The problem was discussed at a conference about population and development held on December 26. Nguyen Van Tan, former deputy head of the General Office for Population-Family Planning, warned that millions of men in Vietnam would never have relationships with women.

According to Tan, the sex imbalance problem appeared and worsened at a fast rate. In 2006, the sex ratio at birth was 109 male babies to every 100 females. However, this rate in 2013 increased to 113 male babies to every 100 females. As of now, this rate has slightly decreased to 111 males to every 100 females.

If this problem continues, by 2050, 2.3 million to 4.3 million men in Vietnam will remain out of relationships. This problem can be seen in neighbouring countries like China and South Korea. Many men in those countries have come to Vietnam to find women. Many marriages were arranged for cash.

It is estimated that 130,000 brides from Vietnam go to Taiwan every year, with 180,000 going to South Korea. There is no accurate data for China.

Son blamed gender discrimination combined with current technology, which meant parents can find out the sex of the fetus at only one to two weeks old. Experts suggested that the government should have measures to prevent such an issue.

Meanwhile, some people blame birth limitation and lack of social policies for old people for why son preference remains. Vietnam has banned all types of fetal sex selection such as sperm screening or abortion if the baby is a girl. However, not many violations are caught.

According to experts, in order to deal with the problem, Vietnam needed a comprehensive programme with works from all agencies to change discrimination and awareness about gender equality. In the long term, the role and position of woman in the family and all fields of politics, economy, culture and society will be changed for the better. Dtinews