Marriage/Family/Sexuality in Contemporary China

Topics: Marriage, Family, China Pages: 4 (1395 words) Published: September 15, 2008
Family and marriage life in contemporary China has changed following the conservative structure of the old traditional ways. In pre-industrial times where rural China dominated, the family adhered to strict moral conduct standards that were based on religion and law. Now, a more democratic family system is established and men and women are free and equal in the decisions they make involving family planning, marriage, and expressing sexuality. China has 267 million families and every year about 10 million newlywed couples add onto that number. The Chinese government has constantly tried to protect marriages and the families, stress the equality between husband and wife, and foster the Chinese state tradition of respect for the elderly, love for the young and pleasant relations in the family. Presently, the divorce rate in China is 1.54 per 1,000 residents. This is due in part that Chinese families are essentially stable, family roles, living arrangements, child nurturing and unlimited support for the elderly, are clearly visible. Recently, matchmaking services have been offered to help foster the ideal marriage and are supported by the government because they are nonprofit organizations. Family structure is an important aspect in the lives of the Chinese. All members are equal in a modern Chinese family. There is social disapproval to the mistreatment of women especially wives and daughter-in-laws. Women are given the opportunity to be educated, pursue their own dreams and aspirations and are respected by their husbands if she chooses to do so. Women have the same rights of possession and inheritance of family property as men do. In traditional China, family assets could only be possessed and inherited by men. If a woman married a second time, she was not allowed to take anything and a married daughter did not have the right to inherit anything from her mother or father. Nowadays, in the vast majority of families, husband and wife jointly own family...
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