Extramarital Affairs in China: A Feminist Approach

Yuanting Zhang, Bowling Green State University
Zhenmei Zhang, Michigan State University

Divorce and extramarital affairs are popular topics in China nowadays (Platt, 1999). We focus on extramarital sex and analyze this phenomenon using newspaper articles and the 1999-2000 Chinese Health and Family Life Survey (CHFLS), a rare high quality probabilistic survey including a national sample of the adult population aged 20-64. As China going through deeper stratification process, the prevalence of extramarital sex is probably a reflection of redistribution of power, both between and within the two gender groups, with both men and women of higher socio-economic status more likely to stray. Women, like men, will have extramarital sex if they have opportunities, though the underlying stories are different: education is only marginally significant for women whereas occupation is only significant for males. Age, the respondents’ attitudes on women’s status and extramarital affairs, and self-rated attractiveness are strongly related to the risk of extramarital affairs, especially for males.

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Presented in Poster Session 7