How The One Child Law in China Has Impacted Family Decisions

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2695 |

Pages: 6|

14 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Words: 2695|Pages: 6|14 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background of the one child policy
  3. Impact of one child policy in china
  4. Negative impact of one child policy
  5. The benefits one child policy
  6. Conclusion


Family planning is a significant concept within human development and it is the common way that people use to get their desired number of children. There are different family planning methods that are put in place to ensure that limit the number of children being born. In many countries across the globe, the parents decide which method to use and how many children they wish to have.

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However, in china, the government had put in place a family planning policy to monitor and limit the number of children being born across the country to one per a household. The one child per family policy was operational for 40 years ending in 2016. The implementation of the one child police in china had both positive and negative impact to the citizens and the country as a whole. This paper provides a detailed understanding into the china’s one child policy and how it influenced the decisions that were being made by families.

Background of the one child policy

China is one of the most populous countries in the world with more than 1.4 billion people. In the late 20th century, many countries across the globe were weary of the population growth and very little was being put in in place to ensure that the global population was controlled. China as one of the countries that were witnessing high birth rate, decided to put in place extreme measures in order to solve the problem. The one child policy was meant to a temporary child control policy across the country.

The initial campaign that was developed by the country was the Late, Long and Few, which was highly successful by reducing the population growth by half in the period between 1970 and 1976. However, the country was undergoing a very difficult period through food shortage and fear of the devastating famine that had rocked the country killing more than 30 million by the year 1962. Therefore as a way to put in place better measures that would create a better environment where the county population would be managed, in 1979, the chines government implemented a policy that targeted Han community, which is the largest in China to limit itself to one child(Hesketh et al., 33).

The official implementation of the policy began in the year 1980 with an open letter that was issued by the Central Committee of the Communist party of China. The letter provided a detailed focus on the key issues that the high population was having on the country. Some of the key elements that were outlined in the letter include the population pressure on the country, which led to strained resources across all sectors, which made it very difficult for the people of China to have better standards of living.

It provided crucial steps that would be taken to ensure that there was limited population growth with the target being to bring the population below the 1.2 billion people at the end of the 20th century. The key focus in this case was aimed to ensure that there is a better environment under which it would be possible for the people of china to a have environment where they would be able to develop. The strained resources created a very difficult environment where social amenities such as education and healthcare were very difficult to attain(Cheng, 27).

Initial implementation of the policy was based on effective sensitization of the public to ensure that they had a better understanding of the policy and why the policy was being implemented as well as the benefits that would be developed based on successful implementation of the policy. However, in the years leading to the initial implementation of the policy saw a law level of compliance among the citizens, which informed the decision the government, took in ensuring that there was a significant embrace of the policy. The chines government adopts extreme measures where the one child policy was mandatory. The enforcement of the law saw the government introduce strict measures where a family which had another children without a permit being fined. The government also put in place key incentives, which were meant to entice the citizens to adopt this new system in order to benefit from the major privileges that were put in place(Choukhmane et al., 48).

Single child homes were entitled to longer maternity leave and other benefits, which ensured that they had a very comfortable life. The high level of compliance of the law was observed as a radical good for the society since it aimed at creating a better focus and key engagement in ensuring that there is a better environment for all the citizens of china. Couples who abide by the mandate were awarded the certificate of honor for single child parents. This certificate came with major benefits to the family.

The high level of compliance created a very improved environment under which was possible to improve the overall understanding of the population. The implementation of the one child policy was done at all levels including the villages where citizens were encouraged to adopt one child policy for the wellbeing of the chines society and development. The focus on a positive future saw many people adopt this policy over the next years, which limited the overall development of the Chinese society(Ouyang, 51).

The implementation of the one child policy was relaxed slightly in the mid-1980s when the government started allowing some families to have second children as well as providing advantage to families in which the parents were the only children to have a second child. The leveraging was as results of a successful implementation of the policy and the birth rate had significantly reduced. The implementation of the one child policy was a controversial move implemented by the Chinese government especially the manner in which the policy was being enforced.

The government had put in place punitive measures to ensure that the citizens would implement the policy. The fact that the government decided for the citizens regarding family planning was a highly controversial especially considering the role of government in creating a better environment for its people.However, the success of the policy vindicated the decision made by the government to certain extent. It is through the implementation of the one child policy that china has been able to rise significantly in terms of economic development(Zhu et al., 39).

Impact of one child policy in china

The overall impact of the one child policy in china has had both positive and negative effects with a clear understanding on key elements where it is possible to develop a clear focus on positive population growth. It is estimated that one child policy in china over the course of its implementation period prevented more than 400 million births. The high number of prevented births was achievedthrough strict measures that were put in place to ensure that everyone within the country was practicing the policy.

Negative impact of one child policy

The practice of one child police has led to biased male and female ration considering the fact that male gender is the most preferred gender within the Chinese culture. Gender selection is largely considered as a very discriminatory process, which segregates individuals on a gender basis. The enactment of the one-child policy in China has had a huge influence on the overall consideration and ratio of boy and girl child. Due to the enactment of this policy, there has been a significantly high number of male than women due to the preference of many parents to male rather than women. The supremacy of the male gender has a significant impact on gender trends, and the whole process has been significantly developed by sex selection(Wu and Li, 52).

Gender has been a significant issue in different societies over the years with significant consideration of the male child over female. In most of these societies, the male population was considered as a source of wealth and security within a family perspective while female children were considered a liability. The significant preference of male gender has brought significant gender based discrimination, which has been made even weightier by the consideration of gender selection. Primary care physicians have voiced their concerns over the wellbeing of undesired gender among families and thus there is significant likelihood of child neglect in situations where a parent has a child whom they did not have preference(Ouyang, 73).

The Chinese administration did not put in place gradual measure to implement the one child policy. This has automatically created a very difficult situation for the country which now has high number of its population made of the elderly. It has therefore become very difficult forcitizensespecially considering the fact that majority of the Chinese elderly depend on their children for support. This means that the integration of single child policy means that a single child is expected to take care of their aging parents as well help in national building which has become a very serious problem to balance. The sharp declined in population means that in the long run it willbe avery difficult to have a better link up between the old and young generations.

The manner in which the one child policy was being implemented made it difficult for parents to raise their children who were born contrary to the one child policy. Many parents who violated the one child policy were forced to hide their children from the authorities that means that they were not enumerated and their lives were miserable considering the fact that the government only recognized only one child and thus its budgetary limits were only focusing ona single child per a household.

There existed direct discrimination of the government to its owncitizenswith the only reason being the violation of the one child policy. It is very difficult to develop a greater focus and understanding in an environment under which the government fails to provide the needed protection in ensuring that there citizens are well engaged. It is an important considerationto ensure that there is a better development under which it is possible to develop a clear understanding under which better measures would be implemented (Hesketh et al., 56).

The implementation of the policy made giving birth a crime that is immoral and unethical move on the part of the government. Even though the population of the country was soaring very high to unmanageable limits.There was need to provide a better environment under which it would have been possible to ensure that citizens participate in the campaign whole heartedly without any threats or restrictions in place which focused on creating a well engaged environment for better and effective results.

The initial campaign that had been implanted by the Chinese government in the 1970s was very successful but it was not mandatory but the people still saw the need to embrace positive development. Creating fear among the citizens against giving birth did not highlight the key roles that are held by the government to its citizens. Making decisions for people for their own private lives is not a role that the government is supposed to be playing. The key role that the government can employ is to provide recommendations with a sustained sensitization about the recommendations in place so that the members of the society can select the best approach that suits them as long as it aims to achieve the common purpose that has been developed within the society(Cao et al., 44).

The one child policy was theoretically developed to be a voluntary policy for the Chinese citizens but the government put in place measures which ensured that it was mandatory n its application. The punitive measures that were put in place created a very difficult environment for those who violated the policy. The fact that the one child policy has been abandoned in recent years shows that the Chinese government has sought to develop a greater focus and understanding on the underlying issues that surrounding the one child policy implementation since the 1970s.

The benefits one child policy

The implementation of the one child policy in China has had significant success that can be directly linked to the policy implementation. The most basic success of the one child policy has been significant reduction on population growth throughout its implementation period. In the 1970s, an average woman had six children but the current statistics indicate that the current woman in china has an average of twochildren that is a significant reduction and it is attributed to the effective implementation of the one child policy.

The major change to the national population growth took place duringthe initialimplementation phase of the policy between 1970 and 1980 when the birth rate in the country dropped from the initially high of 44 per 1000 to 18 per 1000. The ideal birth rate for china however has been placed at 16 per 1000 that the country has been striving to achieve through the strict implementation of the one child policy.

The major control of births has played a key role in improving the country living standards since it has been able to move from adverse poverty and strained resources to a period of high productivity and growth of the middle class. There has also been growthof important social infrastructure that played a key role in improving the operational environment under which the people of china can be able to have a higher level of engagement on different fronts. China has become a major business hub and attractive for business and thus many major businesses have focused on setting up their business in the country due to improved business environment especially the availability of highly skilled labor market that has been made possible due to the decreased population making it possible to share the available resources.

The economic prosperity of China has been attributed to the reduced population growth that has cultivated a highly engaged culture that has improved the overall development of the country to one of the best economies in the world. The development of any country requires putting in place crucial measures for positive societal development. It is important to under that china in 1960s was on the verge of collapse as a country due to strained resources, poverty and hunger which informed the decision to put in place crucial strategy in reducing the country population to create room for development and prosperity(Cheng, 75).

Even without the government implementation of the one child policy, there was need for urban citizens to limit the number of children due to the increased burden of raising children in urban centers. A child did not become an economic asset until he or she joined the workforce, which was at the age of sixteen.

The couples with one children were being given preferential treatment, which would have automatically created a disparity and thus encouraging other families to adopt better measures where they have a greater understanding on their focus to reduced number of children. Raising many children is a burden especially to middle class population. Before the implementation of the one child policy many Chinese citizens were struggling with expensive cost of living which was significantly attributed to lack of proper planning where there were no positive measures that had been implemented to create an better environment where positive development could be achieved (Zhu et al., 81).

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The implementation of the one child police in china had both positive and negative implications. The enforcement of the policy led to a series of controversies around the world even though there was need to put policies in place to curb the rising population growth in a country, which was significantly struggling to sustain itself. Other countries across the globe adopted relatively sustainable policies although the Chinese situation required high-level focus where the population would have been highly reduced. The implementation of the one child policy has left the country with a sustainable economy although the high population in the country is made up of the old citizens. These developments places the country in a precarious situation with a significant need to maintain its current economy status in order to offer its citizen comfortable lives through improving social structures and infrastructure.

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How the one child law in China has impacted family decisions. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 1, 2023, from
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