10 June 2020

China considering polyandry (two-husband policy)

Chinese authorities have been trying for three years to reverse the devastating imbalances of their one-child policy and coax couples to have more children. 
They’ve told couples that it’s their patriotic duty to have two babies. They’ve dangled tax breaks and housing subsidies. They’ve offered to make education cheaper and parental leave longer. They’ve tried to make it more difficult to get an abortion or a divorce. 
None of this has worked. China’s birthrate remains stubbornly low and men massively outnumber women, creating a demographic crisis that could hinder economic growth for decades to come. 
But now, an economics professor at Fudan University in Shanghai has come up with another — and, unsurprisingly, controversial — solution: allow women to have multiple husbands, and they will have multiple babies... 
In China today, home to 1.4 billion people, there are 100 million only-children under the age of 40. But the traditional preference for sons — and the associated practice of aborting girls — means that there are about 34 million more men than women
That in itself is a big problem. But add into the mix a tendency among millennial women to delay marriage and having even one baby — or none at all — and it’s a demographic time bomb. 
China’s population is forecast to peak at 1.45 billion as soon as 2027, then start a long decline. About one-third of the population will be over the age of 65 by 2050.
The story continues at The Washington Post.  I suppose this is also viewed as a potential way to decrease the number of male incels, who are often driving factors in social unrest.


  1. I think the Economics Professors are missing a key point here, something along the lines of "If I wanted more children I could just have them, not marry them," but I could be biased by my XX chromosomes.

  2. https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/4/16/18287446/incel-definition-reddit

  3. Polyandry, of course, is a ridiculous solution for a lack of babies as women can only have so many, no matter how many people they have sex with. I'm kind of surprised they haven't pushed the concept of mail-order brides from impoverished countries instead. China could even pay for them! No, their offspring wouldn't be 100% ethnically Chinese but I don't know if that much matters to them at this point. My youngest went to a boarding school in the US whose student body was composed of teens from around the world (although it has been skewing more and more Chinese) and at least one of the boys noted in a kind of "about me" speech they all had to do -- that his mother kept pushing him to marry an American girl. Just my 2 cents.

  4. I wonder if the unhappy to violent incel transition runs parallel with the everything-wrong-with-my-life-is-somebody-else's-fault, never mine, movement.

  5. Like Kolo, I, too, am in my seventies and agree that one is never too old to learn new words. Although I was familiar with the word "incel," I can always count on Taiwikiwidbee to be a fount of new and unusual words. My day is not complete without a visit and my hat is off to Minnesotastan for the herculean labor that this wonderfully curated blog must require. Many, many thanks.


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