China’s One-Child Policy


Yesterday in class we read a persuasive article about the benefits of being an only child.  Today, we looked at an article about China’s one-child policy, and its effects on one family.

So…what are your thoughts?

PS. I’m also attaching a few graphs and charts that seemed relevant to this discussion.  What do you think about this data?  Also, we didn’t talk MUCH about gender today in class.  Why do so many Chinese families value male children so highly?  How might that impact their society?  How might that influence/impact the experience of a girl growing up in China? (have you learned about ratios in math class?)From:

Taken from:


From from:

Feel free to also look at these websites for more info (or post an article YOU’VE found, for us to read!):

China: Urbanizing and Moving East: 2010 Census

by Wendell Cox 05/04/2011


Has China’s one-child policy worked?

In the first of a series of pieces on China’s one-child policy, the BBC’s Michael Bristow looks at whether the country’s controversial regulations are working.


China grapples with legacy of its ‘missing girls’

Disturbing demographic imbalance spurs drive to change age-old practices

By Eric Baculinao




  1. Wow….looking at the population chart leaves me in shock… I didn’t know the population went down that much. Anyways, I felt really bad for the woman and her family in the article because just because of the policy, her house was torn down, her family’s livestock taken away, she had to pay a fine of $2000 AND her family was sent to jail. Not only that, but her young son won’t even be able to live a regular life unless she pays another $2000. I know it’s important to not overflow the earth with too many people, but I find this really ridiculous. A person’s house shouldn’t be taken away just because of a second pregnancy.

    • WAIT WAIT WAIT!!! Please forget what I said earlier about the population… I think I read the chart incorrectly…. well… I’m not sure..

      • Lauren,
        The population is still increasing, but it’s increasing less than before. If that’s still confusing, here’s an example; Say you have 50 apples and every year year you usually get 25 more. One year you only got 5 more, for whatever reason. This means you have 55 apples, which is more than before, but the amount it increased is less than normal.

        Did that clear things up?

  2. What’s amazing is the difference between communities in China and America. One of my cousins that came to America for education, was born and raised in China until last year. He told me that in China there were 64 students per class and 14~21 classes per GRADE! The students have to change seats every week. That’s how large each room was! It’s hard to think that the school tuition fee is raised so high that some families can’t afford it. Some schools don’t even have enough seats for more students! I guess that one-child policy helped China in some ways, even though they caused parents to grieve.

    • The thing is, Chinese people want to birth boys because boys can carry the family name. As you guys might already know, girls do not have to change their surname when they become women, but their parents (usually the dad) want to carry on his surname. This makes me feel that girls weren’t treated as equally as boys.

    • You’re right about how big the classes are in China, Jackie. My father grew up in China and he made a joke about how there were so many people in his classroom that you could do anything you want if you sat in the back because you are sitting so far away that the teacher will have absolutely no idea what you are doing.

  3. I wasn’t really sure on which chart to rely on because there are two charts with opposite data, one being that the population increased and the other decreased. Let’s say that the first one was right. I found that surprising because in all the Guinness Book of World Records said that populations in the world were actually increasing, so that made me stop and think.

  4. Hi Guys, I thought the china one-child policy is very interesting. If any of you have a book that you recommend about this that you’ve read or heard about, could you please post it on the blog, so we could all see it? Thanks!

  5. Lets say a couple had a daughter, but wanted a son. But they also loved the daughter a lot. Then, later, the mom found out that she was pregnant. The authorities didn’t know that yet.
    Couldn’t the mom and dad like get on a plane and settle down in a different country?

  6. THAT ARTICLE WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SAD!!!!!!!!! It made me want to CRYYYYYY :,,,,(

  7. wow i really think that this policy is sad it was really interesting. oh daniela there is a book about the atomic bomb in the library the school’s one.

  8. After we read the one child policy article I was sad. :'( But I couldn’t help thinking that the lady’s son in the article can never really have a normal life in China, why doesn’t the family move maybe to another country so thier child will be treated fairly?
    What the goverment did seemed very extreme. There can’t be one exception?

    • Well, Nicole, there CAN’T be any exception at all. If the government did that, it would be fair.
      If everybody finds out that the government did that, there would be a lot of complaints and protests about it.
      Even though it sounds really mean, I think the lady should of aborted the baby.
      Yes, you’re probably gasping that I would think that.
      But here is my defense.
      Keeping a second child brings a lot of pain and despair, so why do that to yourself?
      You would have to pay the price by killing a child, but it would make your life a lot easier.
      Yes, it’s very cruel to kill a life but really, the child hadn’t really experienced the REAL LIFE yet.
      So, kill it.
      Maybe you could save it before it knows what life really is like.
      (If you don’t get what I mean, I’m sorry).
      (And no, I do not have mental problems because I wrote that).

      • To Ms. Drusin:
        (kind of irrelevant)
        I’ve been noticing these interesting thingies on this blog. Like the Word of the Day thingy and the What am I Reading? thingy.
        Were those the cool thingies from Google you told us about?

      • Danielle, I see what you mean, but still…… It’s sooooo mean! What if they really, really, really loved the second baby? They should’ve just hid it.

        • Ruby, I’m pretty sure – but not positive – that government officials check monthly if a woman was pregnant or not. So, it would be hard for a woman to hide a second baby.

        • I know it’s mean Ruby.
          But that’s just my point.
          Nobody has to agree with it.
          And if they really loved to second child…well…(this is going to REALLY MEAN)…then it’s their problem that they had a second child.
          It’s better to abort it first before it’s born because then, you won’t even know the child, or know what it’ll look like, so it won’t be that hard to give it up.
          (Told you it was mean).
          Even if the second child was already born…then the damage has been done…and I have nothing to say.

  9. This kind of reminds of Hitler and the Jewish Conecentration Camps. I understand that having a big a population isn’t good for China, or any other country, but it’s just CRUEL to enforce that to the point where women have to be forced to to have their babies killed! Also, there’s a degree of businees in there too. Like you said Lauren, the officials made that woman pay at least $40o0 for her whole situation, when there really wasn’t a solid, legal reason behind it all. Anyway, I see the 1-child policy has worked, but it has definitely decreased the amount of girls… to the point where soon almost all of China will be male, and not enough females. The authorities will soon regret there decisions…

    • That’s not really true, Maria. There is legal reason behind it. It is the law of the country as well as state so yes it does have solid, legal reason behind it. As well as the fact that the one child policy has not decreased the amount of females. In ancient China the ratios were even worse.

      • It IS because of the one-child policy the ratio is lopsided. Women are aborting when they find out they’re having a girl, and instead they have a boy.
        Also, since when does the law ALWAYS “have solid, legal reason behind it”? There are some absurd laws out there. But I think that you have a point with this particular law. China’s ruler before the one-child policy had the idea that a large population was good for a country, so the population grew monstrously, which posed problems like lack of food, water, and natural resources.

  10. One more thing, it must be awful to grow up as a girl in China, because:
    1) You would know that you were not supposed to be,and your society would prefer you not alive.
    2) You would have to live knowing that your parents and society didn’t want you to be a girl, and would have benefited if you were someone other than who you are- a boy.

    I would feel quite unwanted, and girls in China probably carry at least half of that heavy burden, all through childhood.

    • That is really true. It would take a girl in China with a lot optipisim to get over those facts. Once the girls grow up to be women, it seems as if they also fall in the mind of thinking that boys are better when they decide to have a family.

  11. I think the Chinese communist government is just a poor excuse for dictatorship, also the government doesn’t really care about the 4,000 dollars. They can get 100 times of that if they wanted, I thought they just wanted to make an example out of her. Also just a note about moving out of the country, the government make it extremely hard for people to get Visas to the US and the UK, cause they don’t want people moving out of the country to have “illegal” children.

    • You left out the fact that the US is a democracy. Either way, the one-child policy has created what some people call the “Little Emperor” . In the Chinese tradition, families are centered around the elderly and the oldest family members are the head of that family. With the “Little Emperor” thing going on, the families are now centered around that one child. The elderly, parents, and relatives pamper the child to the point that some families are willing to go bankrupt just to satisfy their child. This pampering will lead to the child to not interact with other children and expect everyone to do what they want, hence the name “Little Emperor”.

  12. To reply to what you said:

    The government wouldn’t charge a ridiculous sum of money because the price has to be in a range that is logical. Not one that is impossible to get.

    Other than that, I agree with your other points, they seem reasonable and are probably correct.

  13. This is making me so sad. I was born and lived in China for 6 years. I never really thought that the government would rather me be a boy instead of a girl. I feel so unwanted by my own home country. :'( *sniffle*

  14. I must admit that I was SHOCKED when I heard to what degree this goes! At the beginning I was thinking, Hey, this is actually a pretty good idea because it will keep the earth from over-populating, but this is outrageous! Forcing women to abort their children! I mean, I suppose the law does kind of make sense, but not applied this severely!

  15. I feel like this is so unfair. All people are equal. I guess that means that girls aren’t really accepted in China. ;( We aren’t really treated fairly and that makes us feel like outcasts. :( But we aren’t outcasts! C’mon people, it’s the 21st century, it’s time for change. ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL!

    P.S. I feel bad for you Tianzi, i’m sorry about that law. :(

  16. I think that the law makes sense to keep the world from over populating. As Lola said aborting your child is taking it way too far.
    Sorry Tianzi :(

  17. I just found out yesterday that my grandmother has worked in a department similar to this while she was in China. Also I wanted to explain the law a bit beacuse the article was a bit obscure to that. The country’s law just has the basic concept of the 1-child policy. It is up to the state to decide the specifics about who can have 2 children in how many amount of years. Also in the article it said the woman was allowed to have 2 children in 4 years. The way that a person can have 2 children is: the 1st child must be female and both of the parents can’t have a sibling. Rural areas have a shorter amount of time between the 2 chilren due to the fact that rural areas have 40% of the population and 60% of the land. In the state that my family is from, it’s 5 years. I’m kinda out of things to say………..

  18. I’d have posted sooner, but I don’t know what to say. It’s evil how the government acts out their law, but the world has over 7 billion people, and the number’s growing. I suppose humans were never meant to be so great in number. What about a 2-child limit? But even with that, people shouldn’t be hurt so much if they want a child.

    • That’s smart Rachel!
      Hey, does anyone want to be the president of China? :)
      Yeah, a TWO-child policy sounds much better to
      me, because there are those women out there with 17 children, and then they can hardly manage, and then they can’t lead a normal life! I mean, if that’s what they want then sure, but, personally, I think two is a nice number, don’t you think?

  19. I think eventually the lack of females are going to make an even bigger dent in the population increase.

    If I lived in China, I’d never have been born. :(


    I find it appalling that this article thinks it OK for only children to have it better, and their parents. Bonus points on tests? Higher salary? Inequality is awful no matter what on, but for being an only child? Why should my scores and life be worse than others?

    What this article mentions is basically bribery.

  21. What if you gave birth to twins?

  22. This really leaves me puzzled. I mean, there taking people’s lives away for this policy. Sometimes I fell we don’t realize how lucky we are until we actually see these things happening. I have empathy for all these people and my heart goes out to them.

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