Rising Celibacy Rates in Northeast Asia: Bottlenecks in Forming Intimate Relationships among Young Adults
|上傳時間: ||2018-02-05 16:23:37 (UTC+8)|
|摘要: ||Increasing rates of celibacy have been observed in Northeast Asian countries. One common explanation is that women refuse to marry because of gender-unequal family roles prevalent in Northeast Asian countries. This thesis examines an alternative explanation for the rising celibacy rates in Northeast Asia: Both genders may be unable to find a spouse because they integrate social and familial influences in their choice of a partner. Therefore, the inability, and not the unwillingness to find a partner delays Northeast Asian marriages. To support this thesis, I surveyed and compared the relationship formation of young adults from Taiwan, Japan, and France, where issues of celibacy and fertility are unheard of. The study confirms that French young adults are more likely to be in a relationship, and have fewer difficulties entering relationships compared to Taiwanese and Japanese. The study also found supporting evidence that social influences, integrated into partner’s choice, (a) predicted fewer partners and enhanced the perception that finding a partner is time-consuming for Taiwanese women, and (b) predicted difficulties in finding the right partner for Taiwanese and Japanese women. Finally, the results confirmed that Northeast Asian women who refuse unequal gender roles have lower intention to enter relationships, although no effect of gender roles on the number of partners was observed. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that a mechanism linking social influences, paramount to Northeast Asian social life, to relationship formation probably contributes to the inability to find a partner, possibly resulting in increasing celibacy. This mechanism may be functioning independently from gender roles. The increasing celibacy has serious consequences for Northeast Asian countries, such as negatively impacting their fertility rates, with dire consequences for social systems, economies, and even these countries’ very existence. The study guides Northeast Asian government planners and relationship counselors to encourage singles to favor personal choices to familial, or social requirements when choosing their intimate partners.|
Increasing rates of celibacy have been observed in Northeast Asian countries. One common explanation is that women refuse to marry because of gender-unequal family roles prevalent in Northeast Asian countries. This thesis examines an alternative explanation for the rising celibacy rates in Northeast Asia: Both genders may be unable to find a spouse because they integrate social and familial influences in their choice of a partner. Therefore, the inability, and not the unwillingness to find a partner delays Northeast Asian marriages. To support this thesis, I surveyed and compared the relationship formation of young adults from Taiwan, Japan, and France, where issues of celibacy and fertility are unheard of. The study confirms that French young adults are more likely to be in a relationship, and have fewer difficulties entering relationships compared to Taiwanese and Japanese. The study also found supporting evidence that social influences, integrated into partner’s choice, (a) predicted fewer partners and enhanced the perception that finding a partner is time-consuming for Taiwanese women, and (b) predicted difficulties in finding the right partner for Taiwanese and Japanese women. Finally, the results confirmed that Northeast Asian women who refuse unequal gender roles have lower intention to enter relationships, although no effect of gender roles on the number of partners was observed. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that a mechanism linking social influences, paramount to Northeast Asian social life, to relationship formation probably contributes to the inability to find a partner, possibly resulting in increasing celibacy. This mechanism may be functioning independently from gender roles. The increasing celibacy has serious consequences for Northeast Asian countries, such as negatively impacting their fertility rates, with dire consequences for social systems, economies, and even these countries’ very existence. The study guides Northeast Asian government planners and relationship counselors to encourage singles to favor personal choices to familial, or social requirements when choosing their intimate partners.
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