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Marriage Most Stable When Husband Earns Twice as Much as Wife

When a Chinese husband earns twice as much as his wife, they are most likely to communicate on an equal footing, and enjoy a harmonious sex and home life, a survey in China has found.

The Beijing Morning Post quoted the survey results as saying the discrepancy in earnings between husband and wife influenced the quality of their marriage. The greater the discrepancy, the lower the quality.

Couples with an earnings ratio of two to one between a husband and wife enjoyed close communications more often, a more varied home life and a better sex life than those who earned the same amount.

The survey was conducted last year by the Marriage and Family Society of China in cooperation with the Psychology Faculty of Beijing Normal University.

Shi Lin and Zhang Jinfeng, two of the researchers involved in the survey, said the earnings ratio of two to one was the best, or the quality of marriage would be affected to varying degrees,

particularly when a wife earned more than her husband.

A Chinese proverb says if a wife is more capable than her husband, their marriage will not last long.

However, such a traditional view is not that popular any more, and people are beginning to get used to greater earnings discrepancies, say the researchers.

But they tend to prefer an earnings ratio of no more than two to one between a husband and a wife, the survey found.

The newspaper failed to give some key figures, including the exact number of those surveyed.

Only one fifth of working women in China earn more than their husbands, but their earning discrepancy is not big, say the researchers.

That indicates Chinese women enjoy relatively high economic status, and economic independence from their spouses.

The Chinese Communist Party is committed to equality between men and women in public life and employment, and introduced equal work and equal pay for both when it came to power in 1949.

(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2002)

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