Sunday, 4 October 2009

A male-female imbalance?

If you have spent any time checking out Russia -related websites you will have come across yet another Russian Brides offer. There is ongoing debate here about the 'problem' of more women than men - usually given as a 56% to 44% split.

And why? Well people still seem to be arguing that it is to do with how many Russian men were killed in the second world war. So all those extra women must be pretty elderly by now...

In fact, as of 2007, the average life expectancy in Russia was 61.5 years for males and 73.9 years for females (11 years less on average than in Europe or the States)* - a real change from the late 1950s when it was the other way around, although things are getting now better again.

However, this imbalance gives the Russian brides sites a great line - and I quote:

"Russia has always suffered from a shortage of men relative to the number of women (currently men make up only 44% of the total population). Russian Girls want to chat with you. After the Second World War, in which 27 million Russians were killed (the bulk of the casualties were men) there was a great shortage of men. Russian Bride discovers western men. There was even a popular song in the 1960s that went "according to statistics, there are only eight men for every ten Russian girls". Russian Woman as exemplar of romance overseas. In many ways, this "deficit", which still prevails in modern day Russia, has given has placed Russian men in a very enviable position while increasing the number of mail order brides seeking marriage overseas."

This author also uses this imbalance to 'explain' why Russian men can still get away with sexism (still called chauvinism here). Certainly my female colleagues think chauvinism remains rife.

* Reference from a pretty thorough Wikipedia entry.

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