No, we don’t have a man problem — and we shouldn’t use men as an excuse to be anti-migration

A piece by Valerie Hudson in Politico yesterday entitled “Europe’s man problem” posits that the refugee crisis is heavily skewed towards men. Referencing her book, she suggests that a society where there are many more men than women is dangerous.

I’ve not read her book so I won’t comment on that. I just want to look at the numbers and reflect on the tone of the piece in Politico.

The tone of the piece is clear: most of these refugees are male and that is a problem. She states the risks: violent criminal gangs, anti-government movements, violence, property crime, rape, sexual harassment, and a culture where women’s freedom will be curtailed. The piece is scaremongering.

Her particular issue seems to lie with the young, the 16–18 year olds. She says:

“That imbalance might not sound radical, but it is, especially when you look more closely at who those males are. It’s true that many male migrants hope that, if granted asylum, they will be joined in Europe by their wives and children, who would help balance out national sex ratios. But importantly, more than 20 per cent of migrants are minors below the age of 18, and the IOM estimates that more than half of those minors traveling to Europe are traveling as unaccompanied minors — 90 percent of whom are males.”

Let’s look more closely at those numbers.

China is quoted as a main example of where there is an issue. In China the male:female ratio is 117:100.

The most recent year I could find data for in the UK was 2013. In 2013, there were 1.16m males and 1.104m 14–16 year olds in the UK. Assuming that dataset stayed roughly the same, they will be the 16–18 year old bracket which she discusses in the group. Our current 16–18 year old population is 105:100 male:female.

What would it take to hit that 117:100 figure?

Hudson states that 20% of migrants are below 18 and 90% of these are male. So we’re talking about 18% of the total migrant population in this 16–18 bracket to worry about.

Great Britain took in just 5,000 migrants last year — an embarassing number- which means there were 900 additional males in that 16–18 bracket if the spread is representative.

To reach 117:100 there would need to be roughly 1.3m males to 1.1m females. We’re currently at 1.16m, which means we’d need to have an additional 139,211 males in the 16–18 bracket to cause disruption.

139,211 at 18% of a total migration would mean a total migration figure of 773,394.

Germany is the western European country with the highest Syrian refugee figures (at 151,000). Sweden (where Hudson talks of most) has taken 78,000. And we have taken 5,000.

Nowhere in Europe is close to the crisis she depicts.

To disguise anti-refugee rhetoric as in the interests of women is insulting to feminism.

Thank you to @saturngirl for editing this for me, and to Ali Johnston for showing me the article.