A Chinese demographer has said the imbalance between births of girls and boys may one day make it impossible for millions of Chinese men to find a spouse.
On Saturday, China's official news agency quoted Professor Mu Guangzhong, of the Beijing University population research institute, as saying by the year 2020, 25 million men will fail to have wives if the current gender imbalance continues.
In China, official policy restricts couples in urban areas to one child, and families have shown a preference for sons.
There are 119 boys born for every 100 Chinese girls.
Chinese lawmakers decided in June not to outlaw the practice of performing abortions based on the gender of the fetus.
But Xinhua says the new report is likely to prompt the government to take more forceful measures to reverse the male dominant population trend.