The Great Aim of Education is not Knowledge but Action - Herbert Spencer

Stuff You Should Know: How Does China’s One-Child Policy Work?

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Comment by William Warren IV on May 17, 2011 at 8:48am

I thought this podcast was very interesting, but at the same time, the facts presented were somewhat… disturbing? If that’s the correct word. In 1935 a new beginning in China called the ‘Peoples Republic of China’ began; its leader, loved reproduction. More babies = More labor later on = More money. But in 1970 nearly 30 years after the promotion of reproduction, there were 6 births per child and the population was already 1/3 of the entire world. In 1979 they passed a policy to where you were only allowed to have one child, appropriately named the ‘One-child policy’.


Between these times the life expectancy grew from 35, to 70. But there are some startling statistics. The poverty class decreased from 250 million people, to 40 million within the years of the policy, and it is thought as “Turbo Family Planning” having you wait to have a child, since it is meeting quotas for birth rates. This system makes good economic sense, but not great sociological.


This policy has also been looked at as controversial and sexist, saying that China prefers boys over girls because the abortion rate is higher for girls than boys. One reason behind this is because boys (as working men) will earn more than women, and earning more money = more economic prosperity. But due to this drop in female counterparts in the future it is expected that 15% of men won’t have women in the future to mate with.


The projection for China is said to be about 1.6 billion in 2050, only due to this policy being in play. Personally I believe that this is wrong to single out the female environment in China (and anywhere else for that matter) to not earn as much as a man in the working environment. I also believe stopping this before it happens (abortion) on due to this statistic is outrageous. I believe it should be a right, but part of me says that people should be responsible about their decisions when it comes to having a child, and that goes for everyone.

Comment by Kristen Miller on May 17, 2011 at 8:43am

This was a interesting podcast of "Stuff You Should Know" I had heard some things about China not wanting to have females, and trying to only have males. However I didn't know that people can only have one child, unless there is an acception to have another. Something I thought was interesting was "Late, Long, and Few" you marry late, wait a long time to have children, then only have few children.
It was really sad to me that they have to have a program to help girls feel better about being girls, because their culture prefers men over women.
This podcast was a reminder for me of how glad I am that in America everyone has freedom to choose how many children they want and it doesn’t matter if they are male or female.

Comment by Emyn Zaleski on May 17, 2011 at 8:40am

In 1949 china was a prospering in child birth, the leader of the country was encouraging child birth.  But thirty years later there's a one child policy in china. The reason behind this was because of a book called the Limits to Growth. The writers of this book basically said that by 2070 the world will die due to population growth. A few years later they claimed that the book was just a lie to scare people. Before the one child policy was just voluntary until around 1979 that’s when it became mandatory for everyone, except ethnic minorities. 

Because of this the population growth of china was stunted. It went for four kids to a mother to around 1.7, and even then the Chinese culture prefers boys over girls, in fact there is about 104-107 boys per 100 girls.

Comment by Johnna Miller on May 17, 2011 at 8:40am

I'm torn about the one-child policy, a part of me says it's wrong but the other side is kind of like well they do have the largest population in the world. I know I don't like how they go about it, with the killings of the girl because you wanted a boy or the abortions. During this podcast when they were talking about what the people of China did with the babies if they did go over the limit or whatever it maybe. All I was heard about was the abortions or the killings, but did they ever give their babies to adoption?

Comment by Cassie Wright on May 17, 2011 at 8:39am
Basically Each family, on the haun side, are only permitted to have one child. And some others are allowed two children. China looks on their children, and see good in haveing boys, and no-luck with girls, because boys are more important. But what happens if you run out of girls? What will the men do without wives? Is China going to change its wasys for its people to see if they will prosper or not?
Comment by Merrick Lee Luellen on May 17, 2011 at 8:37am
There one child policy (OCP) is something that was used to control population growth and life expectancy, maybe life expectancy but mostly population control. It happened when a guy went to some part of the middle east and found a book called limits to growth that said in 2027 the world would end because of population overgrowth, he then took a bunch of these books back to the government saying it had reason. By doing that China issued one child policy allowing one child per household. By doing this they have dramatically decreased population and upped the life expectancy from 35 to 75 years of age. In 1980 the state agency for birth control decided that there needed to be a cap in the population to at least 1.2 billion right now it is at 1.27 billion. My thoughts on the one child policy is the same as som other people which is that it is good in a way because there population growth has declined but it still keeps abortion rates real high which is killing unborn children which is sad to hear about, but I guess all we can do is try to encourage those to do what is right and wrong and to China they think it is the right decision.
Comment by Brett Bowers on May 17, 2011 at 8:37am

The one child policy seems to have helped the chine’s government but with what cost the people are weeding out most the female population and producing more boys and its gowing to come back and bite them in the but. In my outlook of the one child policy is that it should bet terminated and not to be used.

Comment by Asjia Saunders on May 17, 2011 at 8:36am
In 1945 was the life expectances was 35 years old now it's 75. A woman would got a certificate of honors for following the one child policy. The woman could get permisson to have another child if her first was a girl. I though it was crazy that 15% men wont have access to a wife because of this policy. The bent the rules for the younger couples they could have more than one child. It was eye opening that 35% sand the prefered one child. I thought this podcast was good I knew a little about the one-child policy but this just told me some more i didnt know.
Comment by Kherev Isreal Reeve on May 17, 2011 at 8:36am
The one child policy in china is a government law that allows a couple to have one child. The law was instituted because of a book published in Britain called "Limits To Growth" the books studies were supported by a system control specialist who wanted to implement the studies in the book. Later the author of the book said it was a scare tactic and the studies were bogus but Chine's policies had already become law. Even though some people view reproduction as a basic human right there has been a great drop in the poverty population of china due to this controversial law. However I believe that controlling the reproduction of a population should not be allowed anywhere.
Comment by William Bailey on May 17, 2011 at 8:27am
I stand in the middle on this issue I think it is a good idea for China to have a system that controls child birth. But then again I don't think that it should be up to the Government to decide how many children or even if you can have children.

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