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                                                                         Issue: 722   Date: 06/24/2004

China's Lost Girls
MSNBC, Channel 47 on Charter



National Geographic Ultimate Explorer host Lisa Ling travels to China to join American families as they greet their new Chinese daughters and she examines the complex issues surrounding the country's one-child policy.

In "China's Lost Girls," National Geographic Ultimate Explorer host Lisa Ling examines the consequences of China's two-decade-old, one-child policy, as it is commonly called. To curb the country's exploding population, China limits most families to one child, or in certain circumstances, two children. Due to cultural, social and economic factors, traditional preference leans toward boys, so girls
are often hidden, aborted, or abandoned. As a result, tens of thousandsof girls end up in orphanages across China.

Today, more than one quarter of all babies adopted from abroad by American families come from China - and nearly all are girls. Ling joinssome of these families as they travel to China to meet their new daughters for the first time. Along this emotional journey, she shares in the joy of these growing families and also witnesses firsthand China's gender gap, its roots, and its possible repercussions.
Village elders express their preference for boys, and women describe the pressures leading to the abandonment of girls. One woman confides the immense pressure her husband put on her to have a son and tells of the fine she paid to keep her daughter. She also confesses how another family member came to the agonizing decision to abandon her own daughter.

Ling soon learns that there may be other, less obvious prices to pay for China's population changes. Classrooms appear disproportionately filled with male students. Experts predict that in several decades, China will have as many as 40 million young men of marrying age with no women to marry. What will become of this massive class of bachelors? And what may be in store for China's girls? Ling meets a woman who shares her ordeal of being kidnapped and sold as a wife to a man
across China. This kind of crime will increase, experts warn, as China's gender gap worsens. Another emerging social problem is that many children, especially boys, have been pampered since birth and are becoming spoiled. Known as "little emperors," many of these coddled children are battling expanding waistlines.

Join Ultimate Explorer as Ling explores the many complex issues surrounding China's attempt to slow its swelling tide of humanity.


美國國家地理探險小組Lisa Ling日前和領養中國孩子的美國家庭一道訪問了中國大 陸,就在美國家庭歡歡喜喜抱著領養的中國孩子回美國之際,Lisa Ling 則認真地檢 視了這個國家一胎化政策和其衍生之諸多複雜問題。

「中國女娃不見了」,國家地理探險主持人 Lisa Ling 研究了這個在中國施行二十年的一胎化政策和結果。為了防止中國人口的爆炸成長,中國限制大部份家庭祗能有一 個小孩,或者是某些情況下可以有兩個小孩。由於文化、社會和經濟上的因素,中國 人傳統上傾向喜歡男孩,所以生下的娃經常就藏起來或者丟棄,以致成千上萬的女 娃最後都進了中國各地的孤兒院。

時至今日,美國由海外領養的孩子中有四分之一來自中國大陸,他們幾乎全是女生。 Lisa Ling 和美國領養家庭一道到美國,親自分享這些家庭有了孩子的喜悅,也看到中 國在性別上的鴻溝,男孩受到歡迎,女孩則面臨被丟棄的命運,婦女都有著非生男 孩的壓力。

Ling 很快地發現,中國一胎化政策還有著其他的不好後果,例如,教室裡幾
乎全是男同學,專家預測,幾十年後,中國將會有近四千萬適婚男人找不到太太,這 些男人怎麼辦?而店裡還會賣有關女生的東西嗎?Ling 碰到一位遭綁架被賣掉做新 娘的婦女,這種犯罪將與日增加。另一個現象是男孩一生下來就被寵愛,像個「小皇帝」一樣侍候。

Lisa Ling 之報導在 MSNBC 第 47 號 Charter 電視臺播出,歡迎大家加入一齊關心 探討這個一胎化複雜的問題和後果。

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