a source – that is widely known and agreeable. You’ve provided a table for infanticide based on a singular study without reference to how the tests were done, the size of the source and how they were measured and the information is ten years old. Now you are trying to draw another link with gender bias facilitated abortions with no source information calling me ‘naive’ for not believing you. You do realize that, in order to prove your point you’d have to prove:

          – You’d need to list the hospital(s) the studies of gender bias facilitated abortions were done
          – A credible information source that can guarantee the primary source and that has been certified by the government as to have partook in the study
          – You have an onus on you to prove the studies to prove that the hospitals even disclosed this information as it can be in breach of medical privilege
          – The sample size was large enough to represent the position in China – if you are going to base this on the whole of China, then you should have samples from every hospital in China for completeness as demographic differences may affect the decision making of children
          – That each of the women who got abortions had ‘illegal screening’ done beforehand
          – That those females who got screening decided to rely on the screening to make a deliberate decision to abort rather than other reasons
          – The result of more females being aborted is causative of the intention of families to want male babies rather than
          – Note further that:
          1. Sources that list percentages in relation to sources without absolute numbers are the most misleading as the sample size could be as small as they want to make it.
          2. Surveys are notoriously uncredible

          You’ve said before Crystal that you’re not an academic and more than likely you haven’t done a thesis which requires a level of citation that I’m requesting of you now. Put simply, there is no way that a single survey can be credible enough to show that people in China abort babies based on gender preferences. You are trying to look at intent and causation at the same time. You have to prove they got the screening done (illegally or what not) and it wasn’t merely coincidental and that it was based on official government hospital records that were disclosed and in a large enough sample size to represent the entirety of China.

          Drop the tirade Crystal, and just answer a simple question:

          ‘Do you personally know anyone who has aborted a baby based on gender preferences?’ and ‘are do you think you know anyone from friends and family that would do so?’ I submit that its very unlikely and that it is NOT practiced in our modern urban society. I’m sure not even Feng Jie would do it, or the peasant on the street or even the materialistic girl with an LV bag on her shoulder. You’re trying too hard to draw a link that just isn’t there.

          If China has a large working class, do you really believe that migrant workers are going to go to the effort of finding an illegal screening area, and then say ‘I want to abort because she is a girl’? Most parents are overjoyed at the news of having a baby or downtrodden that they accidentally got pregnant. I doubt a person can be joyous of having a child and then change their mind because its a girl. I submit there are no credible statistics you can show that can academically prove abortions are performed on gender bias and actually prove the causative link. The most you’ll find is some random study that lists one hospital and doesn’t say how they came up with the figures as with most unreliable surveys.

          • Crystal says:

            It is indeed the last time that I labor to answer your comment on this topic (cause there is no sense to talk to someone who does not hear you).

            You always tag my arguments as “logical fallacy”, “not academical” and so on. But you yourself never even tried to confront the most obvious information about extremely high proportion of males at birth (confirmed not in surveys, but in national censuses). Now – national census is the biggest sample you can ever get and it is implicitly confirmed by Chinese government.

            If you really understand something in applied statistics – then can you suggest any reasonable explanation for these rates except sex-selective abortions? [ don’t forget to substantiate your hypothesis with the credible source of information and sample size… ]

            Lastly, this is ridiculous how you all the time ask if I personally know someone who made sex-selective abortion (aren’t you by chance an informant of Public Security Bureau?).

            Since you like to make lengthy analogies yourself – let me do the same.
            Relying on indirect evidence, I assume that there are homosexuals in China. But… I have to admit that I don’t have homosexual friends, or know anyone who admitted to be homosexual in front of me(actually I never interrogated my friends on this topic)
            . Should I conclude that there are no homosexuals in China on the grounds of my personal experience?

            I just wonder how you constantly switch the language from admittedly-academical (talking about statistics) to purely demagogic (asking me for personal examples).

            • GuoBao says:

              I see Chrystal is beginning to realize what most of us already know about Voice. He is an utter waste of time and oxygen. He is just an attention whore so don’t bother replying to him.

              • Voice of China says:

                Hey Gook Bao (I know you love the name)

                I found myself pondering at one stage, why everyone in this forum was so intellectually dull. Then, I realized the fact that not everyone is brought up with similar backgrounds, parenting and intellect.

                Take me for example, I’m privileged enough to have spent 7 years in a competitive university, done various interns at magic circle firms and am now working at one of the largest legal firms in the world.

                My friends are mostly doctors, engineers, architects who I’ve known for the last 10 years. A great handful of them are equally intelligent. Most of them have been overachievers since High School and have consistently been the top in state in awards up to University as the top 1% in the state.

                Do you really think I care what you, an ESL teacher, thinks on a mostly unknown blog?

                The one thing I gotta face is that I spend too much time on this blog. It’s the trap of procrastination and I am guilty of it. I should be preparing some documents for a associate due on Monday and Tuesday, but looking at the work piled up, I’m reluctant to start.
                It’s only another 40 000 words of reading and approximately another 4000 words summary.

                Oh and uh… enjoy your little flame, everyone needs something to feel proud of 😀

                • GuoBao says:

                  I can’t be bothered to read the ramblings of a megalomaniac with Munchausen syndrome, but let me take a guess. It’s the usual “I am SO much better, richer and cleverer than everyone else” mixed with some blatant lies, a stint of delusion and topped off with a tea spoon of “I Understand What Is Going On But I Am Not Capable Of Grasping The Full Implications Of What I Read”. If we look at your post history there might also be a bit of racism and douchebaggery.

                  • Voice of China says:

                    Hey Gook Bao,

                    Are you sure you’re a qualified ESL teacher? You should know the word “Cleverer” doesn’t exist right?

                    If you can’t be bothered reading what I write, why even reply to my comments?

                    And whats this about grasping the full implications of .. uh what?

                    Yes I’m racist, I’m also sexist and intolerant of bad drivers. What is your point?

                    • GuoBao says:

                      It says a lot that you didn’t refute anything but rather turned Grammar Nazi dear Voice of Dumbass.

                    • Voice of China says:

                      I’m starting to lose you Gook Bao. You made a baseless comment and used a word that I expect from Ralph in the Simpsons. Wait, that’s umpossible? 😀

          • Mark says:

            You are very welcome VOC. Glad you have benefited from my writings. I see you now use what you once called big words like “snide”. You are a fast learner indeed!

            • Voice of China says:


              I admire you for trying so hard and since your English isn’t your first language, I’ll cut you some slack. You’re also a girl, and to be honest, I think its cute that you’ve endured in this conversation so far. Try not to take offense, it’s just how I feel when writing to you.

              You always tag my arguments as “logical fallacy”, “not academical” and so on

              As I’ve said, your article is essentially a defacto journal article without causative links, erroneous conclusions, lack of cohesion, inadequate referencing and outdated sources.


              I want to make it easy for you to read when I write this because I know you won’t be responding back. I don’t want you to have a shadow of doubt regarding what I say to you in this comment.

              Issue 1: National consensus of male:female imbalance

              But you yourself never even tried to confront the most obvious information about extremely high proportion of males at birth (confirmed not in surveys, but in national censuses). Now – national census is the biggest sample you can ever get and it is implicitly confirmed by Chinese government.

              1.1 I have confronted it. I accept the unequivocal evidence that the gender imbalance exists.

              1.2 The question I was dealing with was whether, and I quote my above statement

              “I submit there are no credible statistics you can show that can academically prove abortions are performed on gender bias and actually prove the causative link”

              1.3 As per above, we are talking about two different things:

              I am talking about the standard of proof required in surveys dealing with gender related abortions

              You are talking about gender imbalances, of which I accept exist

              1.4 As per the first heading, you are again proving to be either incompetent in written comprehension or you are being disingenuous.

              Issue 2: Can I give a reason why there is a gender imbalance

              If you really understand something in applied statistics – then can you suggest any reasonable explanation for these rates except sex-selective abortions? [ don’t forget to substantiate your hypothesis with the credible source of information and sample size… ]

              2.1 A reasonable explanation could be based on the law of parsimony. In this case the law of probability.

              2.2 A 13% difference 1.19/1.05 is significant but not outside the scope of reasonable probative reasoning. Although there is supposedly a 50% chance of conceiving a male or female, each successive conception is independent of the previous conception. In any given year, gender imbalance may be a result of the most natural reason.

              2.3 I contest the credibility of your numbers as conflicting sources such as the CIA factbook concede that the Republic of Georgia and the PRC are tied for the highest male ratio under 15 of 1.13 and that the natural sex ratio is estimated at 1.1. If that is the case, and we may question the adequacy of the ‘estimates’ of figures and the 2% difference does not seem as significant.

              2.4 There is a great inconsistency in how these figures are measured between countries which may account for the differences in figures. I put your attention to the below journals for your reference:

              2.41 Merli MG, Raftery AE (February 1990). “Are births underreported in rural China?

              2.42 Manipulation of statistical records in response to China’s population policies”. Demography 37 (1): 109–26. doi:10.2307/2648100. PMID 10748993.

              2.43 and Yong Cai, William Lavely (Fall 2003). “China’s Missing Girls: Numerical Estimates and Effects on Population Growth”. The China Review 3 (2): 13–29.

              2.5 The above articles suggest that misreporting, misrecording and under registration of births and deaths, are a possible explanatory factor. Some researchers have attributed the highly masculine sex ratios observed in mainland China in the last 25 years in part to the underreporting of the births of female children after the implementation of the one-child policy.

              2.6 In the case of China, because of deficiencies in the vital statistics registration system studies of sex ratios at birth have relied either on special fertility surveys, whose accuracy depends on whether the respondents fully report the births and survival of both male and female infants, or on the national population census for which both birth rates and death rates are calculated from the household’s reporting of births and deaths that occurred in the 18 months preceding the census.[18] To the extent that household underreporting of births or deaths is sex-selective, both fertility surveys and censuses may inaccurately reflect the actual sex ratios at birth.[19]

              3.0 The above articles will give you a good indication of why possible gender imbalance exists. However I want to bring your attention to the core problem with your entire article.

              3.1 You keep making unsupported causative arguments that lack academic backing

              3.2 If we consider what you propose – that China’s gender imbalance is a result of deliberate abortion of female fetuses simply on the fact there is no other reasonable explanation. Then what does that say about Georgia? What does it say about the Northern Mariana islands with the highest female/male ratio of 0.77 or Qatar with the highest male/female ratio of 2.87? If there is no other reasonable explanation other than abortions, which you are implying. Does this mean that all these countries have gender imbalances caused by deliberate selective gender based abortions?

              3.3 I hope that you see that making such an erroneous conclusion without merit to causation and effect is misleading and inaccurate at best. Lastly understand most importantly that if you want to establish such a link, the onus is on you to ensure that you establish it.

              4.0 Do you know anyone who has had a sex selective abortion

              Lastly, this is ridiculous how you all the time ask if I personally know someone who made sex-selective abortion (aren’t you by chance an informant of Public Security Bureau?).

              4.1 It’s not ridiculous at all when you put it into context. You are making a claim, an opinion at best, that China’s gender imbalance is caused by selective abortions. Scientifically you have never proved this point.

              4.2 It seems to me that you are going against common knowledge with this statement that you can’t prove . To make my comment more coherent, I thought that I would ask you a question on a personal scale to further advance my argument. Perhaps you can’t understand that clearly, so I’ll try and make it clearer for you, when I address your next statement.

              I assume that there are homosexuals in China. But… I have to admit that I don’t have homosexual friends, or know anyone who admitted to be homosexual in front of me. Should I conclude that there are no homosexuals in China on the grounds of my personal experience?

              4.3 This comment can be distinguished fairly easily from my question to you whether you know anyone who has had a selective abortion based on gender.

              4.3.1 Firstly, I did not provide a conclusion, it was an open question so there really is no express analogy or erroneous reasoning

              4.3.2 Secondly, directly relevant to your comment aforementioned, I do not agree with your direct conclusion.

              The conclusion I would draw is ‘due to my lack of exposure to homosexuals, I believe that they are a minority faction in society and do not openly profess their sexual inclinations to the public’

              4.4 The purpose of making my analogy is to question how you can even begin to assume , that abortions that account for a 200 000 000 population imbalance is caused by gender selective abortive practices which are now deemed illegal and inconvenient to access for the majority of people when you don’t know a single person who has done it.

              4.5 Such an question is not irrelevant when its meant to be used as mere analogy. Unlike you, I am not trying to prove a causative link. It’s similar to you saying ‘the Bronx is filled with Japanese people’ (when in fact there is not) and me asking ‘when was the last time you’ve seen a Japanese person in the Bronx?’ What it implies is the Bronx is predominantly populated by Japanese, you would have seen one if you had lived there for decades.


              I just wonder how you constantly switch the language from admittedly-academical (talking about statistics) to purely demagogic (asking me for personal examples).

              I’ve covered all the grounds honey, that’s all.

              I’ll give you an analogy, you want to disallow evidence to court, you prove its irrelevant, it doesn’t satisfy the exclusionary rules, does not satisfy the fairness discretion, the probative value outweighs the prejudicial effect and for completeness, that there are public policy reasons why evidence of that class should not be allowed to be admitted. Think of my demagogic question to be the icing on the cake.

              I admire your persistence, your attempts at satire, and your confidence. I think its cute when girls put in effort to get something done. Just like when a girl thinks she can beat a guy at driving or she can kick a guys ass and loses. Even if the guy gets hit a few times, I’m sure he’d have a huge smile on his face, just like I do now 😀

              • GuoBao says:

                “You’re also a girl, and to be honest, I think its cute that you’ve endured in this conversation so far. Try not to take offense.”

                Oh yeah,, why would she? You’re not only a racist bigot with half a brain but also a sexist neanderthal who’s obviously losing touch with reality.

                • Voice of China says:

                  Ooooo neanderthal… Hahaha.. you’re still as funny as ever National Treasure.

                  I think its cute when girls get pissed off as well, that’s why by nature, men like to tease girls isn’t it? But speaking of half a brain, please have a look at the last comment I left you on a previous post.

                  Idiot. haha

                  • Schamotnik says:

                    We all bow before you Voice of China, oh great scholar. I love how you have to point to the fact how smart and educated you are, in order to prove your argument.
                    I read your answers because there was some truth to them,
                    but then you call Chrystal ‘cute’, which is just sad.
                    I just feel sorry for Chrystal for taking the time to give you an answer.
                    Oh and high five on your friends, maybe you should give them a call sometimes, instead of arguing with people you deem unworthy of your intellect.

                    • Voice of China says:

                      Only 25 000 words left to read on file notes… I’m making progress

                      Oh and its Crystal not Chrystal….

              • S.K. Cheung says:

                To V of C:
                as I’ve said elsewhere, your criticism that Crystal hasn’t “proven” “causation” is a legitimate one. However, as I’ve also intimated, requiring a proof of causation in the realm of epidemiology is an impossible bar to attain. So you’ve rightfully pointed out that she hasn’t achieved the impossible. But I am wondering why you are asking for the impossible.

                Issue 1 is mostly as you say, with the exception that surveys simply can’t offer proof of causation in any realm. They’re retrospective collections of observations at the whim of responder bias that can’t sustain a causal link, so your point is well taken. At the same time, there is no survey that can provide the proof that you seek.

                Your answer to issue 2 seems to be that it’s all play of chance. That’s not impossible. But for the same play of chance to occur, in the same direction of disparity, year over year over year, becomes much less likely to be based on chance alone. If we were talking about one year of disparity, then it’s hardly an issue. But I don’t think that’s what Crystal is talking about.

                Crystal hasn’t compared China to other countries. That other countries may have even higher disparities is neither here nor there as it pertains to China. As for the potential inaccuracy of the data, that’s par for course since we are talking about China. The numbers may or may not reflect the “truth”; but unless you have a better idea, the numbers would seem to be the best available approximation of the “truth”. But if you have a fundamental distrust of CHinese statistics, that’s certainly understandable.

                Issue 3 is similar to above. Other countries may have disparity that a one-child policy does not adequately explain, possibly because those countries may not have one-child policies. You’re saying Crystal’s theory about China doesn’t explain the situation in Qatar, Georgia, etc. That would seem to go without saying, since she’s not talking about those places. You’re criticizing her for NOT doing something that she did NOT set out to do.

                As for Issue 4, would you have suddenly changed your opinion on her entire argument if she told you that she did know someone who obtained an abortion for sex-selection purposes? If you’re accusing her of trying to pass off a “defacto journal article”, then keep to the standards to which journal articles are held. Personal experiences/anecdotes don’t add up to much in the academic scientific realm. On the flip side, if you knew someone who had gone for such an abortion, would that now prove a causative link? Similarly, no.

                The last part is misogynistic. Rather ironic given the topic of Crystal’s piece. Demanding a strong argument is laudable. The other stuff, less so.

                • Voice of China says:

                  However, as I’ve also intimated, requiring a proof of causation in the realm of epidemiology is an impossible bar to attain. So you’ve rightfully pointed out that she hasn’t achieved the impossible. But I am wondering why you are asking for the impossible.

                  She claimed that empirically her data could illustrate a causative
                  link statistically between sex-selective abortion and the cause gender disparity. I told her it was not possible on the grounds above. Ie.. she claimed she could prove the impossible.

                  But for the same play of chance to occur, in the same direction of disparity, year over year over year, becomes much less likely to be based on chance alone. If we were talking about one year of disparity, then it’s hardly an issue.

                  I completely agree – but there is a question unanswered as to whether current ratio provided as to its up to date and whether it reflects the position for the last decade.

                  As for the potential inaccuracy of the data, that’s par for course since we are talking about China. The numbers may or may not reflect the “truth”; but unless you have a better idea, the numbers would seem to be the best available approximation of the “truth”.

                  Yes, I accept your reasoning on face value. However there does appear to be strong evidence as to data manipulation which is a significant probative factor that is unique in the case of China. This is particularly important when we consider these facts form the basis of the conclusions made. Therefore every attempt should be made investigate it’s accuracy and credibility.

                  That would seem to go without saying, since she’s not talking about those places. You’re criticizing her for NOT doing something that she did NOT set out to do.

                  Yes, I understand that this article focuses on China, but it is clearly relevant as it forms part of the res gestae as we are investigating gender inequality qualitatively and using coefficients of other countries as control groups are we not?

                  Most importantly, it was relevant to illustrate the weakness of this sort of argument on deductive reasoning. To this extent, it served the purpose perfectly.

                  Remember, Crystal based her entire argument on the logic of this very form of deductive reasoning. I don’t have the onus of proving that China’s situation can be compared to that of other countries. I merely need to prove that such deductive reasoning is incorrect. To do this, I do not need to limit my argument on China.

                  • S.K. Cheung says:

                    Hi VOC:
                    you’re right, we do mostly agree.

                    I agree that, with what’s been on offer, she hasn’t passed the bar that she set for herself, in my opinion.

                    I also agree that it is important to look at contemporary data. To that end, is this a census year? I think she linked to a paper with some 2005 intercensus data, but that was presented differently and didn’t have the “methods” section.

                    I further agree that we need some independent verification of the data. You had offered some evidence earlier that suggested the data may be skewed for various reasons. I’m not sure how one can retrospectively improve the veracity of previous census data. But moving forward, possibly as immediately as this year, hopefully they will do a better job of census data collection. As you say, conclusions are only as good as the facts upon which they are based, just as research is only as good as the methods by which it is conducted.

                    I’m not familiar with “res gestae”. Is that a legal term? We are using “norms” based on other countries. What I’m suggesting is that one country may deviate from the “norm” for entirely different reasons than another country, even if the deviation itself might look quantitatively similar. For example, Tom Brady and Alex Smith might both throw for 20 TD’s this season. For Smith, that would be a career year; for Brady, that would be a disaster. Quantitatively similar, but with very divergent implications.

                    • Crystal says:


                      China’s male-to-female ratio at birth declined in 2009 for the first time, said Li Bin, director of China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, on June 2 [of 2010]

                      In 2009, China’s male-to-female at birth stood at 119.45, a drop of 1.11 points from 2008, Li said

                    • Crystal says:

                      I wonder – by the way – what interest would China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission have to skew the data 🙂

                    • Voice of China says:

                      S.K Cheung, I’d like to respond to your comment but as it is, we’ll have to postpone our discussion for the time being. I’ve just got to finish off some work on a deadline. It’s been refreshing to actually have meet someone else with some intellectual depth in these forums.

                      Crystal: You haven’t really read the journal articles I’ve posted have you? The data recollection issue predominantly rests in the registration system that indirectly promotes under reporting.

                    • S.K. Cheung says:

                      Hi Crystal,

                      thanks for the link. So if, in 2009, the ratio dropped 1.1 down to 119.5, then in 2008 it was actually 120.6. The disparity was even higher than what you had previously mentioned, which makes the likelihood of it being a statistical chance event even lower.

                      I had suggested earlier that you could make an even better case implicating the one-child policy in the advent of this disparity, if the disparity disappears if/when the policy is canceled (though scientifically it would still fall short of a causal link). But I wonder why the disparity would decrease even while the policy is still in place. As a single year phenomenon, this could more plausibly be a statistical blip. If the ratio continues to fall, then it becomes more of a head-scratcher.

                      VOC’s link suggests that the problem may in part be related to under-reporting of female births. The decree from on high is that the one-child policy is to be enforced. It seems the central heads were less concerned about the optics of gender-ratio disparity. So the one-child policy encouraged people to simply not report female births. Since the data is based on self-reporting, which is susceptible not only to responder bias, but in this case, suggestions of outright lying, the veracity of the data cannot necessarily be assumed. It’s possible that there were far more female births than is reported, which would decrease the size of the disparity. However, the link I read didn’t really try to quantify any such effect, in part because it assessed only a partial sampling of China and thus would not be very generalizable in any case.

                      The irony is that the policy encourages shenanigans which make it harder to properly scientifically/statistically assess the effects of that very policy. We want to evaluate the policy on the basis of good data, yet the policy makes it that much harder to collect good data. Quite the conundrum.

  6. Badboy says:

    High rates of male births in China…maybe it’s the melamine in the milk!,,

    Or the steroids in the chicken!!!!

    Or the road grime in the cooking oil!!!

  7. o.m.g. says:

    I support the 1-child policy!
    Although imo 0-child policy would be even better. 20-30 years later many of the worlds problem would be solved.

  8. Basic Economics says:

    Why no criticize India where 2.1 million babies die a year?

    In the past 30 years India has killed 63 million babies!

    UN estimates that 2.1 million Indian children die before reaching the age of 5 every year – four every minute – mostly from preventable illnesses such as diarrhea, typhoid, malaria, measles and pneumonia. Every day, 1,000 Indian children die because of diarrhea alone. According to the 1991 census of India, it has around 150 million children, constituting 17.5% of India’s population, who are below the age of 6 years.

    One wonders what the number will be if you factor in adults, how high wil it be 300 million? Thats 10 million dead indians per year!

  9. S.K. Cheung says:

    Nice article. Some thought provoking issues.

    The disparity in the actual gender ratio of live births vs the predicted ratio is striking. I agree with others that this disparity, in and of itself, doesn’t “prove” a causal relationship with sex-selective abortions. This is but one possible explanation. On the other hand, sex-selective abortions seems like a strongly plausible contributing factor; I would be interested to hear of other possible explanations. And I think demands for “government-certified” “hospital-data”, though academically wonderful, are of limited real-world value since we’re talking about China, and the Chinese government. To “prove” a causal relationship between the one-child policy and live birth gender ratio disparity is also difficult. At best, all one can show is the ratio before and after implementation of said policy as a demonstration of correlation. Correlation is certainly not as compelling as causation. But it should be noted that smoking hasn’t been shown to be causally related to cancer, despite a level of correlation that is adequately compelling to most observers. Sometimes, if ideal data isn’t available, you have to take the best of what’s out there. Likewise, if/when the one-child policy is scrapped, it will be equally interesting to observe what happens to the live-birth gender ratio disparity. If it will one day be shown that the disparity widened with the introduction of the policy, then narrowed again with the scrapping of the policy, this would still not prove causation, but the correlation would likely be adequately compelling to all but the most avid deniers.

    I also agree that the more interesting, and perhaps disturbing, data relates to the infant mortality trends. It seems that the improvements in GDP, public health, and medical science in China from 1982 to 2000 reduced infant mortality substantially in males (in urban more than in rural settings). But in females, there was much less overall benefit, and was in fact detrimental in rural areas. Does that prove gender-based infanticide? No. Is gender-based infanticide a plausible explanation? I’d think so. Are there other plausible explanations? I would think so, and would be interested to hear of some of them.

    I think questions of whether you know of anyone who has submitted to a sex-selective abortion (or worse yet, committed gender-based infanticide) are not very probative. Even if you did know of such a person/persons, it adds negligibly to a population-based argument. An n of 1 surely adds little heft to a discussion about causation or correlation.

    • Crystal says:

      Hi, Cheung.

      Your comments are a good example of constructive criticism.
      I will try to get hands on some of available statistics in line with your questions (and publish them here).

    • Crystal says:

      Here I will quote the “Results” section from the paper published in “British Medical Journal” by 2 Chinese professors from Zhejiang Normal University and professor from University College of London.

      [ I mention the source to show – 1) the credibility of resource and their implied authority in statistical analysis 2) objectivity – research was written and reviewed by peers from China and UK ]

      Results 4 764 512 people under the age of 20 were included. Overall sex ratios were high across all age groups and residency types, but they were highest in the 1-4 years age group, peaking at 126 (95% confidence interval 125 to 126) in rural areas. Six provinces had sex ratios of over 130 in the 1-4 age group. The sex ratio at birth was close to normal for first order births but rose steeply for second order births, especially in rural areas, where it reached 146 (143 to 149). Nine provinces had ratios of over 160 for second order births. The highest sex ratios were seen in provinces that allow rural inhabitants a second child if the first is a girl. Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males. One particular variant of the one child policy, which allows a second child if the first is a girl, leads to the highest sex ratios.

      The most important finding here that I want to repeat is the following:
      The sex ratio at birth was close to normal for first order births but rose steeply for second order births, especially in rural areas, where it reached 146 (143 to 149).

      Taking in account that gender of second child is independent from gender of first child – the provided figures beat any other logical explanations of such discrepancy excpet sex-selective abortions.

      • Schamotnik says:

        Very interesting stuff. Despite some shortcomings that of your article that other people already pointed out, it is thought-provoking, which I believe was your goal.
        Maybe you should include some of the things that you wrote in the comment section in your article, I think it would improve the article quite a bit.
        Also you should add a comment that this is a blog and not an academic journal for your new friend voc.
        On another note It would be interesting to know how many inhabitants China would have today without the one-child policy.

      • S.K. Cheung says:

        Hi Crystal,
        you’ve quoted from Lancet and BMJ. As peer-reviewed medical journals go, those already carry plenty of heft. As others have noted, this is not a scientific blog. And at least here, you’re not offering your work for consideration for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal. So some of the expectations foisted upon you are out of place, in my opinion, on this forum. In fact, the papers you’ve quoted from the Lancet and BMJ show that even those large, well-respected, peer-reviewed medical journals do not set the bar for publication on this type of topic at the level of providing proof of causation. The only way to scientifically prove causation is with a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind trial. This topic, as with any topic on epidemiology, does not lend itself to that type of investigation. So while the smoking gun of causation is always nice to find, this topic is not the appropriate arena in which to look for one.

        It’s unfortunate your link is only to the abstract. I find that the “methods” section is really where it’s at when it comes to reviewing such papers. The results are only as robust as the methods with which they were collected.

        I agree the gender disparity is striking. I particularly agree that the disparity of second order births is well beyond any conceivable play of chance (noting that it is scientifically accepted that an alpha error of <5% allows one to scientifically reject the null hypothesis ie to reject that it is just a play of chance). As you suggest, especially in rural areas, if parents made a "mistake" with the first born, they are apparently unlikely to make the same mistake twice.

        I would add, however, that my interpretation of the results goes against this simply as being on the basis of sex-selective abortions. If the cohort being emphasized here is from age 1-4, this not only incorporates gender disparity before birth, but also accounts for gender disparity after birth, be it from "infanticide" or some other mechanism. Again, it doesn't "prove" sex-selective abortion as the causal mechanism. It doesn't even "prove" some combo of sex-selective abortion + gender-based infanticide as the causative mechanism. But scientifically/statistically speaking, it is most certainly not play of chance. To me, the mechanisms you've offered are very plausible. Naturally, other "plausible" mechanisms for this finding may exist…but they've yet to be offered by others on this thread.

        • Voice of China says:

          Mr Cheung,

          I expect to be disappointed when reading comments on this site. However I’ve been pleasantly surprised every time I read yours.

          Your wording and style is fairly precise and avoids an easy counter argument. In other words, you make good points.

          2.4.1-2.4.3 of my last post does explain why the figures are potentially misleading; furthermore any ‘result’s from academics who lend from those sources are prone to the same mistake.

          Indeed, not having a methods section does make it difficult to make a closer assessment on the issue.

          Information referred to in 2.3 does in fact minimize the ‘estimate’ of gender imbalance, so much so that it would be within a normal probative distribution.

          My point in 3.1 explains why gender selected abortions cannot possibly be the dominant reason for gender imbalance. Otherwise, countries like Qatar must abort females like crazy and Georgia must also love to abort baby girls for fun.

          Yes, this isn’t a medical journal article and does not profess to be one. However, since it has the effect of informing people of the implied truth of the research, I thought I’d point out the fallacies of making erroneous conclusions based on unproved assertions.


          The author essentially did the quick exercise of:

          1. reading a study about monkeys with a low birth rate killing their offspring
          2. reading that China has a gender imbalance
          3. knowing that gender screening exists
          4. reading that a one child policy does have a correlation with gender imbalance without reading exactly how much
          5. Getting a hold of outdated statistics based on results in 2000

          6. Then making an erroneous conclusion that China’s gender imbalance is a direct result of gender screening, and sex selective abortions that occur because of the one child policy and oh and this is the survey showing the gender imbalance (without proving it was caused by sex selective abortions)

          You could do exactly the same with Georgia. Hell, with North Mariana islands you could replace the study of primates with the hunting ability of tigers, the fact that there used to be tribes there and the ability of sex screening to conclude that the imbalance there is caused by sex selective abortions based on hunting ability but again there would be no causal link there.

          The point to get across is that gender selective abortions is in no way as large as the author would like us to believe. I would argue that nobody that I’ve ever MET has even considered doing such a thing. For something which you claim results in a 200 million difference in the norm, I thought I’d know at least one person; I don’t.

          Mr Cheung,

          you and I both come up with the same conclusion, but you qualify it in a nicer way that:

          no information on this blog proves any of the assertions of the author and any implication that sex selective abortions account for gender disbalance

          both of us found it difficult to identify an express plausible mechanism

          but the difference is that the author said that ‘I was in denial’ whereas you are yet to receive the same treatment. Maybe because you’ve been more subtle 🙂 I do feel that misrecording of birth does have something to do with it, as with inaccurate figures assumed for the normal world gender disparity rate and the figure used for China. The actual difference may be as little as 3% which would fit within the realms of normal probability theory.

          • Voice of China says:

            In fact the whole latter argument by the author is based on a play on deductive reasoning that doesn’t even work.

            It’s essentially saying I have a survey that shows:

            1. Cars in Qatar are cheap
            2. There are more male drivers in Qatar than females
            3. There is a high correlation of car accidents when driving at certain speeds
            4. Qatar has the highest quota of fast cars per capita
            5. People driving fast cars are more likely to speed
            6. There is a correlation between driving at certain speeds and fatal accidents
            7. Mothers don’t like their children to die in fatal accidents
            8. Gender screening is available in Qatar

            Conclusion: mothers don’t want their children to die in accidents so choose to have daughters, through the use of sex selective abortions. Surveys show that Qatar has the highest female/male ratio that cannot be explained by mere probability. The only rational reason left sex selective abortions.

            How does that sound? Equally confounding? LOL

            • Voice of China says:

              Oops, misread ratio for Qatar but you get the point..

              Try Sierra Leone, would you base an argument that because no other reason exists for such a gender disbalance that there is no other conclusion than sex selective abortion based on say ‘xxx’?

            • S.K. Cheung says:

              That’s a good one.

              But for it to work the way you would like, you also need to stipulate that:
              9. fast cars in Qatar are more likely to be driven by male drivers
              10. fatalities in motor vehicle accidents are primarily limited to driver deaths, and not that of passengers/pedestrians/bystanders.

              On the one hand, I catch your drift. On the other hand, Crystal’s chain of suppositions is quite a bit shorter.

              • Voice of China says:

                Hahaha… very sharp analysis 😉 You are right that points 9, and 10 would be needed for actual completeness.

                Nevertheless, given the shortcuts Crystal took, this is a suitable comparison.

                In the short time it took me to imagine and write that comment, I suppose the main point to get across is that deductive reasoning shouldn’t be abused as a sole method of explaining an erroneous conclusion as it can often make no logical sense.

          • S.K. Cheung says:

            To VOC:
            hey, why do you assume I’m a “Mr”? 🙂

            I readily agree with you that nothing here proves causation. But for a topic like this one, I don’t think there is a scientifically valid way to prove causation. So in the absence of the ideal, we’re left with weaker forms of evidence, recognizing that those are not conclusive but can certainly be hypothesis generating. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to test any such resultant hypotheses either. From a purely scientific standpoint, this is unsatisfying. C’est la vie.

            However, for what’s it’s worth, the correlation is compelling. As I suggested earlier, it would become even more compelling if the gender-disparity goes away if/when the one-child policy goes away. That’s probably as good a test of the hypothesis as there ever will be.

            Based on my interpretation of the data on offer, I can’t conclude how pervasive sex-selective abortion is (or gender-based infanticide either). At the same time, I can’t conceive (pun intended) of a better explanation for these observations. As I explained elsewhere, I think “play of chance”, though not impossible, is rather unlikely.

            You’re obviously a learned guy. I’ve been on blogs where, when people can’t make good counter arguments, they simply resort to making bad ones. But I find that civil discourse, though perhaps less exciting than the alternative, is far more rewarding.

  10. Devin says:

    I don’t got patience to read above.. My speed of reading is such a snail.. But the more I fear the slower speed I got .. Who can help me with that ? Or give me some recipes maybe?

  11. elenore says:

    It’s sick to think of people killing their babies/toddler just because they are girls,it hard to understand.Abortion is a whole other U.S. it’s a difficult subject.I think it should be legal in 1st trimester,unsure about 2nd,and think it should be banned in 3rd except health reasons.But all abortions could be limited if Women were allowed to buy Birth Control over the counter.In fact I would say our daughter is slightly more spoiled than our Boys and not just because she’s the youngest.Why do Asians dislike having girls?

  12. elenore says:

    I don’t think it’s the One Child Policy but the dislike of girls in your Society.If westerners adopted one child policy I don’t think they would be killing many babies/toddlers for being the wrong sex.

    • Crystal says:

      You are right. I think it’s combination of preference for sons AND one child policy.

      Regarding the hypothesis of what could happen if one child policy would be implemented in U.S. – I can try to make a guess based on Hrdy’s theory.

      If some specific mother would have a personal preference for daughter (and instead have son born) or on the contrary have preference for son (and instead have daughter born) – then there would be a high chance of infanticide.

      However, with the lack of general preference for sons or daughters – these infanticides would not lead to gender imbalance on the national level.

      By the way, the last note worth of mention: among developed countries – U.S. today is a clear leader for the proportion of infanticides as the cause of infant mortalities…

      • S.K. Cheung says:

        It probably goes without saying that, for a one-child policy to be correlated to gender disparity, there may well be a gender preference. As the Cantonese saying goes, “weigh heavily on boys, and lightly on girls” (ok, the literal translation leaves something to be desired). If there was no gender preference (and methods used to permit realization of that preference), a one-child policy should not result in any gender disparity beyond the accepted population norm of 1.05 to 1. Being restricted to one child doesn’t statistically change the population likelihood of conceiving a boy or a girl. However, that restriction can certainly become a factor if there is a preferential disparity between boys and girls. Could other factors be in play? Certainly. But I’ve yet to hear any.

  13. WI says:

    What? So you are saying one-child policy is bad, just because it makes it more likely for some back-water villager to commit crime?

    Well, you can probably make the same case about freely giving sterile needles to drug addicts in order to prevent them from sharing needles. It sure makes it more convenient for them to do drugs.

    • S.K. Cheung says:

      I think the discussion is about whether this policy plays a role in the observed gender disparity. That depends on how one interprets and postulates upon the available data. “good” or “bad” is a value judgment, is in the eye of the beholder, and is a separate discussion altogether.

      Besides, as with most policies, it seems futile to apply a dichotomy of “good” or “bad”. Realistically, there is probably a bit of each, most of the time. As Schamotnik suggests above, where would China be today without said policy? But at the very least, a policy that compels certain people to commit crime is probably not totally “good”.

      Similarly, needle exchange programs and the “harm reduction” philosophy is also probably not all good. But if addicts are going to use drugs whether they have clean or dirty needles, but having clean ones means less chance of spreading and contracting communicable diseases, then they’re probably not all bad either.

      • WI says:

        Yeah, I don’t at all disagree with what you said. Nothing is all good or bad, as obvious.

        However I don’t like how the whole western public discourse of this policy is about all its bad side effects. They don’t even attempt to be balanced in their evaluation. Of course, in their politics, they always have an opposition, to make things balanced. However in this case, such a counter-weight does not exist, as everyone that have a possible interest of being an opposition either is on the other side of the globe or exist in too small a number.

        • Theodore says:

          Well, well, well mate. If you happen to see the site name before posting, you would know that this is a China-bashing website. Showing the good side about China is not in their interest, as a majority of people coming here would prefer articles that pleased their superiority complex rather than attack their long-believed judgement of China.

          • Voice of China says:

            Actually to distinguish that comment, only the comments are generally China-bashing. The content of the articles are generally neutral in that they are word by word translations. Sure there may be bias in article selection but that would be more to the point of eliciting more traffic.

            What makes this article slightly troubling is that it’s not a translation or an academic journal. Instead, its a bias opinion with no real substance except for deductive reasoning AND its written by a Chinese girl with a white boyfriend. So I’d say its one of those exceptions when it comes to Chinahush content.

            • Theodore says:

              China Hush, Hush insinuate China to shut up, therefore the name itself is already a declaration to mock China. Also, the articles translated is always selectively chosen to contain negativity of China. If this is not a China-bashing website, then I don’t know what is.

              • Voice of China says:

                Chinasmack is 😀

                • Theodore says:

                  Actually, personally, I felt, Chinasmack is more neutral than Chinahush, they post what is hot in China forums. It is their comment sections, that is a nest for China-bashing, the articles itself is not too bad.

              • Key says:

                Let me make it clear, this is not a China-Bashing site. However, anyone is entitled of his/her own judgment, as the same story may have thousands of interpretations. After all, people only see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. Just like the name “Hush”, I can assure you the meaning (my meaning) is not to insinuate China to shut up; it is quite the opposite actually. But I just simply can’t control everyone’s imaginations.

                As for this article, it is written and submitted by one of my contributors. Under the category of opinion, you don’t have to agree with her. But the one child policy and infanticide are current issues that exist in China. The intention is simply bringing out the issues for us to talk about.
                As for the content of ChinaHush, I am not going to compare with other sites… but we are doing our best to abide by our guide also stated in the about section

                Most of the posts are selected from Chinese websites, blogs and BBS sites.
                Some of the selected stories are current news items; some are shocking, sad or inspiring; and others cover controversial issues or show cultural differences. A few are just funny and purely for entertainment and amusement….
                …learn more about Chinese cultures, lifestyles, trends, what Chinese people are talking about, and the latest memes in China…

                The truth is Chinese people themselves are quite as you call it “China-bashing”, they are not afraid of bring out current issues that exist in China into the forums and discussion boards. And believe or not usually the scandals that you view as “China-bashing” are what are hot on China’s Internet. And because Chinese netizens escalate these topics on the Internet, things actually change for the better; justice gets carried out sometimes; and whoever really want to see a better China tomorrow and actually can do something about it needs to see these topics, they are from the real voices of Chinese people…

                Like the Chinese netizens, our intention is not to bash China, but to tell the truth; to provide free flow of information on the Internet; to entertain; to provide knowledge; to encourage communication…
                Theodore, I feel sorry that you perceive us as China Bashing. Please help us to change this incorrect view some other people like you might also have. Actually I am dying to post some “pro-china articles”. Please submit your “neutral” or “Pro-China” articles to me; I will be sure to post them so we can have a better balance. When you write them, keep in mind our direction in guiding our posts is “Interesting and truthful”. Looking forward to see your contribution!

                • Theodore says:

                  Fair enough. My apology, I didn’t know the history of this site and Chinasmack.

                  But, a little self-reflection is nice. One can not help but think that this is a bashing site. If someone were to stumble this site, the first thing that comes to mind is the website name and you have to admit it is not the best name in reflecting your values. Also, it is a little mind-boggling to see that there are way more negative articles than the other. So this site is imbalance, I think we can justify.

                  About posting article, I don’t know if my writing skills can be qualified, but sure, I’ll try to post you some interesting things about China. But, my sources may not be from the Chinese, as I am still learning mandarin, so it’ll be pretty hard for me.

              • ugh says:

                no, chinahush is not telling china to hush. chinahush started off as a copycat of chinasmack. similar name, similar content, similar about text, similar layout. “hush” is just a play on “smack”. after people called key out for it, he added that his “inspiration” was chinasmack plus other websites to his about text. you can’t tell as much now because chinasmack’s design has changed and they changed their about text to boast about their traffic and shit but anyone who started reading both websites from the early days knows this. in fact there are now copycats of chinahush too. also china hush isn’t a china bashing website anymore than chinasmack is. its just the people who comment. both websites have neutral articles if you really look at them. the articles where there aren’t easy things to bash china for just don’t get as much attention from the china bashers.

                • sascha says:

                  Truth. I would like to get back to Cheung and VOC’s brainy snugglefest for a second:

                  I think if Crystal takes a step back and checks out her story, she’ll realize that she dropped a bunch of things all at once based on a feeling that is “probably” correct eg that there might be decisions made by some families to abort based on gender.

                  But if we are going to leave the realm of logic behind (unless you want to get into the links posted by VOC above, ty) then i would like to submit that:

                  I have a feeling that Chinese parents and especially their grandparents love their children so much that they would rather hide them than kill them. Or perhaps “trade” them away for a while, hidden out of sight (Here come the Census man!). Based on my experiences (as valid here as any other argument) with Chinese parents/grandparents, I find hiding and trading just as plausible as killing, much more so actually.

                  The truth is, most probably, much more complex than either Crystal’s feelings or VOC/Cheung’s thoughts.

                  And the truth behind Hush, most probably, is more complex as well (regarding pro- vs. anti-China).

                  One thing i can verify: Smack came first.

                  • Crystal says:

                    Thanks, Sascha.

                    That was a good synthesis to gap between thesis (Crystal) and antithesis (VoC/Cheung).

                    I will throw in another “feeling”-based argument.

                    It’s indeed hard to believe that mothers/parents are able to kill their own kids. One of the interesting Hrdy’s conclusions was that there is no such innate thing as maternal instinct. She even supposed that there exists the window (first 72 hours after giving birth) before mother-infant attachment develops.

                    This time window she saw as the opportunity given by nature to females to take the rational decision regarding the feasiblity of continuing nurturing the infant vs. infanticide (before her judgment would be influenced by emotional bond).

                    In this reference it’s interesting to note the diagnoses of post-partum depression and sudden infant death syndrome which emerged in medicine relatively recently and actually serve to “protect” mothers from being accused of infanticide.

                    One of Hrdy’s colleagues after making in-depth interviews with mothers who lost their children to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) came to conclusion that no less than 75% of SIDS cases are suspicious of being homicides.

                    Public opinion and law-enforcing institutions, however, find recognition of maternal cruelty too damaging to their basic beliefs and in most cases there is no conviction even in very clear cases. I could actually refer to it as an opposite case of skewing the facts in favor of hiding the awful truth.

                    Together with that I should note that actual infanticides occur mostly during first days/weeks after infant’ birth. Later on they mostly take form of neglect and below-par treatment.
                    And the statistics of females higher mortality which was the main point of my whole post is hard to disqualify even for people who shut their eyes.

                    It’s a pity that the whole critics of my post was switched to the subject of sex-selective abortions (when there is general consensus in authoritative scientific circles of them being the main cause of sex ratio imbalance).

                    Moreover, I am a little bit disappointed that nobody saw the obvious statistical flaws made by my opponent, which lead me to thinking that his knowledge of statistics is limited to acquaintance with terms but not the matter itself.
                    I, however, must recognize his good demagogic skills using which he successfully attacks my way of presentation without being able to seriously challenge the facts.

                    It’s especially funny for me how VoC tries to explain me in length the terms of causation and correlation with rather awkward examples, while he himself has obvious “holes” in his knowledge of the subject.

                    • S.K. Cheung says:

                      To Crystal:
                      I would have thought that the public’s desire to deter infanticide would easily outweigh their wish to see no evil and merely pretend it never happened. However, a woman committing infanticide on the basis of post-partum depression is a much different animal than one who commits it to simply stay on side of the one-child policy. Though I suppose you could also argue that the specter of the one-child policy drives people to do irrational things. But whereas post-partum depression may well be a legitimate defense for infanticide, it is doubtful that the one-child policy would be. Of course, for anyone apart from the infant’s mother, post-partum depression is off the table in any event.

                      I agree that your table in the OP, as well as the BMJ article, speak much more strongly to female mortality in early childhood years which is unrelated to any questions about prenatal sex-selection. It is unfortunate that this point has been de-emphasized. Of course, the motivation for both the disparity at birth and the disparity in childhood may be the same. But whereas the observation itself is clear, the reasons for such disparity remain speculative. I don’t think it’s conclusively or exclusively infanticide; Sascha has offered an alternative, for instance.

                      Ultimately, I think it is preferable to acknowledge uncertainty when it is present, just as it is reasonable to acknowledge the balance of likelihoods in the absence of more definitive data. So we can’t prove the wide-spread occurrence of sex-selective abortions nor the prevalence of female infanticide. But something is driving the gender disparity, and those two “interventions” are as likely as any other to be contributory. THe next question, to me, is what can be done about it to reverse the disparity, and to minimize the incidence of some of those “interventions”.
                      And as others have pointed out, the one-child policy is probably not “all bad”. So how do you preserve the “good” while eliminating the “bad”?

                  • Voice of China says:

                    Leaving lengthy comments aside, the essence of the author’s comment is:

                    I believe that the main reason for gender imbalance in China is because of the availability of illegal screening exists and abortion is legal

                    Her reason: Because none of y’all can think of a better reason

                    Well that would work if a = b + c and we know its not c, so it must be b. Here there are more variables at work and such deductive reasoning is invalid. Going into causation was a bit overkill but more than adequate to prove the fallacy of such reasoning.

                  • S.K. Cheung says:

                    To Sascha:
                    that’s a good point. There are potential explanations beyond “chance” and “infanticide”. The nature of the data doesn’t seem to allow definitive conclusions to be drawn. But it’s refreshing to hear someone offer up alternate possibilities. If I had to wager, my money would go to “all of the above” anyhow. If anything, a disparity this size is unlikely to have occurred by one mechanism alone.

        • S.K. Cheung says:

          I agree that the discourse may not be balanced. For one thing, the benefits of the policy are less tangible. Who knows how China would have turned out if she was burdened with hundreds of millions more people than she has today. Tough to quantify the benefits of the policy to date. The cost of the policy is more tangible: gender disparity, and some of the possible causes thereof, which people may find distasteful. Also, probably not much fun if you’re one of the 119 guys trying to marry one of the 100 girls. To that end, it would be interesting to find out the opinion of PRC residents regarding the policy. After all, they’re the ones living with the good and the bad of it.

          However, you can’t arbitrarily mandate the size of the two “camps”. If far more people speak out against the policy than speak in support of the policy, well, that’s how people feel. The goal shouldn’t be to simply insist/demand that more people support the policy; the goal should be to improve the policy so that it naturally attracts the support of more people.

          • WI says:

            However there exist policy that must be made for the bigger picture and long term effect that are not immediately realizable for people who do not devote their whole time analyzing/weighting the pros and cons. For example, environmental policy/global warming. Not everyone are long sighted, and it’s an extremely difficult task to try to convince everyone of a policy, especially if the benefits are relatively subtle to see.

            They can follow their own policy in the west. However, the argument above should be convincing enough to see that maybe not all policies can be wholly “grass-root”. Some beneficial policies must be carried out top down.

            For example, you said the cost is more tangible. This is exactly the issue. The cost being more tangible and obvious, doesn’t mean that, when weighting them, they are more severe than the benefits. However, the public will be more biased on the more visible issues.

            • S.K. Cheung says:

              Long term policies may have long term benefits that are not easily appreciated with snapshot analysis. That goes without saying. Not everyone may appreciate all the benefits that are to be reaped in the long term. However, in saying so, you assume that others would agree with you as to the existence, and desirability, of those benefits, as well as the timeline required to reap them, if only they “understood” as well as you. On what basis would you make such an assumption? Is it possible that you might be wrong?

              This isn’t an issue about whether “one-child” is a top-down policy. Almost every policy in China is top-down, and that might be an underestimate. At issue is whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

              Ultimately, the people most affected by this policy is CHinese people. To me, their evaluation of the policy, and their determination as to whether this policy’s benefits outweigh the costs, are what matters most. And if, at the end of the day, the majority of opinion falls on the side with which you happen to disagree, well, that’s the way it is. That, of course, is the problem when you let people have their own opinion: those opinions may not always trend in the direction you prefer. It seems the CCP is acutely aware of this problem, which might explain why they don’t bother asking to begin with.

              • Crystal says:

                Unfortunately, towards some very important topics people can be either indifferent or tend to sincerely agree with the official top-dwon policy (without regard to its objective drawbacks).

                Take for example the infamous war against sparrows initiated in China in 1958-1960. Most people didn’t have any special opinion on this topic and many enthusiastically followed the directives to kill sparrows. This campaign became one of the contributing factors to the Great Chinese Famine taking 30 million lives.

                Later – after the National Academy of Sciences discovered that sparrows eat more insects than grains – Mao ordered to stop the campaign.

                I think that this case demonstrates that some policies with potentially serious consequences must be very carefully weighed and analyzed before being implemented.

                Returning to the analogy of war against sparrows, I tend to believe that China very easily turns its own people into the objects of ecological and social experiments.

                And this is the reason why I titled my post “China as a big lab for infanticide studies”.

                It’s very sad – if in addition to China being already featured in textbooks of ecology demonstrating to students the fatal consequences of bad policies, will in the future for other reasons feature in textbooks of sociology (or socio-biology).

  14. AlleyCat says:

    Interesting article. Actually I was sort of startled at first, when I read about the apparent liaison between Stanley Milgram and Sarah Hrdy: I never expected to catch them in the same bed, sharing their somewhat far-stretched academic sheets. What a surprise! Hence any correlation between the holocaust and a one-child policy didn’t strike me as obvious before, but in spite of my inferior linguistic skills I think I got the point anyway.
    I just wish there was a button that could be used to hide some of the long-winded and tedious comments, so that I wouldn’t have to scroll down so much in order to ignore them. Some of the obvious megalomanic stalkers here need so many superfluous words to make so very little sense. It’s getting a bit tiresome, having to constantly manoeuvre around them. Still I assume a fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

    • Crystal says:

      AlleyCat, what a pity that I’ve noticed your comment only now.
      Your last sentence pretty much summarizes the demagogy in this thread… and I feel somewhat ashamed to take part in it.

  15. Crystal says:

    S.K. Cheung, I have 2 questions specifically for you – since you understand in epidemiology/statistics.

    In previous comments one “statistician” wrote here the following statement:
    A 13% difference 1.19/1.05 is significant but not outside the scope of reasonable probative reasoning. Although there is supposedly a 50% chance of conceiving a male or female, each successive conception is independent of the previous conception…

    1) Does there at all exist a meaningful statistical coefficient that can be derived from directly dividing the actual proportion by predicted proportion (without taking in account the size of sample) ? I always thought that statistics use a little bit more sophisticated coefficients than those of primary school arithmetics.

    2) After taking in account that the sample is taken from China’s national census (!) for tens of millions of births – doesn’t it mean that even lower differences – like 1.10/1.05 would be significant and efficiently out of “by-chance” scope?

    • S.K. Cheung says:

      Well, let me start by saying that I’m not a trained statistician either. So please bear that in mind wrt what follows here.

      That 1.19/1.05=1.13 is a numerical truth, and is a numerical ratio of the actual and predicted gender ratios. I am not aware of a statistical term to describe such a representation. I’m also not sure if this representation qualifies as “statistical analysis”.

      One thing I can say is that the suggestion of “a 13% difference … is significant” is not referring to statistical significance. For the latter, you require the determination of p values between 2 data sets to assess whether they are “statistically significantly different” or not. To do this, in this scenario, I can think of 2 ways: 1. take the data whereby the population “expected” ratio of 1.05 was determined, as well as the data by which the Chinese “observed” ratio of 1.19 was found, and plug them into any number of statistical tests, such as Chi-square among many others, in order to determine the p-value. Accepted norm is that a p value <0.05 is considered statistically significant; alternatively, 2. both 1.19 and 1.05 are "point estimates" from those respective data sets. FInd the 95% confidence intervals of those point estimates, and see if those confidence intervals overlap. If they do NOT overlap, then those point estimates are statistically significantly different from one another.

      However, as the saying goes, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. So while there is statistical significance, there is also the more nebulous, but nonetheless important distinction of "real-world" significance. I suspect the latter is what is being referred to as "reasonable probative reasoning". So is a ratio of 1.19 and 1.05 "really" that much different? Well, as the timeless example goes, every time you flip a coin you have a 50% chance of it coming up heads. If you flip a coin 10 times, and on the first 9 times you get heads, the chance of you getting heads on the 10th flip is still 50%; but the chance of getting 10 heads in a row is 1/1024 (ie 1/2 to 10th power). In this case, a 1.19 ratio translates to 54 male births for every 46 female births. To make it easy to understand, for every 100 live births, you would need to get 8 boys in a row to start, before reverting to 50:50 the rest of the way. The chance of getting 8 boys in a row is 1/2 to the 8th power ie 1/256, or 0.4%. So to my mind, that's the likelihood that the observed ratio is due to "chance". And that's just for 100 live births. To consistently hit that 0.4% chance over millions of live births puts you almost into lottery-winning territory.

      Now, to be fair, the expected ratio of 1.05 implies 51 boys and 49 girls per 100 live births. So for whatever reason, 2 boys in a row before it becomes a coin-flip is just how humans like to roll. Taking that into consideration, you'd be needing 6 boys in a row above and beyond human norms prior to reverting to 50:50, for each 100 births. That takes the ratio down to 1/2 to 6th power, 1/64, or 1.6%. But again, the odds of hitting that same 1.6% in 100 births over millions of births becomes pretty long pretty quick (to do the math, just treat each 100 births as a single coin flip). Even in 1 million births, there would be 10,000 such "coin flips". 0.016 to the 10,000th power gets pretty small. That number would be the one for which each of us can determine "real-world" significance.

      Hope that adequately explains my take on your questions. I would be interested in hearing what an actual statistician has to say on the matter.

      • Crystal says:

        Thank for your answer.

        Anyway, if I am wrong with the assumption that “sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males in China”, at least I can comfort myself to be in the same boat with almost all researchers who took interest in this subject 🙂

  16. john digmeme says:

    I think we should all just chill and thank China for it’s ultrasound accuracy and one-child policy. At the very least, 35 million surplus males by 2020 is going to be good for gay rights in China, as it will surely be the second gayest country on earth behind India.

    • S.K. Cheung says:

      That’s a good one. But unless you subscribe to the thinking that homosexuality is something that is “learned”, just because there are a bunch of unmarried guys around doesn’t mean one guy will want to get it on with another.

      • Crystal says:

        Expression of homosexual behavior definitely can increase when there is a lack of heterosexual partners – so there is an element of learned behavior (at least to some extent).
        What, however, is more likely to change is society’s attitude towards homosexuality: more acceptance and tolerance.
        In this case maybe many Chinese men who are actually homosexuals but under social pressure choose to marry Chinese girls would feel free to be themselves.

        • S.K. Cheung says:

          Wait a sec, Crystal.

          Among men (and for that matter, women) who are homosexual to begin with, various external factors may impact upon the rate, or the likelihood, of their “expressing” their homosexuality. So yes, if more Chinese homosexual men “come out”, maybe this will encourage or embolden even more Chinese homosexual men still to “come out” themselves.

          However, this is completely separate from men who aren’t homosexual to begin with, “learning” to become homosexual just because there aren’t enough women around. That doesn’t exist to any extent unless you subscribe to The World According To Sarah Palin.

          • Crystal says:

            This is the reason why I made the word “expression” bold.
            I distinguish between “homosexual behavior” and “homosexuality”.

            And I do believe that homosexual behavior – just like any behavior can be learned – I claim it without subscribing to Sarah Palin’s views (because I don’t know them 🙂 ).

            My take on this issue is simple – feel free to dissect it.

            Under social pressure, some homosexuals behave as heterosexuals and due to this fact expression of homosexual behavior is below 10%. So – I can claim that in spite of their own wishes and without actually enjoying it, they learn to be heterosexuals, right?

            Then what makes you think that the opposite is impossible, and in certain circumstances the expression of homosexual behavior can’t be above 10%?
            Unless you subscribe to thinking that homosexual behavior goes against the human nature 😉

            • S.K. Cheung says:

              Agreed. Any “behaviour” can be “learned”. BTW, if you are not familiar with Palin, consider yourself lucky.

              Absolutely, with the “closet” phenomenon, the expression of homosexuality is less than the prevalence of homosexuality. However, the “closet” guys don’t “learn to be heterosexual”…they simply learn to act like one. There is a big difference. Similarly, they’ve learned to NOT ACT like a homosexual…but that doesn’t mean they suddenly aren’t homosexual. The expression can be learned; the underlying predisposition cannot.

              There is no upper limit on the “expression” of homosexual behaviour. If that was all you were referring to, then I am in agreement. WIth some of your word choice, i was simply uncertain if you were making the necessary distinction.

              • Crystal says:

                Agreed… shaking hand 🙂

              • Voice of China says:

                And….. didn’t you claim not to be MR 😀

                I’m just curious why you choose to carry such a paternal tone in your comments. I for one don’t hold such patience. I reserve that modesty
                for real life.

                For example, you could’ve addressed and expressly agreed with parts of my last comment and then qualified it with your own as above. But once again you chose to impliedly agree instead.

                Of course Crystal doesn’t understand that she is now stupidly agreeing to what we’ve said all along but that’s beside the point. The sad thing is that you’ve had to point out the ‘correct’ part of her comment and agree to that. Knowing that paragraph’s later she says:

                I can claim that in spite of their own wishes and without actually enjoying it, they learn to be heterosexuals, right?

                Well, I guess I can understand the inclination to avoid trying to unnecessarily piss people off but at the same time, I can’t believe you are persisting to talk to a ‘idiot’ so to as to say.

                Crystal attempted to subtly retract from her prior comments by saying:

                I distinguish between “homosexual behavior” and “homosexuality”.

                I see that as a disingenuous play on words. Why? Because if we take in context to the fact that she used it with the words ‘learned’ and replied to your factually correct comment preceding it in an attempt to contradict it, we can lead that as evidence of her lack of real understanding of the term or/and of the English language. Either that or she got confused with why she is trying to counter your argument in the first place.

                All that needed to be said, ignoring the ‘learned behavior’ argument is:

                When there are no women around, men might fornicate with other men using their orifice as the nearest substitute.

                Truth is, the core concept that Crystal didn’t understand is that there is such thing as ‘in the closet homosexuality’. That means that despite people ‘coming out’, there is no distinct change in the homosexual population. Merely that those who once hid their homosexuality are now freer to express themselves.

                • S.K. Cheung says:

                  Actually, I have made no stipulation about my gender. I merely wondered earlier about the reasons for your assumption.

                  On other blogs, i’ve tried the tit-for-tat business. Serves its purpose for a while, but ultimately I found it wanting. So since I’m new here, I thought I’d try a different approach.

                  I didn’t explicitly agree with your previous comment. But in fact it’s implicit, since I’ve shown on this thread, I think, that i will questions the parts of the comments of others with which I disagree. If I disagreed with you significantly, i would’ve asked.

                  In fact, in the point you highlighted, (“in spite of their own wishes and without actually enjoying it, they learn to be heterosexuals”) it looks like she’s agreeing with my rephrasing (““closet” guys don’t “learn to be heterosexual”…they simply learn to act like one. There is a big difference. Similarly, they’ve learned to NOT ACT like a homosexual…but that doesn’t mean they suddenly aren’t homosexual. The expression can be learned; the underlying predisposition cannot.”).

                  Besides, be it Crystal or anyone else, I’m not under any preconceived edict to disagree with them. If I feel I understand their point adequately, and disagree with it, then I will say so. On the other hand, if I’m not sure I understand their point, I’d rather clarify first and reserve judgment than assume the worse of them.

                  I do agree that precision is lacking in some of the comments. Perhaps there is a bit of a language issue for some. But if the suspicion is that the language is the barrier to precise expression, that would seem to me to be all the more reason to tolerate some imprecise words, and focus instead on whether those words were founded on precise concepts and ideas.

                  • Voice of China says:

                    Actually, I have made no stipulation about my gender. I merely wondered earlier about the reasons for your assumption.

                    I think you misunderstood me. I meant “Mr :D” as in “Mr nice guy” in reference to a previous post. I assumed you were a guy by default – free to correct me if I’m wrong.

                    I don’t agree that:

                    “in spite of their own wishes and without actually enjoying it, they learn to be heterosexuals”

                    is reconcilable with the statement:

                    “closet guys don’t “learn to be heterosexual”…they simply learn to act like one.”

                    The first statement should be phrased “in spite of their own wishes and without enjoying it, they may learn to engage in carnal acts with people of the same sex.”

                    Remember saying someone has learned to be homosexual implies that they have learned to accept the mental, biological and physical elements of homosexuality. This might not be the case if the person only engages in the act itself out of coercion for example. There is a noticeable distinction.

                    With regard to your last few paragraphs I do see your point of view. Although, I feel that Crystal, like many other posters, has a habit of making factually incorrect conclusions based on erroneous reasoning and expecting to get away with it. To me, that’s slightly irritating.

                    Although I do believe you are wasting your time, if you believe that she is actually someone of enough intelligence to have a academic discussion with.

                    We only have to see where that discussion of sex selective abortions ended up:

                    Anyway, if I am wrong with the assumption that “sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males in China”, at least I can comfort myself to be in the same boat with almost all researchers who took interest in this subject 🙂

                    • john digmeme says:

                      “..This might not be the case if the person only engages in the act itself out of coercion for example. There is a noticeable distinction.”

                      What causes the coercion? If you love logic so much, in what instances might coercion increase? Someone of your elite Boxster driving pedigree might not have heard of such a thing called ‘sexual frustration‘, but I think most Chinese men must be familiar with it considering there are apparently way more Chinese dudes than Chinese chicks.

                      I’m waiting for the day a wumao mainlander understands logic so I can die at peace. Please help, anyone but VoC (the consistent failure), please help.

                    • Voice of China says:


                      due to your lower than average intelligence and tendency to spout incoherent bs, I’ll only reply to one of your comments. That’s as much recognition that a troll like you deserves.

                      If you love logic so much, in what instances might coercion increase

                      When a young man inside prison gets raped – they are not consenting to have a dick in their ass/mouth, rather they are getting coerced to perform these acts of carnal filth.

                      Hopefully you can understand this logic now fuck face and you can die in peace.

                    • S.K. Cheung says:

                      To VOC:
                      I agree that those two statements you highlighted are not reconcilable. However, since Crystal agreed to my rephrasing, I’m considering that she shares the same understanding of the concept and simply expressed it differently initially. That said, she did simply “agree” with my comment, so i don’t know if she’s agreeing with paragraph 1, 2, 3, or some combo thereof. However, since I don’t know her, she gets the benefit of the doubt.

                      wrt your last point, I did take note of that comment previously. As lay people, we can make all the assumptions we want. I happen to share some of her assumptions. However, I do hope that the researchers to whom she referred applied a much more scientifically-rigorous standard than merely assuming cause and effect.

                    • S.K. Cheung says:

                      Dear John,
                      since you’re the guy who brought up the prison reference, it should not be a colossal leap to fathom some possible causes of coercion. VOC has kindly given you the schematic/ “how-to guide” version of same.

                      Wiki as a corroborating source has always amused me. But even as Wiki goes, your link here is incredibly light on citations. Moreover, your link doesn’t even try to suggest that “sexual frustration” is sufficient to promote homosexual behaviour among men who are thus encumbered. So if your “point” is that gender disparity and an excess of males results in an orgy of homosexual behaviour, your comment and the link therein does nothing to establish it.

                    • Crystal says:


                      I finally understood why VoC grew up the person he is.

                      It’s so obvious that in the school he was often kicked and beaten by bigger boys. So, he decided to become a lawyer and punish all the “bastards” who poisoned his childhood.

                      However, it seems that he indeed had a very deep trauma. Otherwise – at least in adulthood – he would make some friends in real life and spend time with them instead of mental masturbation on internet.

                      It also explains why all his attempts to insult other people result only in feelings of pity towards himself.

                      (Let’s see if he is clever enough not to fall into a little trap I set up for him 🙂 )

          • Voice of China says:

            S.K Chueng,

            I’m sure you’d agree at this stage that Crystal isn’t familiar enough with the English language to understand the terms and concepts that she so often integrates into her arguments. This makes speaking to her very difficult, if not very annoying.

            For example we we both know that homosexuality refers to sexual attraction between members of the same sex. This is an orientation based on psychological, neurological and biological factors. We understand that being forced do something does not make a person enjoy it, nor does it create new neurological pathways to change their sexual preferences. However Crystal does not… So tell me Mr Cheung, do you think its worth your time to continue to teach this simple girl? We both know she doesn’t like to take criticism.

            Although I still commend Crystal for being able to articulate herself as she has so far. It can be very hard to translate structured English sentences into Chinese without changing syntax and even whole sentences to preserve the tone that the message is intending to deliver.

            It’s when I see people like Crystal, that I appreciate I can think in both languages. I found using Chinese, I tended to be more direct. So apologies Crystal if you took offense at the last comment. I was only being truthful and to be honest. I must admit that it was hard to use the same subtle words in Chinese to be frank and gentle. In Chinese its hard to maintain a neutral and subtle tone. But anyhow, you are a girl and you don’t deserve such harsh criticism. 🙂

            • Rhan says:

              Honestly VOC, i think you are in love with Crystal. Most Chinese guy did that when they fall in love. I am sure SKC will agree with me.

          • Crystal says:

            It’s funny how people noticing most tiny mistakes of their opponents make ridiculous mistakes and false assumptions:
            1) incorrectly dividing 1 by 1
            2) misspelling the names –> it’s Cheung (not Chueng)
            3) hiccuping while writing –> one “we” is enough – no need to repeat it
            4) and axiomatically assuming that the person they converse with is “Mr.”

            So should I wonder that such people can’t read and understand the written?
            Someone was talking about English language here?


            • Voice of China says:

              You’re so cute Crystal, picking out my little typos. A simple girl like you should be a secretary and not writing silly blog comments 😀 But I guess word 2010 can already do that right?

              Oh wait, I forgot, Apple also has their own version of Word, so I might be wrong just like I might be wrong with Mr Cheung’s gender. Maybe all legislation dating back to the last 50 years should be revised, since they all refer to offenders as ‘he’.

              If you’re going to try and pick on my English, you’ll have to do better than pick out obvious typos. But girls will be girls right 😉 真可爱 🙂

              • Crystal says:

                Very true – girls will be girls. That’s why I am not angry at you in spite of your silly comments. [ … I am indeed smiling writing this. 🙂 … ]

                On the contrary, if you’d hypothetically happen to be next to me I would pinch your cheek, tell you that you already had much better Chinese than the average foreigner… but instead of leaving silly comments, it would be more useful to grab the textbook of mathematics and refresh your knowledge.

                • Voice of China says:

                  grab the textbook of mathematics </blockquote>

                  Perfect chinglish, I can imagine you saying that to me right now “harney” 😀

                  But I can tell you now that I’m not a foreigner. In fact I’m 100% made in China 贝bi ;)

                  If you ever forget your Chinese, you can always ask me to help you.

      • Voice of China says:


        So Crystal, now you’re using passive sentences to say more factually incorrect statements such as:

        Homosexual behaviour can be learned because it can increase when there is a lack of heterosexual partners.

        This is the same deductive reasoning as she tried to use to justify why sex selective abortions accounted for gender imbalance.

        Reading your long winded attempts at trying to hide obvious flaws in argumentation is getting tiresome.

        Like this:

        Does there at all exist a meaningful statistical coefficient that can be derived from directly dividing the actual proportion by predicted proportion (without taking in account the size of sample) ? I always thought that statistics use a little bit more sophisticated coefficients than those of primary school arithmetics.

        What is the point of this comment? The only thing this states is your lack of understanding of basic principles of maths. If I divide China’s gender ratio with the expected gender ratio, then it simply shows their inter-relational difference. It is a numerical truth as Cheung pointed out.

        Crystal, the trick to good writing is to be precise. Choose what you want to talk about, prove it and back it up. Stop running in tangents, at this stage, I’m no longer even interested in following this thread academically. I think your opinion at this stage has been analyzed, dissected, and found as no good.

        I guess it is rather adorable when girls try really hard and fail. If I was next to you, I’d pinch your cheeks, tell you that you already had much better English than the average Chinese person and then give you a big smile 😀

        • Crystal says:


          First of all, the guy like you has no chance to stand next to me.

          Second, your knowledge of mathematics maybe OK. Your knowledge of statistics however is close to zero. Otherwise you would not divide 1.19 by 1.05 and attach to it any statistical meaning!

          Ooops… did I say that your knowledge of basic mathematics is OK? Sorry, taking my words back.

          Although there is supposedly a 50% chance of conceiving a male or female…

          (1.05/2.05)*100 = 51.2%

          If you need help to understand this example – drop a comment 🙂

          • Voice of China says:

            Crystal 你根本就不知道 statistics这个字在英文是什么意思, 所以请你不要再丢人了

            We are simply dealing with a linear relationship between two variables. And what are you talking about below is with regard to a completely different proposition. You need to read more carefully since you keep messing things up.

            Let me put it for you simplistically: If I have one orange and two pears in a basket then1/3 of the fruit in the basket are oranges. Another person has 1 orange. Therefore I can establish a numerical truth that I have double the oranges that he has 2/1. This is basic maths, you are talking about a different concept. Stop confusing yourself Crystal, it doesn’t look good.

            • Voice of China says:

              In case you haven’t realized yet, the first comment was in relation to the relationship between the in male/female ratio between China and the rest of the world not with regard to probability theory.

            • Crystal says:

              很明显,你的中文还不如我的英文。 既然如此,我还是用英文写吧, 这样有助于你更好的理解。

              1. Don’t embarrass yourself by mixing two languages in the same sentence. If you want ever to belong to hypothetical 1% of overachievers – you should know that it is the lack of taste.

              2. Don’t talk about statistics before you go past introduction pages. First you make lame examples about cows and ice-cream. Now you degrade to oranges and pears.

              3. Regarding your hypothetical example – trust me, I can smell the moral losers like you from miles. And since I am a scrupulous person – conclusion is simple –> “Honey, you wouldn’t have a chance” 🙂

              Thanks anyway for entertaining me today. You are a much better clown than statistician and I had few good laughs.

              Anyway, further discussion would be just a waste of time. You can continue, however, speaking into void.

              Finita la comedia. Ciao.

              • Voice of China says:


                但是我看我有必要用中文,因为你英文差到我想笑,你连统计和比较的区别都不知道。不过我还是挺想听你说英文的,一定很可爱每个单词后面都加“errrr"你说讲得对吗herney 😉


                好好学英文吧,让你的生活更简单一些这样你男朋友说不定因为向往简单的生活一不小心就和你结婚了。免得再过几年就要打折处理了,要是不乐观的说有可能成为存货,好好把握吧!哥支持你 :)

            • Interested onlooker says:

              You have one orange, he has one orange. Therefore, you can establish the numerical truth that you have twice the amount of oranges as he does?

              That this is your idea of “basic maths” can only point to a school system in need of serious repair.

              So just WHAT was it that doesn’t look good, again? The points you were refuting, or your condescending employment of an epic math fail in place of a weapon?

          • Voice of China says:


            Let me put it hypothetically:

            你觉得若我一个男的有钱,有实力,有长相, 还会说话 难道还追不到你这种女孩子吗。不要开玩笑了Mm...我笑得都要开花了 :)

      • john digmeme says:

        Hello, ever heard of what goes on in the American prison system? The American prison system that might actually provide more luxuries than the daily life of a migrant worker in China?

        Regardless, lets say 10% of the surplus men are gay, that’s 3.5 million more gay men than the next country down the list with a 50/50 gender ratio…

        Crystal, logic/common sense is like homosexuality, it unfortunately cannot be taught.

        • S.K. Cheung says:

          To John,
          my mistake. I misunderstood your point above. Yes, assuming that the rate of homosexuality among Chinese men is similar to the rate among all men worldwide, then by virtue of there being more men in China than there are in any other country, China will have more gay men numerically than anybody else.

          But I’m not sure what that has to do with dropping the soap in the clink.

          • john digmeme says:

            I made two points. Point #1, when there is an absence of women around, dudes engage in homosexuality even if they aren’t gay – as observed when dropping soap in the clink.

            Point #2, the fallback point for those who wouldn’t get point #1, is the population of gay men is going to be literally larger than in other countries, relatively speaking.

            • S.K. Cheung says:

              Wait a second again. I think you need something more than urban myths to establish point #1. And if straight guys do engage in homosexual “behaviour” in prison, it may have less to do with the absence of women, and more to do with the process of establishing who is the alpha dog.

              I agree with point 2. If the rate of homosexuality is the same in China as elsewhere, and CHina having the largest population of any country in the world, it is a mathematical certainty that there will be more gay men in China (numerically) than any other country. But numerically more gay men in China does NOT necessarily mean that the rate of homosexuality in China is higher because whereas numerically can be likened to the numerator, any comment on “rate” has to also factor in the denominator.

              • john digmeme says:

                #1. It isn’t an urban myth:
                *Link to website no Mainlander ever visits*
                I like your theory, it seems plausible. I wonder what theory you’ll be using in 40 years to explain the Chinese situation.

                #2. I used the word “relatively” to indicate that not only will you have more gay men numerically, but proportionally as well. China is more tolerant about gays than western countries, so prepare for an influx of wealthy, fashionable Western refugees too.

                • Voice of China says:

                  S.K.C, I wouldn’t waste my time with John – note that he doesn’t even know to capitalize his name.

                  This is what I mean when I refer to wasting your time explaining logic to people who really just should be mocked and insulted for their stupidity.

                  • john digmeme says:

                    Maybe I chose not to capitalize it. Oh, what’s the use? I’d rather Tsinghua teach communists about choice than have to do it myself, easier pickings in the real world.

                  • Voice of China says:

                    Yeah, because its not first nature for you to adhere to the rules of basic grammar right?

                    That would make sense, you illiterate fuck. And learn how to write coherent insults, what you wrote there made no sense.

                    • john digmeme says:

                      The very fact that it went over your head is the punchline.

                      Thanks for not letting me down with this one, maybe you aren’t as consistent of a failure as you make yourself out to be after all.

                    • Crystal says:

                      John, don’t waste your time on someone who has only superficial knowledge of any topic and yet wants to talk about everything.

                      His arrogance is in direct proportion with already established ignorance of basic mathematics and inability to write without typos.

                      Somewhere earlier in this post he tried to mention “neurological pathways” (guess he meant “neural pathways”). By that stepping into the “minefield” of physiology where his lack of competence can be proved even quicker that in the field of statistics.

                    • Voice of China says:

                      😀 This has got to be the funniest post I’ve read.

                      Let me get this straight, did you really go so low so as to support ‘John Digmeme’ ?

                      Crystal, that is a low, even for you.

                      Let’s clear a few points shall we?

                      1. My statement that China’s 13% difference between the accepted ratio of 1.05 compared to 1.19 is a numerical truth.

                      2. Neurological and neural are interchangeable, in the context of the sentence – don’t try and be a smart ass ok Crystal? You’ve failed more than enough times already.

                      3. What I find even cuter Crystal is that you said I have an ‘inability to write without typos’

                      Hahahaha…. 😀 Is that supposed to be an insult? So in the last thousand words I typed, I made two typos and now you are insinuating what…?

                      I don’t know whats funnier Crystal, the fact you wrote that sentence so seriously or that you think that’s even mildly insulting.

                      Next time just say ‘you tend to make typos’, there’s no point in using nominalizations when a simple active verb will do. It’s silly and we lawyers only use it with double negatives so we sound important. But hey, we also charge $300 an hour,so that’s our excuse to forego clear English.

                    • Voice of China says:


                      you should really capitalize your name old boy. It’s basic grammar, I’m surprised you “choose’ not to use it 😀

                      I guess it must all go out the window when you leave high school at a tender age to find a job as a mechanic or whatever it is you do.

                • S.K. Cheung says:

                  Dear John:
                  it is with no small sense of bewilderment that I now have come to realize that people who don’t read their own links, or who don’t comprehend the contents of the stuff to which they link, can be found on all manner of China blogs.

                  Your link, and references to homosexual behaviour in the clink, relate to prison rapes and non-consensual sex. Is this the type of sex you had in mind when you said “when there is an absence of women around, dudes engage in homosexuality even if they aren’t gay”? If that’s the case, then what you’re really saying is that when there aren’t enough women around, “dudes” will simply go around raping people and having sex with people forcibly against their will. At that point, the gender of the victims probably doesn’t matter anymore. You may also want to note here that your Wiki link on “sexual frustration” doesn’t mention any rape-and-pillage fiesta, so you’ll need an alternate citation to establish that warm and fuzzy picture.

                  I purposely left “relatively” alone to see if you would elaborate on it yourself. YOu are indeed accommodating. On what basis do you say that there will be “proportionally” more gay men in China? Remember again, as discussed above, that “tolerance” may encourage more gay men to come out of the closet, but it doesn’t engender more men to be gay. A heterosexual guy isn’t going to convert to homosexuality just because CHinese society is supposedly more accepting of it. And what does any of this have to do with the one-child policy?

                  • Voice of China says:

                    You’re giving the troll too much credit. He doesn’t think, he just writes.

                  • john digmeme says:

                    Maybe I should have posted this link instead:

                    You guys are funny, it seems like you believe there is no such thing as a bi-sexual person, that someone is either gay or they are straight even though the entire Han dynasty was ruled by bi-sexuals.

                    Look, if you have more men than women, then a good safe bet would be to say if 10% of those men are gay, that your gay population is not only increasing numerically, but proportionally as well. Like I said in a previous post, you wumao just won’t understand.

                    I used the wiki link to prove that I didn’t just make up the term, nothing more.

                    I am trying to show just how effective your one child policy is, the ripple effects, and the possible outcomes – apparently this is also known as, “trolling”. Thanks for the good times.

                    • Voice of China says:


                      you should really stop responding now, you’re making yourself look even more stupid.

                      1. This has nothing to do with bisexuality
                      2. You don’t understand what proportionate means
                      3. You’re intellectually handicapped

                      I advise:

                      a.) Earn more money, work more jobs
                      b.) Look after your girlfriend and treat her well
                      c.) Don’t spend all your money drinking and eating burgers
                      d.) Be happy, don’t stress that you’re innately stupid, just pretend that we don’t judge (although we actually do)

                      Good little doggie :D:D:D:D

                    • john digmeme says:

                      So, if you just don’t understand what this ‘intellectually handicapped’ person is saying, that doesn’t say much about your own abilities now does it. Probably shouldn’t so willingly admit your befuddlement (although it’s obvious to everyone).

                      My advice:

                      a) Go to university
                      b) Get a girlfriend/boyfriend so that you can treat it well
                      c) Don’t spend all your money at the internet cafe
                      d) Be happy that in your own little wumao world, even if you don’t understand what people are saying, just pretend people actually care about your opinion (although we actually don’t)

                      Good little whore 😀

                    • Voice of China says:

                      LOL John,

                      Sorry to strike a nerve there, I hope it didn’t hurt. Hey you didn’t take my advice and capitalize. Bad boy 😀

                      No, you see an intellectually handicapped person can actually be unintentionally skilled in constructing incoherent sentences. As you’ve proved time and again.

                      You see John, the way I see it, you’re just an uneducated dipshit who can’t speak English. Now that doesn’t mean you are an uneducated laborer, its not causal but there is a correlation between a laborer and not going to university. Just saying that’s all 😉

                      Now go fetch your bone Johnny boy 😉

                      By the way, it’s odd to speak of a man or a woman as ‘it’ and your last point is again a failure of a sentence. You might want to consider re-enrolling in High School again or some practical English courses.

                    • john digmeme says:

                      oh, my bad bro. didnt no this was a scientific journal im commenting on, my mistake.

                      sense you seem to find my english a little disagreeable, grammar in particuler, i think you’ve given away the secret to trolling you hard. looks like not only am i skilled at constructing sentences your too entry-level to understand but also skilled at playing your game. striking nerves is fun dood, why didnt you tell me earlier?????

                      the way i see it, your good for a laugh and a good example to point out to other people to say ‘don’t be like this guy’.

                      I said ‘it’ because i gathered from your posts your into transgender ppl, and i wouldnt want to offend them. god i wish i could re-enroll in high school, i might remember what its like to be on your mental level

                    • S.K. Cheung says:

                      Dear John:
                      after reading your latest link, I’m left with no choice but to ask again: do you read the stuff that you’re linking to? Do you understand how your links add (or in your case, fail to add) to your arguments?

                      So some deranged guy who “hates” women and has trouble cultivating relationships goes on a rampage and kills a bunch of innocent women. Terrible senseless tragedy to be sure. But what does that have to do with the one child policy, or with China’s gender disparity, or even with the prevalence of homosexuality? In fact, considering that the event happened in western Pennsylvania, what does it have to do with China? Are your links meant to add to your point, or are they merely for random reading pleasure? If it’s the former, then they certainly haven’t been very effective thus far.

                      At no point in this discussion has “bisexuality” been raised. There’s really no probative value in raising it now. But since you insist…people can be gay, straight, bi, trans. Their sexual orientation is independent of the number of men or women that are running around. So yes, there is such a thing as “a bi-sexual person”, and I’d be very interested in hearing you relate that to our topics of discussion thus far.

                      “if you have more men than women, then a good safe bet would be to say if 10% of those men are gay, that your gay population is not only increasing numerically, but proportionally as well.”
                      —this statement simply defies logic and human comprehension. First, “if 10% of those (excess) men are gay”, then your “gay population” is increasing numerically only if the population itself is growing. For instance, if the birth ratio remains 1.19:1, but the overall birth rate is less than the death rate (ie population is shrinking), then the “gay population” may be numerically smaller despite the continued “gay rate” among excess males.

                      Second, percentage is a measure of “proportion”. If 10% of men are gay, then the proportion is that there is one gay man in every group of 10 men. If you submit that the “proportion” is also increasing, then you’d have to suggest that the percentage of men who are gay is progressively going to 11%, then 12%, then…well, I assume you get the idea at this point. Maybe you need to look up “proportion” in wiki. So even if the population is growing, and the number of gay men is increasingly numerically, it still doesn’t necessarily affect the percentage/proportion. It’s the basic math principles of ratios, numerators, and denominators, to which I alluded previously.

                      As I said earlier, the one child policy likely has good points and bad points. Thus far, besides shedding light on your limited capacity for logic, you haven’t really added much to either of those lists (in case you’re wondering, “those” would be the “good points list” and “bad points list”).

  17. Voice of China says:


    you’ve certainly got some issues with me and with good reason.

    I’ve basically told you either expressly/impliedly that:

    1. Your opinion is made of shit
    2. Your authority is inconsistent
    3. Your reasoning is illogical
    4. Your English is better than average
    5. You’re unable to make logical arguments
    6. It’s cute when you try hard and fail
    7. You are simple minded

    You could say that I’m arrogant, racist, and sexist. But at the end of the day, I’m successful, educated, rich and articulate. Sure feel free to make fun of my ostentation and even to claim the contrary but Crystal, if I was sitting next to you, I would outshine you in any aspect. Forget English, you couldn’t even touch me in Chinese literature, let alone law, economics and accounting at a tertiary level.

    Take the criticism Crystal and don’t be bitter. I’m rarely wrong about things and I make sharp decisions everyday that allow me to excel in life both economically and socially. If I knew you in real life, I would be a role model for you. The difference is, that on the internet I can be too frank but you should take that brutal honesty as something as a valuable insight and something you would not gain by people speaking to you in real life.

    You’re not smart Crystal, you’re not even close. You like to wear Qi Pao, a dress which is outdated and amusingly novel. You think you can find answers online and even tried to introduce your friend to commentators on your site, thinking that she can find a foreign prince. You left her email on the thread for everyone to read. You impliedly affirmed that she was right that ‘white guys are often hard working, good at repairing, go the gym, have blue eyes, long lashes and are better at expressing themselves.’

    Crystal, honestly… I do think that it’s cute that you can come online and write the way you do. It reminds me of my writing when I was a kid, and when I look back on it I always smile. Girls that are simple are a joy to hang out with. They are easy to satisfy and often entertaining to watch. Don’t ever lose that quality Crystal. I’m rooting for you! 😀

    • Crystal says:

      The cutest thing about you is that you are as predictable as 5 years old boy.

      You seriously believe that you would be able to “outshine me in this or that”? 😉

      The truth is that in all of the areas you tried to comment on, as:
      – statistics
      – physiology
      – psychology
      your knowledge is of crossword-level. It reminds me the movie about a girl who participated in spelling contest. Most kids there just memorized many clever words without actually knowing what they mean. THIS IS EXACTLY THE TYPE YOU ARE 🙂

      It wouldn’t take me more than 5 minutes to prove that in all of these fields you are very very superficial.

      Do you know by the way the Olds rat (and how it is related to you)?
      I am not sure you will understand what I mean – so you can safely pretend not to notice my question 😉

      • Anjing says:

        I think you two need to stop. Continuing on just makes you both equally stupid. I think we can clearly see, that Crystal has some flaws, period. And, VOC, has some pointless essays on elaborating that. So, if you two are adults, you should now stop.

        • Crystal says:

          OK, sorry.
          I don’t want to be as stupid as VoC.
          I will stop.

          • Voice of China says:


            I can’t help but rub it in a bit more, but the last time ok. I really don’t want to make a girl cry, especially when I’m not there to comfort her 😉

            You do realize though, Anjing just said:

            1. Crystal has flaws period
            2. I can elaborate on them
            3. But it’s stupid for me to do so

      • Voice of China says:


        I do recommend you take my advice. Firstly, if you are implying that the previous comment was a response to your comment made at 8:30, then you’re sadly mistaken.

        Reflect Crystal on your life achievements – as a student, what did you achieve? As a woman in your late twenties, what have you done that is the most rewarding to you?

        I am having this conversation with you because your fourth paragraph reflects you perfectly. I find it ironic that you would contemplate accusing me of such. I don’t know whether to take it as you being stupid enough to believe it or a joke.

        In honesty, I do pity you. There are parts of your own life that you don’t even understand. Fears of insecurity stemming from your financial future, from your boyfriend. I don’t suffer from the same issues as you.

        Do you know why I can’t help but laugh at you Crystal. I remember once a girl explained to me how she proved her virginity to her boyfriend by having sex with him. She sincerely thought that she was smart. I found it quite cute, and the rest I won’t divulge. However, what I want you to know is that being simple is a trait that men like. It’s as Chinabounder said, why would white guys go for white girls who can see right through them, when there are simple Chinese girls like you.

        • Jade says:


          You don’t seem to be a gentleman at all. A gentleman doesn’t attack a woman like that. It doesn’t matter who Crystal is and whether she is smart or not. She has the right to voice her comments. Although her article may be a bit weak, she seemed to do enough research on it.

          If Chinahush allowed her article to be published, what were your real issues here? If you didn’t like her article, why didn’t you stay with the articles and the related arguments? Or better yet, don’t read her article! Instead, you attacked her personally. That was sad!

          It maybe true that Crystal may not achieve anything in her life in her late 20s that you consider rewarding. It maybe true that Crystal is a simple girl who only looks for true love and wants to be married before she turns 30 like many Chinese girls. It maybe true that Crystal might be desperate to do anything to find true love even it was immoral. In the end of the day, she is a woman. So, VOC, be a gentleman and start respecting women!

  18. Lorn says:

    I can’t believe I followed this entire rant, a lot more information came out in the user posts than in the article itself. I agree that the article had hints of anti-abortion sentiment, but that isn’t what it’s about. People are always so quick to jump at anything they don’t like, even if it means glossing over or twisting the poster’s words. I am in full support of legalising abortion, if only because I think it’s better for the child and the parent for the baby to be born when the parent is ready for them and can take care of them.

    However, the article is more about infanticide and especially the sudden increase in infant deaths after birth to age 5. Crystal makes this amply clear this is what she is focusing on unless you start reading between the lines and start trying to make some of her subtle opinions the key (and face it, it’s posted in Opinions, chill out already).

    Now to Voice of China.

    You are so conceited it’s almost hard to believe you’re not a troll, but I suppose most trolls tend to not be dedicated enough to write more than two lines every so often. I’ve not been driven to join anyone’s argument for a long time, but you sir, takes the cake in having almost every bad feature of a middle-class netizen.

    I can’t help but laugh at you. If you re-examine your own posts, they went from almost-intellectual to downright idiotic. Now the question that comes to mind is: Is this the kind of behavior supposedly successful, high-class, professional, intelligent men really pursue? Is he so bored that he has to specifically insult a woman on a personal level in order to get some attention? Or is this man simply a conceited liar and idiot burned too often by girls when he tries to make a slimy advance?

    I’m certain he is about to make inferences now about my education, my family life, my house, my friends and my dog (actually I have cats), but what I’m really interested in, VoC, is how much of what you said you’re willing to back up too.

    I’ll be flying into Beijing in December, if you’d like to meet and have a referee of your ‘success’, I’m here for you. After that you can have an accredited e-card saying: I am really the man I pretend to be.

    Since you pretend to be a douche I don’t think it will help with the girls, but at least I’m offering you a chance to prove you’re not a lying douche. Lets end this stupid argument with some truth so I can get back to reading more amusing banter.

    • Voice of China says:

      Oh Lorn,

      Crystal’s article is so full of fail from every aspect, whether its from the credibility of the statistics, to erroneous conclusions to merely being unsubstantiated waffle. Feel free to read between the lines and gain your own interpretation, it’s the only way you could convince yourself that it makes any logical sense.

      The author tries to pull the subject away from the original topic so many times and just digs herself a larger hole and that is why the comments section went affray. Only an idiot can appreciate the article in its completeness by ignoring the factual incorrectness and replacing it with common sense.

      but you sir, takes the cake in having almost every bad feature of a middle-class netizen.

      – Using ‘you sir’ as the start of an insult has always seemed amusing to me. Whenever someone uses it, just makes me think that that person is an 15 year old or a grown person with a mind of a 15 year old.

      I can’t help but laugh at you. If you re-examine your own posts, they went from almost-intellectual to downright idiotic. Now the question that comes to mind is: Is this the kind of behavior supposedly successful, high-class, professional, intelligent men really pursue?

      Short answer: of course it is

      – Put simply, you’re either a retard or are minor, or a woman. Courtesy is something reserved for when its needed. You must be pretty stupid to think that I should even bother being consistent, polite, reserved and impartial on an online blog. But that’s why you’re commenting anyway right? Because you’re stupid.

      I personally find it quite amusing when S.K Cheung writes logical response to people like John Digmeme. Honestly, so what if you find an elegant way to completely humiliate a troll. I can do it without wasting half an hour and save a few hundred words. Since you’re obviously not very intelligent, a woman, or very young, I wouldn’t expect you to understand this concept.

      Is he so bored that he has to specifically insult a woman on a personal level in order to get some attention?

      No, I do it because I find it grossly entertaining to make fun of retards online. Its relatively effortless and something I almost have to always refrain from doing in real life. Yes, in real life I obviously don’t act like this. I feel sorry that I even have to point this out to you.

      Or is this man simply a conceited liar and idiot burned too often by girls when he tries to make a slimy advance?


      I’m confident to say that I could go to Chong Qing, and get Crystal to cheat on her boyfriend for me. So long as she knew I wasn’t the VOC online. Enough said.

      I’m certain he is about to make inferences now about my education, my family life, my house, my friends and my dog (actually I have cats), but what I’m really interested in, VoC, is how much of what you said you’re willing to back up too.

      Now I’m sure you’re either a house wife or a high school student on winter break

      I’ll be flying into Beijing in December, if you’d like to meet and have a referee of your ‘success’, I’m here for you.

      No, I’m quite content with my ‘success’ without having a nobody come and referee me for no real conceivable reason.

      HOWEVER, if you do want me to see you over a weekend some time, feel free to send me a free ticket, preferably first class. My email is Don’t forget that golden e-card of yours.

      Since you pretend to be a douche I don’t think it will help with the girls, but at least I’m offering you a chance to prove you’re not a lying douche.

      This is possibly the most retarded insult aside from Crystal’s ‘you inability to type without typos’ insult, that I’ve ever heard.

  19. MAO ZEDONG says:

    WEB SEARCH: 1911 / 1949:

    GOOGLE SEARCH: famines in the 1950s 1960….. truth in the public domain.. PD.

    great leap forward.. public doman PD facts

    cultural revolution: public domain PD facts….

    china from 1949–1978-1979…

    INTERNET SEARCH: mao zedong killed upwards to 45-million people… twice the peoples of Australia….




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