Interesting quote on the social effects of China’s radically strong preference for having male children, and the corresponding shortage of women that this practice is (of course) creating:
[M]y operating assumption has generally been that a shortage of females in a suitable place – a penal colony on the moon, for example – would mean that women would be able to command a suitably high marriage price, and contract for favorable plural marriage conditions. My (lapsed) Mormon background rendered me quite unoffended by the concept of plural marriage as such. Exposure to the wider world, however, has left me persuaded that abstract libertarianism must sometimes give way to the realities of cultures and actual conditions. My view today is that…it was far more historically common, and almost certainly the more common direction of things today, that in a world with scarcity of women – especially in a world of scarcity of females and yet a cultural preference for male births – the result would be increased treatment of women as property. More valuable property, yes, but increasingly as property precisely as the perception of its value increased.