Asia’s lonely hearts and the flight from marriage – 08/23/2011

Where, all of this, is going? For Your Bewilderment (FYB) if you are a Man and your secret (or not so secret) joy and feeling of a just revenge, if you are a Woman! ;+)

But Beware, in this world, everything is a two-way street and the blade has two sharp edges……..;+)

http://www.economist.com/node/21526350
http://www.economist.com/node/21526329
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_color
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blond
http://www.rhinoplasty4you.com/ideal_nose.htm
http://www.ehow.com/facts_7568296_greek-nose.html
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2875607/What-your-nose-shape-says-about-you.html

“WITH her filmy polka-dot dress, huge sunglasses and career as a psychologist, Yi Zoe Hou of Taiwan might seem likely to be besieged by suitors. Yet, at 35, she is well past Taiwan’s unspoken marriage deadline. “It’s a global village,” she shrugs. “If I can’t find a Taiwanese guy that accepts my age, I can find another man somewhere else.” Maybe—but since she still wants children, Ms Hou is also wondering whether to use a sperm bank or ask a male friend to be a sperm donor. She represents a new world of family life for Asians.”

“Asians, in fact, have several distinct family systems. To simplify: in South Asia it is traditional to have arranged, early marriages, in which men are dominant and the extended family is important. East Asia also has a male-dominated system, but one that stresses the nuclear family more; nowadays it has abandoned arranged marriages. In South-East Asia, women have somewhat more autonomy. But all three systems have escaped many of the social changes that have buffeted family life in the West since the 1960s.”

“In South Asia and China marriage remains near-universal, with 98% of men and women tying the knot. In contrast, in some Western countries, a quarter of people in their 30s are cohabiting or have never been married, while half of new marriages end in divorce. Marriage continues to be the almost universal setting for child-bearing in Asia: only about 2% of births took place outside wedlock in Japan in 2007. Contrast that with Europe: in Sweden in 2008 55% of births were to unmarried women, while in Iceland the share was 66%.”

“Most East and South-East Asian countries report little or no cohabitation. The exception is Japan where, among women born in the 1970s, about 20% say they have cohabited with a sexual partner. For Japan, that is a big change. In surveys between 1987 and 2002, just 1-7% of single women said they had lived with a partner. But it is not much compared with America where, according to a 2002 Gallup poll, over half of married Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 lived together before their wedding day. In many Western societies, more cohabitation has offset a trend towards later marriage or higher rates of divorce. That has not happened in Asia.”

“Traditional attitudes live on in other ways. Compared with Westerners, Asians are more likely to agree that “women’s happiness lies in marriage”. They are more likely to say women should give up work when they get married or have children, and more likely to disapprove of pre-marital sex. Surveys by Pew Global Research, a social-research outfit in Washington, DC, show that Muslims in South and South-East Asia are more likely than Muslims elsewhere to say that families should choose a woman’s husband for her.”

“The Asian avoidance of marriage is new, and striking. Only 30 years ago, just 2% of women were single in most Asian countries. The share of unmarried women in their 30s in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong has risen 20 points or more (see chart below), “a very sharp change in a relatively short period”, says Gavin Jones of the National University of Singapore. In Thailand, the number of women entering their 40s without being married increased from 7% in 1980 to 12% in 2000. In some cities, rates of non-marriage are higher: 20% among women aged 40-44 in Bangkok; 27% among 30-34-year-olds in Hong Kong. In South Korea, young men complain that women are on “marriage strike”.”

On one hand, maybe it’s time, now, for Western Women to go “husband shopping” in Asia……….special discounts guaranteed!….;+)

On the other hand, maybe it’s also time, now also, for Western Men to open their own “sperm banks” in Asia, where a “Greek nose”, “blue eyes” and “blond hair” for children to look like their mother spent time with a Western Movie Star, are at a premium………;+)

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