China’s Infidelity Problem
Professor Pan Suiming, from the Institute for Research on Sexuality and Gender at Renmin University of China in Beijing, specializes in sexual research. Recently, he made a remark that the infidelity in China is the highest in the world, which was alarming given his expertise on the subject. He said that the infidelity rate of males was 11.8 percent in the year 2000, and it went up to 34.8 percent by 2015. The infidelity rate of females was about 15 percent in 2015.
In China, people are becoming numb and irresponsible toward marriage commitments. The media and Internet provide various channels seducing people to commit adultery or have multiple partners. The low cost of being unfaithful is also a driving force. More and more people are looking for stimulation and they totally ignore their partners. As long as their partners stay home and behave, everything is fine.
Couples sometimes read prepared letters to each other during a Western wedding ceremony and often have tears in their eyes after hearing each other’s love letters. When they are asked to commit to the vows “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, will you love and cherish your partner until death do you part,” the reply “yes” is an overwhelming commitment of both people, a deep respect to the marriage, a belief, as well as confidence in love.
A survey indicates that most U.S. men wish to have lifetime marriages with their wives. Men are typically faithful to marriage because family life makes them happier than being single, a mate shares emotions, so they are no longer lonely and helpless. After getting married, the men become more confident, more successful, and healthier.
Nevertheless, most men in the U.S. have zero tolerance for their wives’ infidelity. A survey indicates that 38 percent of men can’t tolerate cheating. One betrayal will lead to divorce.” In the U.S., divorce induced by an affair will cost unfaithful spouses a great deal of money. Alimony is determined by the number of years of marriage. If the marriage lasts 10 years or longer, the man has to pay alimony.
In China, people pay less attention to affairs, and divorce will not bankrupt the man. Worse yet, Chinese society has a twisted attitude, such as it is okay for a man to have a mistress. Consequently, Chinese males are vulnerable to extramarital affairs.
Another vice comes from Chinese education system, which is the result of atheism advocated by the Chinese Communist Party. People are taught to have no trust in God from a young age, so they have no beliefs or morals as they grow up. Affairs are a common venture in today’s Chinese society. Increasing numbers ignore vows and commitments, while many young women are unmarried by their mid-twenties and feel they are left behind, so they are more likely to have casual sex with many partners. Consequently, infidelity is prolific in China.
In reality, men in the U.S. do not have a stronger resistance to extra-marital attractions than Chinese men. The radical difference is that the moral foundation of Americans is based on faith in God, and they are also aware they will have to pay dearly in terms of morality and money for being unfaithful, which acts as a restraint.
Translated by Jean Chen