Having an extramarital affair is the top cause of divorce in the largest metropolis of China, according to a recent survey conducted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
The survey shows that more than 40 percent of divorced couples believe that extramarital sex leaves people deeply hurt and leads directly to the family breaking up. Other threats to family life include personality differences, domestic violence and financial disputes.
In another related survey conducted among over 1,000 ordinary Shanghai citizens, some 75 percent strongly opposed the idea of seeking someone else other than their spouse for sex and only 5 percent voiced consent.
Contrary to the traditional passive image of women in marriage, wives seeking extramarital sex outnumber husbands in divorce cases as shown by the survey, which also indicates that such cases most often occur in ordinary families rather than rich ones as is widely believed.
Experts say the survey results indicate that women are more apt to separate from their husbands once extramarital sex occurs.
When husbands seek an extramarital affair it is mainly for excitement. Wives are looking for comfort that they can no longer find in their own family lives, explained the experts.
They also believe that Shanghai citizens are more reserved when it comes to extramarital affairs compared with people from other major Chinese cities including Beijing, Harbin and Guangzhou.
(Xinhua News Agency 07/20/2001)