16 November 2007

Not long ago I wrote a long post dissecting Andrea Den Boer and Valerie Hudson’s case for the looming dangers to democracy and stability posed by China’s surplus men, currently somewhere around 18 million and expected to reach 30 million by 2020. Among my criticisms was that Den Boer and Hudson simply take a head count of men and women in China and take the difference to determine the number of surplus men, without taking into account other factors such as the number of prostitutes decreasing, at least temporarily, the bride supply and limiting the “bare branches” effect.

Homosexuality was another factor that didn’t come up in Den Boer and Hudson’s paper, and now from China Matters comes news that China has an estimated 30 million homosexuals. A little digging around uncovered this article from 2005 stating the 2001 census counted 20 million gay men and 10 million lesbians. That means 10 million fewer guys competing for brides, making the surplus male population right now a mere 8 million. And that’s not even counting the closeted gay guys who are married.

If these numbers hold steady (and it seems they have for at least six years), then we can expect a gay-adjusted surplus of 20 million in 2020, not 30 million. That Den Boer and Hudson’s study didn’t even count gay men shows another weakness in their argument. Their hypothesis was that unmarried men, not simply those getting regular booty, are prone to be more violent, apparently regardless of sexual orientation. Perhaps a gay marriage law is in order to prevent roving bands of dangerous gay men?

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