Cutting Loose The “Bare Branches”

Dish alum Gwynn Guilford makes the case that marriage equality in China would not only be good for gays; it would “also help solve a China’s hugely problematic gender imbalance” caused by the country’s One Child policy:

China has tens of millions more men of marriageable age than there are women. Known as “bare branches,” these guys pose a big potential threat to social and economic stability. For instance, economist Lena Edlund projects that a 1% increase rise in the gender-gap ratio leads to a 6% rise in violent crime and vandalism. China also has a long history of social unrest (pdf, p. 17) resulting from gluts of men—not to mention the fact that they’re miserable. Here’s how gay marriage could help the problem:

16 million straight women are now married to gay men. That’s the estimate of population scholar Zhang Beichuan.

20 million men are “bare branches.” That includes gay and straight men; Zhang estimates that 2-5% of the male population is gay.

If gay marriage were legalized, a significant proportion of the marriages between straight women and gay men could end, allowing gay men to marry other gay men and returning millions of straight women to the dating pool.

She continues with caveats here, namely the lesbian factor. Previous Dish on Chinese gays marrying straight women here and here.