Gendered Differences on the Attitudes and Solutions Toward Extramarital Sex in Taiwan

Monday, July 14, 2014: 5:50 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Mei-Hua CHEN , Sociology, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Wei-Pang WANG , Sociology, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan

Although it is commonly claimed that women’s status are greatly improved and women’s rights are well-protected in Taiwan, extramarital sex (EMS) is criminalized in Taiwan. Taiwan indeed is one of the few countries in the world that still keep adultery in its criminal law. Moreover, the campaign on decriminalization of adultery launched by Awakening Foundation is facing tremendous challenges from some other women’s organizations and ordinary women in general. The debate to some extent is considered as ‘women’s war’ (i.e. the war between the first wife and the ‘other woman’), and men who engage in EMS are hardly problematized.

Using the data drawn from the 2002 and 2012 Gender Module of the Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSCS), this research intends to elaborate the gender differences on the attitudes and solutions toward extramarital sexual permissiveness in Taiwan. The following questions will be thoroughly investigated: (1) Do men and women differ in the tolerance of EMS in Taiwan?  (2) Do gender differences in social-demographic characteristics and views toward gender equality explain some of the gender differences in the attitudes toward EMS? (3) Do men and women adopt different solving approach(such as compromise, consultation, or confrontation) when he or she found out that a marital partner was having an extramarital affair with someone else? (4) Whether the EMS-related attitudes and patterns change over the past decade in Taiwan. With the scrutiny of these questions, this research is not only able to establish the extensive understandings of EMS-related patterns but also able to examine whether the ‘revealing intimacy’ argued by Giddens (1992) exists in current Taiwan.