The result: not only are there now fewer women, there are also fewer chidlren. And the impact on the men who remain behind is scary:
In those regions where the economic problems are largest, a new, male-dominated underclass has developed, the members of which are excluded from participation in large parts of the society," the study finds. "Many of them have no job, no education and no partner. It is exactly these difficult conditions that make it more difficult to slow the negative demographic trend or even to reverse it.The study comes on the heels of a report that right-wing violence rose in Germany in 2006, with many of the neo-Nazi-related incidents occurring in Eastern Germany. Additionally, the neo-Nazi party NPD has seen increasing success at the polls in Eastern German states. In state elections in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, the NPD captured fully 7.3 percent of the vote, meaning that the right wingers now hold seats in three German state parliaments, all of them in former East Germany.
The study recommends a greater focus on educating the region's young men, but admits that solving the problem is a difficult challenge. After all, there is no one to turn to for advice: nowhere in Europe is the disappearance of women as severe as it is in Eastern Germany.
"The lack of women in former East Germany has no equal anywhere in Europe," the study says. "Even Polar regions in northern Sweden and Finland, where young women have for years been leaving in droves, don't come close to the problem in Eastern Germany."
Women don't need men. Women leave. Without the moderating influence of women, and the maturing influence of fatherhood, young men do not grow up. The break-down of the conjugal relationship has far-reaching unintended consequences.