China's New Family Values

By Pappas, Leslie | Newsweek, August 24, 1998 | Go to article overview

China's New Family Values


Pappas, Leslie, Newsweek


Unhappy with high divorce rates and too much adultery, Beijing gets ready to launch a sexual counterrevolution

Dr. wang, busy with family and work, waited more than half a lifetime to tango. And when the 56-year-old physician finally stepped out for dance lessons two years ago, he left his wife of 30 years at home. That, Mrs. Wang suspects, is how he met his lover, a 44-year-old teacher with a husband and college-age son. The doctor hid the affair for six months, acknowledged it when his wife confronted him but still devotes his free time--and most of his salary--to his mistress. The Wangs continue to share a bed, but since he took up ballroom dancing, "we don't have husband-and-wife relations," Mrs. Wang laments. "We live apart but in the same room."

Still, Mrs. Wang wants to save her marriage. So, it seems, does the Chinese government. Alarmed by urban divorce rates approaching 25 percent, what they see as rampant infidelity and a younger generation that gleans its values from Hollywood and MTV, Chinese lawmakers are set to approve a new morality code. If passed, the new law will strictly regulate divorce, mandate waiting periods before marriage and make adultery illegal.Now being written by a select group of law experts, the new legislation will probably take effect after the National People's Congress rubber-stamps it next March. Mrs. Wang can hardly wait. "The law should be strict," says the 53-year-old retiree, who asked that her full name not be published. "It should encourage proper behavior."

Beijing has tried to play Big Brother in the bedroom before. After the 1949 revolution, Chairman Mao Zedong imposed strict moral codes that required the masses to dress in unisex fashion, jailed adulterers and gave commune leaders the power to deny marriages. Under Mao's successor, economic reformer Deng Xiaoping, morality codes--and attitudes--relaxed. People trapped in unhappy unions divorced or took lovers. Sex toys appeared in special "health care" centers. Brothels disguised as karaoke bars, massage parlors or beauty salons cropped up across the country. One recent survey showed that 68 percent of university students think premarital sex is "morally okay." On campuses, cohabitation today is common. "The disaster caused by sexual freedom is everywhere," bemoaned the Beijing Youth Daily last month.

In an attempt at damage control, legislators plan to discourage hasty weddings and impose stringent guidelines on divorces. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

China's New Family Values
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.