You can’t solve every problem with pure logic. Learning that the hard way is Zhejiang University economics professor Xie Zuoshi. He’s on the receiving end of a nation’s wrath after he suggested wife sharing to solve China’s gender imbalance issue.
News reports say that China’s gender ratio at birth is about 1.02 to 1.07 boys born for every girl, an imbalance created because of the one-child policy and the cultural preference for male children. As a result, men, especially in rural China, are finding it increasingly difficult to get married. In fact, the nation is expected to have 30 to 40 million bachelors by the year 2020.
In the face of such alarming statistics, Prof Xie wrote an essay highlighting what he believes is the most obvious solution – that men of lower incomes should share wives. He reasoned that the huge demand for wives would increase their value, making them unaffordable to poorer men. “Men with high incomes will have an advantage in finding women, because they can afford the high price,” he wrote. “And what about the low income men? One way is for several men to band together to find a wife.”