Mainland China’s population is quickly approaching 1.4 billion and is composed of 56 ethnic groups. The Han Chinese make up around 91 percent of the population. The transformation of villages into massive cities brings opportunities to escape poverty but also major cultural changes and sometimes stressful expectations. Many young parents have left the farms, leaving their young children with grandparents, other relatives, or sometimes even alone.
China’s now-phased-out one-child-per-woman policy and a culture that favors sons have led to the abortion of millions of girls. This has created a society of 37 million more men than women. Statistics show that at least 13 million surgical and medical abortions are performed every year in China. China’s one-child policy, and now the new two-child policy, punish, abuse, and violate females by imposing fines and requiring abortions and sterilization. Now that women are allowed two children, families will have to adjust to the unfamiliar dynamics of relating to siblings, aunts, and uncles.
With the new two-child policy, hospitals and clinics are preparing for a surge expected to materialize because an additional 90 million women in China are now eligible to have second children. It is estimated that 60 percent of these women will be older than 34. The health authorities are planning to improve the hospitals' emergency-treatment capabilities so that deliveries with critical complications can be addressed. They are working to improve the mortality rate of pregnant women and babies.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in China. In 2015, cancer killed 2.8 million Chinese, and 4.3 million new cases were reported. Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer among men, and breast cancer is one of the leading cancer in women.
Chinese women face huge cultural pressure to look good because it will impact every aspect of their lives, including their job prospects. Chinese society regards slim bodies and slender “melon-seed” faces as its beauty ideals.