At first the rules were a major adjustment, but now having only one child has become culturally engrained. This means that a majority might not choose to have more children even if they are allowed to, putting China’s fertility rate well below replacement rate. That raises the question of whether discrimination against girls will also continue well into the future. More practically there is the problem of affording a second child given that education costs soared after the introduction of the policy. The perceived cost of raising a child has also become much greater given the precedent set by what families were able to afford for their only child ‘little emperors’.
Perhaps more disturbing though are the changes to the Chinese personality and the realisation of just what a generation of children missed out on as a result of the policy. Fong found that even the concept of having a sibling was unknown to many of China’s younger generation. Some children had simply never encountered genetic siblings.
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