Chinese Believe in Traditional Marriage – Norwegians and Danes Don’t

A recent survey by The Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences shows that most young people in Shanghai have a traditional view of marriage and family life. Cohabitation acceptance in Shanghai is 2.4 percent which is low compared with Norway and Denmark which represents 29 percent.

The Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences recently conducted a survey from 1,200 city residents aged between 20 and 65 about their views of traditional marriage, cohabitation and a DINKY (Double income, no kids yet) lifestyle.  Released yesterday, the result contradicts with concerns that some Chinese sociologists had anticipated.

According to the survey, one percent of city residents live with their partners unmarried and 3 percent would choose to live a DINKY lifestyle or not to have children after they get married. Though those who are below 35 tend to be more open to cohabitation, only 2.4 percent actually do it.

Cohabitation is more accepted in Scandinavian countries like Norway and Denmark where the acceptance rate is 29 percent, according to a survey researcher Xu Angi.

The survey shows that 80 percent of young people disagree with the statement: It’s all right for singles to move in together as long as there’s an intention to get married later.

73 percent don’t accept cohabitation because it provides less security than marriage.  Researchers found that lack of legal support for cohabitation is the main reason for low acceptance. Under the Chinese Marriage Law, unmarried couples are not protected so many fear for property disputes and other losses if they break up with their partners.

The survey also shows that only 2 percent of the respondents support the idea of a DINKY lifestyle, though it is 5 percent for those who are under 35.

Young married people have even more traditional attitude toward having children where 2 percent consider not having children.

“In general, people are getting more open-minded about the DINKY lifestyle. However, it’s still the choice of the very few at present,” said survey researcher Zhang Liang.

A 30-year-old Shanghai resident, Hua Zai, has commented on the survey result. “The DINKY mode might grant a relaxing life status for a couple in the first 30 years of their marriage. But I believe that afterward, they will gradually come to taste the mounting loneliness and lack of precious emotional comfort caused by the absence of their own children.”

“I still strongly believe in the Chinese traditional family value that children are an essential part of family,” He added. 


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