Observation Essay
(Only Child Policy)
In the recent past, reports have surfaced serving as evidence of just how much the increase in the world’s population has led to the many problems that we have been experiencing globally. Research shows that if this trend continues, it shall get to a point where most of the natural resources used by human beings will be depleted, and the earth will have no capacity to support life anymore (Chai 22). Owing to this fact, countries have come up with ways of controlling the number of children that individuals can beget in their fertile age by introducing birth control methods such as family planning for both males and females, and introduction of policies that regulate the number of children born per household. A good example of such a country is China where the government had to intervene to restrict the number of children born per family.
China is the country that has the largest population in the world. For the longest time possible, China as a country has tried to have checks and balances in ensuring that its population does not overwhelm its resources. In 1949 there was the establishment of the People’s Republic in China and this led to the promotion of the use of family planning and birth control methods (Luo 15). Although these methods had been introduced to the Chinese a long time ago, they remained voluntary until 1976. By this time the total population of China had come close to one billion people and the country’s new leadership began intensive deliberations on how to deal with the rapid population growth rate witnessed in the country. In order to control the rapid growth in population, the  government introduced a voluntary program whereby couples were encouraged to only have a maximum of two children, and it was preferred that they strive and only have one if possible. In 1980, a letter was published to China’s public by the committee of the Communist Party of the Chinese to ensure that all the Chinese were given strict orders to adhere to the one child policy going forward (Chai 12). The one child policy dictates that every couple should ensure that they only give birth to one child in their family. This was done in a bid to seek a solution to China’s alarming population growth rate.
Despite the fact that the program was to be applied to every member of China’s population, there were various considerations that were being made, depending on individual cases. For instance, in case a couple gave birth to  a firstborn child who was physically handicapped, they were allowed to have another child because a person can only contribute economically in a country if one is in a complete state of wellbeing (Luo 19). The one child policy was well received and well implemented mostly in the urban areas because most people in these areas were elite and understood the need to regulate population and also because most of them were caught up in education and work life, and hardly oriented towards having multiple children. In order to effectively implement the one child policy, the government ensured it gave incentives to all the families who complied with this policy, contraceptives were made readily available for people, and those who violated this policy were forced to pay harshly for going against the policy. In such cases, women were forced to carry our forced abortion while the men were forced to get sterilized.
After the year 1980, it was observed that there was a general drop in the rates of China’s fertility and the birth rates recorded were low as well. The reduction in the birth rate meant that social amenities such as healthcare, roads and schools were well distributed amongst the population without any strain on the resources (Chai 11). Aspects such as improved healthcare contributed greatly in enhancing the life expectancy of the Chinese.
Although the one child policy greatly helped in controlling population growth in China, it also caused misgivings in the country as well. To begin with, as a result of the policy there has been an issue where the country has recorded a high number of abortions of female fetuses and female children being left in orphanages because people prefer having male children who will become heirs to their possessions (Luo 9). Over the years there has been a gap that has come about between males and females and it has reached an extent where there are few females who are available for marriage. Moreover, the one child policy has contributed to an increase in the population of the elderly who lack young ones to look after them. Lastly for couples who manage to have more than one child, they keep the secret to themselves and fail to register their children, and this aspect makes it difficult for such children to obtain both healthcare and schooling services.
Despite the fact that the one child policy has helped in regulating population, there should be measures implemented to ensure that it does not end up leaving China worse off than when the need to regulate population growth first came up.
PROF COMMENT: You need to review the format — the conclusion should be seamlessly integrated into the essay — WOrk on the MLA format – Nice work here on your essay. I like the opening and I think you’ve done a pretty good job with your description and your detail. One of the places to work in your essay is to be sure that the conclusion summarizes the key point in the essay and then reaches a new insight about the material. Think, too, about the transitions between paragraphs so that you can have a smoother essay that moves from one paragraph to the next. As you’re using your research sources, think about the best way that you can integrate the quotes with signal phrases — and be sure to work on contextualizing the meaning of those quotes — how they fit into the context of your essay and the larger scope of your purpose. Think about how you can build a strong, authentic voice with your unique perspective. Regarding grammar and language usage, be sure to reread your essay out loud — this step is really important because it allows you to hear your natural voice and also to catch any small issues and mistakes. This is a great first start. Good work!
Works Cited
Chai, May-Lee. China A to Z: everything you need to know to understand Chinese customs and culture. New York: Plume, 2007. Print.
Luo, Shimin. One-child policy in China: perspectives of well-educated women in China. N.p.: N.P., 2002. Print.
Reflection Essay
(One Child Policy)
Human population continues to increase and governments see it important to have a control so as not to put pressure on the available resources. In the past, governments have tried to control human population by limiting people’s birth rate because of overpopulation, environmental reasons, and high rates of poverty. It is usually done in an attempt to make people have control in giving birth, and thereby live better lives. Unlike in the observation essay, this reflective essay explores reasons why control of population is important, causes of the increased human population in China, and the enactment of one child policy. I will state the reason this community and the problem are particularly important to me, and also give personal opinions regarding the problem. I will also share interesting statistics about the community’s population (Wang, 2010).
China is the world’s most densely populated country with an estimated 1,386,846,905 billion people, according to the United Nation’s latest figures. The reasons attributed to China’s rapid population growth include a rise in the people’s living standards, low infant mortality rate, and low death rates. Specifically from 1949 to the year 1980, there was the Communist revolution that brought peace to the country. As a result, Chinese became healthier. There was a rise in birth rate, and an increase in life expectancy. The population grew so fast that the death of 20 million people following drought in late 1950s did not bring it down (Wang, 2010). This growth in population posed a threat to economic gains made possible by the country’s political transformations.
The one child policy was meant to control the number of births and was adopted in 1979. Each couple was allowed to have only one child, and those that disobeyed this law were made to pay heavy fines. The children that were born when this law was in effect are known as “lonely generation” because they did not have a brother or a sister. In my view, it was not in order for the government to restrict the number of children a couple was to get to only one. This is because accidents or calamities happen and being an only child, the couple would have remained childless. However, this law has since been amended to allow parents who were the only child to give birth to two children. The one child policy was seen to be good for birth control but now that it has been amended, it is expected that at least 3million children will be born every year (Powell, 2010).
In my opinion the one child policy should not have been implemented. Instead, the government should have sought for more economic growth to stop the high population from putting pressure on the country’s resources. The reason I say this is because the one child policy has witnessed thousands of women performing abortions so as not to pay the hefty fines that parents were being fined for defying the order. These abortions caused psychological and emotional trauma to the mothers. In addition to committing abortions, one child policy placed a burden on the only child in taking care of their elderly parents. This is because it is difficult for one to take care of their life all alone, while also taking care of parents who could at times be ailing (Powell, 2010).
The one child policy made more parents to either give out their children for adoption or forever hide them because they did not want to pay fines for not obeying the law. In my opinion it was particularly demoralising for parents to give out their children for adoption. Parents were also bitter with the law for being forced to get only one child. It was even worse for those that had to do abortions, hide or give out their children. This bitterness is likely to have been passed on to the lonely children. These children are also expected to perform well and become achievers in life which does not always happen despite having a comfortable life. The fact that society expects so much from them stresses them (Powell, 2010).
One child policy is important to me because of the empathy that I have for the parents who at some point were forced to abort forever hide their children, or give them out for adoption. Much as the policy was seen to be good for the economy in helping to control birth rate it had a lot of negative effects on parents and children. However, with it coming to an end and the enactment of two child policy, some of the problems may be solved. In my view the government should now step in and assist the elderly parents through pension schemes, because the burden of taking care of them has been left to the children. At the same time other ways of lowering fertility rate should be devised.
Prof comment: Missing some components of the assignment FOR YOU: I want to see if you can work on the sentence -level a little bit. Look more closely at your individual sentences and see if you can identify the purpose of each of the individual sentences and see how they relate to one another to develop a strong paragraph that supports your larger thesis. Work on developing your paragraphs even further so that you can follow your thinking on the topic and find ways to gain new insight for the reader. I like your movement in this essay and I like the Conclusion — just remember to develop your ideas and come to a “larger significance” that enlightens the reader.
Powell, T.M. The Negative Impact of the One Child Policy on the Chinese Society as It Relates to the Parental Support of the Aging Population, 2010, https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/bitstream/handle/10822/557704/Powell_georgetown_0076M_11971.pdf?sequence=1. Accessed 07 April 2017.
Wang, F. China’s Population Destiny: The Looming Crisis, 2010, https://www.brookings.edu/articles/chinas-population-destiny-the-looming-crisis/. Accessed 07 April 2017.
Cause and Effect Essay
(Only Child Policy)
Since the introduction of the one-child policy in China, many reports and research studies have emerged to demonstrate its impacts on individuals and the society. The policy has been in force for many years, and its impacts are widely visible and documented. One of the notable features of the one child policy is the way it demonstrates how China’s demographics have significantly shifter over the years. It also reveals the uniqueness of the country’s administration, for while the countries of the world were deeply concerned with skyrocketing populations; it assumed a totally different approach that was considered extreme by a majority of experts and analysts. Initially, the government had embarked on a birth control campaign titled “Late, Long, and Few,” which was relatively successful in terms of the gains it realized. It led to a decrease in the country’s population by 50% during the early and mid-1970s. in contrast, the passage of time, the population increased again and the country was back to the food shortage crisis, which was later coupled with a devastating famine that claimed the lives of close to 30 million citizens by 1963. As such, the surrounding demographic problems contributed to the passage of the policy and it was highly counteractive of the Chinese culture. I will analyze and discuss about the scope to the negative issues created by the one child policy to individuals and the society in China.
The one-child policy in China has negatively affected the value attached to a girl child by families. The Chinese traditions value boys over girls because of many cultural issues including the need for parents to raise an heir (Zraick). The differences in the values attached to boys and girls are largely based on marital issues in which a girl child is expected to get married and leave her parents to go live with her husband and the husband’s family. The issue is that parents are likely to have people to take care of them and inherit their property when they have a boy because the boy will marry and take care of his family alongside the parents. These traditions existed for a long time without problems because parents could get many children and thus could not be worried when their daughters married as they could be left with boys and their wives. However, the one-child policy creates a situation where a couple can spend their old age in loneliness after their only child, a daughter, gets married and goes to live with another family. Consequently, there has been the preference of having a boy child than a girl since the introduction of the one-child policy.
The preference for boys over girls has led to social imbalances in the Chinese societies, and this affects individuals born within the one child policy in a variety of ways. The major issue is a high rate of gender imbalances in the society. Research on Chinese population has identified a high sex ratio with estimates showing that there are 13% more boys than girls for individuals aged 15 years and below (Ebenstein 88). The sex ratio in China is significantly higher than the average in other regions, and this can be directly associated with sex-selective strategies by couples. According to Ebenstein, China has recorded an increased uptake of the use of ultrasound technology to determine the gender of an unborn child since the introduction of the one-child policy, and the technology is meant to facilitate sex-selective abortions (90). Couples use the sex-selective abortion procedures to limit the probability of having a girl child. The effect of the trend is that there are social imbalances in which a large number of males born during the one child policy cannot find marriage partners.
Various reports have documents that a high number of individuals in China are unable to enjoy government services because they were not registered by their parents after birth. There are major economic issues preventing parents from registering their new borns when they reach the limit set by the government. Various reports have indicated that couples risks paying hefty fines for failure to adhere to the policy, with estimates showing that urban couples going against the One Child requirements risk paying up to six times the average taxation on their income to city authorities, while those living in rural areas may be forced to pay a larger share of their net income to authorities (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 1). Many couples prefer keeping their children out of the official government records in their effort to prevent paying the heavy penalties associated with the policy. Consequently, there are millions of individuals who are not registered in official government records. It is estimated that in some villages in China there is one unregistered child per 10 to 15 newborns (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 2). The reports on the unregistered children have also indicated that majority of them are girls and this shows that the society has developed a negative view about the benefits of a girl child.
The unregistered individuals are at risk of missing important government services or participating in formal activities for lack of proper recognition as citizens of China. The unregistered children are treated differently by the authorities unless their parents can pay the fines and costs associated with breaking the one-child policy. The common issues faced by the unregistered individuals include difficulties in accessing medical and education services from the government and discrimination during employment (Zraick). It is clear that children are the most affected for failure by their parents to adhere to the one-child policy. Those born out of the system are disadvantaged from the start, meaning that they cannot compete with others in many issues in the society.
The one-child policy in China has caused a lot of negative impacts on individuals and the society. The society has suffered because of the sex-selective abortion, while couples suffer by being forced to undergo pregnancy termination or follow strict birth control procedures. Additionally, the policy has created a group of individuals who are treated as noncitizens because their parents could not abide by the policy requirements. Overall, there are significant issues created by the one child policy, and this creates the need for solutions to the problem.
Works Cited
Ebenstein, Avraham. “The “missing girls” of China and the unintended consequences of the one child policy.” Journal of Human Resources 45.1 (2010): 87-115.
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. “China: Treatment of “illegal,” or “black,” children born outside the one-child family planning policy; whether unregistered children are denied access to education, health care and other social services (2003-2007).” 2007. Web. 26 April 2017. http://www.lb7.uscourts.gov/documents/12-26536.pdf
Zraick, Karen. “China Will Feel One-Child Policy’s Effects for Decades, Experts Say.” The New York Times, 2015. Web. 26 April 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/31/world/asia/china-will-feel-one-child-policys-effects-for-decades-experts-say.html

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