Sex Dolls Are Taking Over China Because Of Their “Woman Shortage”

Chinese parents’ long-held preference for sons and its restrictive population planning policies have resulted in a male surplus. China is forecast to have over 30 million more men than women by 2030.

As a possible solution to the demographic imbalance, China’s government announced a 2 child policy in 2015. This replaced the previous 1 child policy, which was in effect from 1979 until the announcement. But China would need a Canadian-sized population of women to resolve the issue.

This has led to other solutions, such as potentially reviving wife-sharing, a rise in sex trafficking and most recently, a surge in the popularity of sex dolls for men.

Sex doll sales have reportedly gone up 50% year-on-year in the last 5 years on sites like Alibaba and Taobao. Even a sex doll sharing app called Touch was created to allow users to rent life-sized dolls for $45 apiece. However, some Chinese people and officials strongly objected to the use of sex dolls. The company ceased trading just days after opening due to a police order stating that the service was vulgar.

China’s gender gap has reportedly already contributed to a rise in violent crime, since the country’s bachelors are showing higher rates of depression and aggression.

Meanwhile, some cultural researchers see the dolls as dehumanized representations of women. But at the end of the day, sex dolls can’t provide what the country needs: babies.

China’s current situation is an unforeseen consequence of the 1 child policy. When it was introduced in 1979, the government was struggling to accommodate a population that was rapidly growing and experiencing longer life expectancy rates. The introduction of the 1 child policy was subject to worldwide criticism outside of the nation, though a poll of Chinese people in 2008 stated that 76% of people supported the policy.