adultery


adultery
Rejecting the polygamous sexual double standard of pre-socialist China, the Maoist state sought to prohibit adultery by both sexes. An adulterer might be forced to make a public self-criticism, or be demoted or even dismissed from a work unit. More rarely adulterers were imprisoned for hooliganism or rape. With the ‘opening and reform’ in the early 1980s some voices in the Chinese media began to argue for more tolerance, especially in cases in which the marriage was effectively dead. By the 1990s adultery had come to be seen as a national social problem contributing to rapidly rising divorce rates. According to sociologist Xu Anqi, more than 40 per cent of divorced couples in Shanghai cited adultery by one or both of the partners as a direct cause of their divorce. Chinese surveyed in the 1990s overwhelmingly disapproved of extramarital sex.
However, in various sample surveys, between 10 and 30 per cent of Chinese married men and women said they had engaged in sex outside marriage. Moreover, in some areas of social life extramarital relations were tolerated or even condoned. A flood of novels, films and television serials treated ‘extramarital love’ with considerable sympathy and moral ambiguity. Popular commercial dance halls allowed both married men and women a convenient place to begin affairs. Business entertainment often featured hostesses who were available for further sexual services. A revision of the Marriage Law passed in 2001 (see Marriage Law of the PRC (1 January 1981) and revisions (2001)) explicitly prohibited cohabitation with a third person, attempting to rein in the practice of rich men keeping mistresses as secondary wives (bao ernai).
Farrer, James (2002). Opening Up: Youth Sex Culture and Market Reform in Shanghai. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Zha, Bo and Geng, Wenxiu (1992). ‘Sexuality in Urban China’. The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 28:1–20.
JAMES FARRER

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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  • Adultery — is the voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not his or her spouse, though in many places it is only considered adultery when a married woman has sexual relations with someone who is not her husband. In… …   Wikipedia

  • ADULTERY — (Heb. נִאוּף, ni uf; sometimes, loosely, זְנוּת, zenut; זְנוּנִים, zenunim; lit. fornication, whoredom ). Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married woman, or one engaged by payment of the brideprice, and a man other than her husband.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Adultery — • The article considers adultery with reference only to morality Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Adultery     Adultery     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • adultery — adul·tery /ə dəl tə rē/ n: voluntary sexual activity (as sexual intercourse) between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband; also: the crime of adultery compare fornication… …   Law dictionary

  • Adultery — A*dul ter*y, n.; pl. {Adulteries}. [L. adulterium. See {Advoutry}.] 1. The unfaithfulness of a married person to the marriage bed; sexual intercourse by a married man with another than his wife, or voluntary sexual intercourse by a married woman… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adultery — (n.) voluntary violation of the marriage bed, c.1300, avoutrie, from O.Fr. avouterie (12c.), noun of condition from avoutre, from L. adulterare to corrupt (see ADULTERATION (Cf. adulteration)). Modern spelling, with the re inserted d , is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • adultery — adultery, fornication, incest designate forms of illicit sexual intercourse which are clearly distinguished in legal use, both civil and ecclesiastical. Adultery implies unfaithfulness to one’s spouse, and therefore can be applied only to sexual… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • adultery — [n] extramarital affair affair, carrying on*, cheating, extracurricular activity*, fling, fornication, hanky panky*, immorality, infidelity, matinee*, playing around*, relationship, thing*, two timing*; concept 633 Ant. faithfulness …   New thesaurus

  • adultery — ► NOUN ▪ voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse. DERIVATIVES adulterous adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • adultery — [ə dul′tər ē] n. pl. adulteries [L adulterium < adulter: see ADULTERATE] voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman not his wife, or between a married woman and a man not her husband: see also FORNICATION …   English World dictionary

  • adultery — /euh dul teuh ree/, n., pl. adulteries. voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse. [1325 75; ME adulterie < L adulterium, equiv. to adulter (see ADULTERER) + ium IUM; r. ME a(d)vouterie… …   Universalium


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