Is China’s military problem what happens when you abort 9.6 million girls?

America’s not the only country that sometimes looks at its upcoming generation of young men and worries. In China, the military has such a hard time finding young men capable of serving that it’s had to issue a long list of healthy living recommendations, including telling its recruits to cut down on masturbation. The self-love problem seems like a predictable result of China’s one-child policy, which eventually saw the Chinese abort 9.6 million girls. The guys are on their own now.

It’s no secret that, in America, our young men, even if they want to serve in the military, are often physically unprepared:

A full 27 percent of young Americans are simply too overweight to join the military, says Mission: Readiness. "Many are turned away by recruiters and others never try to join. Of those who attempt to join, however, roughly 15,000 young potential recruits fail their entrance physicals every year because they are too heavy."

Nearly 32 percent have other disqualifying health problems, including asthma, eyesight or hearing problems, mental health issues, or recent treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Due to all of the above and other assorted problems, only about two out of 10 American young people are fully eligible to join the military without special waivers, according to the report.

Previous generations of young men did more physical labor. Our young men sit in classrooms, sit in front of computers, sit in front of televisions, and sit in cars. It’s not conducive to physical rigor.

What’s surprising, though, is to learn that China is having the same problem – although with a twist, because the Chinese military also says young men need to keep their hands out of their crotches. This concern emerged when the Chinese People’s Liberation Army put up an online post saying that the failure rate for recruits had hit an “alarming high.”

To help redress this problem, the PLA had some suggestions for potential recruits. Many of these were sensible suggestions for general good health: cut out sodas and alcohol, limit screen time, get more exercise, and sleep better. Some of the recommendations were unique to China:

Drink clean water: 7% failed because of ear, nose or throat problems, partly the result of long-term consumption of bad water

[snip]

Have better standards of hygiene and sanitation: 3.4% failed because of regional diseases, such as Kashin-Beck disease (KBD), a chronic disease affecting the bone found in western China that has been linked to poor living conditions

The suggestion that garnered headlines, though, talked about scrotal problems that may be due to masturbation:

Cut down on computer games and/or masturbating: 8% failed because of abnormalities in the scrotum as a result of sitting too much, it said

As a general rule, masturbation isn’t harmful. However (and I’m theorizing wildly here), excessive masturbation may be a problem in China thanks to the now-discontinued “One-Child Policy.” This policy, which began in 1979 and lasted until 2015, was China’s effort to fight overpopulation. Women were officially limited to one child, although that rule was flexible enough that rural women and some urban women were allowed a second child.

The policy increased the female infanticide that always existed in China due to the unusual value it places on sons. By 2018, because 9.6 million girls were aborted, there were 33 million more men than women in China.

The missing women in China were always going to be a problem. A large excess male population can be dangerous because that testosterone has to go somewhere.

I always assumed that the Chinese would become more aggressive in their territorial ambitions as they sought activities for the excess males. Warfare would keep these men out of trouble in the homeland and raise the possibility that they could kidnap women from abroad.

I never imagined, though, that China's excess men would find so much fulfillment in self-love that they weakened, rather than strengthened, the Chinese military. Talk about the law of unintended consequences.

America’s not the only country that sometimes looks at its upcoming generation of young men and worries. In China, the military has such a hard time finding young men capable of serving that it’s had to issue a long list of healthy living recommendations, including telling its recruits to cut down on masturbation. The self-love problem seems like a predictable result of China’s one-child policy, which eventually saw the Chinese abort 9.6 million girls. The guys are on their own now.

It’s no secret that, in America, our young men, even if they want to serve in the military, are often physically unprepared:

A full 27 percent of young Americans are simply too overweight to join the military, says Mission: Readiness. "Many are turned away by recruiters and others never try to join. Of those who attempt to join, however, roughly 15,000 young potential recruits fail their entrance physicals every year because they are too heavy."

Nearly 32 percent have other disqualifying health problems, including asthma, eyesight or hearing problems, mental health issues, or recent treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Due to all of the above and other assorted problems, only about two out of 10 American young people are fully eligible to join the military without special waivers, according to the report.

Previous generations of young men did more physical labor. Our young men sit in classrooms, sit in front of computers, sit in front of televisions, and sit in cars. It’s not conducive to physical rigor.

What’s surprising, though, is to learn that China is having the same problem – although with a twist, because the Chinese military also says young men need to keep their hands out of their crotches. This concern emerged when the Chinese People’s Liberation Army put up an online post saying that the failure rate for recruits had hit an “alarming high.”

To help redress this problem, the PLA had some suggestions for potential recruits. Many of these were sensible suggestions for general good health: cut out sodas and alcohol, limit screen time, get more exercise, and sleep better. Some of the recommendations were unique to China:

Drink clean water: 7% failed because of ear, nose or throat problems, partly the result of long-term consumption of bad water

[snip]

Have better standards of hygiene and sanitation: 3.4% failed because of regional diseases, such as Kashin-Beck disease (KBD), a chronic disease affecting the bone found in western China that has been linked to poor living conditions

The suggestion that garnered headlines, though, talked about scrotal problems that may be due to masturbation:

Cut down on computer games and/or masturbating: 8% failed because of abnormalities in the scrotum as a result of sitting too much, it said

As a general rule, masturbation isn’t harmful. However (and I’m theorizing wildly here), excessive masturbation may be a problem in China thanks to the now-discontinued “One-Child Policy.” This policy, which began in 1979 and lasted until 2015, was China’s effort to fight overpopulation. Women were officially limited to one child, although that rule was flexible enough that rural women and some urban women were allowed a second child.

The policy increased the female infanticide that always existed in China due to the unusual value it places on sons. By 2018, because 9.6 million girls were aborted, there were 33 million more men than women in China.

The missing women in China were always going to be a problem. A large excess male population can be dangerous because that testosterone has to go somewhere.

I always assumed that the Chinese would become more aggressive in their territorial ambitions as they sought activities for the excess males. Warfare would keep these men out of trouble in the homeland and raise the possibility that they could kidnap women from abroad.

I never imagined, though, that China's excess men would find so much fulfillment in self-love that they weakened, rather than strengthened, the Chinese military. Talk about the law of unintended consequences.