Having an extramarital affair is the top cause of divorce in Shanghai, 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 those divorced believe that extramarital sex has left people deeply hurt and directly led to the family breaking up. Other threats to family life include personality differences, domestic violence, and financial disputes.
In another relative 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 five 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 generally believed.
Experts say the survey results do not indicate that women are more light-minded about marriage but that they are more apt to separate with their husbands once extramarital sex occurs.
When husbands seeking 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.
(People’s Daily 07/11/2001)