Of the females, 50.1 percent said they would not be happier if they were married, while only 39.5 percent thought married people are happier than those who stay single.The phenomenon of women not getting married is in fact an issue all over East and SE Asia. Taiwan is manifesting a region-wide phenomenon.
I ran some searches in Google Scholar today and it is actually surprising how little interest there appears to be in this topic; I think people treat it as something that is easily understood. Hopefully there's a lot out there and I just missed it. One thing that I would like to see more research on is mother's attitude -- many of my female students have told me privately that their mothers have told them either they don't care whether their daughters marry, or have discouraged it.
This paper on the marriage market observed:
In recent years, the discussion on marriage issues, especially the research about the foreign brides, mainly focuses on foreign brides’ adaptation (Hsia, 2002), transnational or interethnic marriages, and the domestic labor market (Wang, 2002). These studies have concentrated on the issue of marriage market and discussion on “the supply” of foreign brides. However, they neglect problems of “the demand” in Taiwan’s marriage market. Due to the immigration of foreign brides to Taiwan, the number of men who face the marriage squeeze problem has greatly declined, and for them, the problem appears ‘solved.’ But this has placed women in a similar predicament which appears to be worsening, especially for women with lower education, living in rural areas, or belonging to the lower classes, with less opportunity for upward mobility. We argue that this problem will get worse if the foreign brides keep entering Taiwan. In the near future, Taiwanese males will have better spousal availability in the marriage market as the situation unexpectedly changes to a surplus of marriageable women. This will affect females’ possibility of finding a marriage partner in the Taiwan marriage market.In many of the articles I have read the unmarried young woman is typically portrayed as a sort of Taipei Career Girl independent, with her own income. However, authors above note that the reality is more prosaic -- the epidemic of non-marriage is silent and rural, the class that doesn't appear interviewed by researchers or in the media. Foreign brides aren't filling a gap but displacing Taiwanese women at the bottom of the ladder.
The article notes that the government is implementing a pre-marriage education policy, among its many other policies to encourage marriage and fertility.
I think all these papers miss a key point: the really serious problem of having hordes of unmarried young women around is the demand for the obnoxious, should-be-shot-on-sight poodle lapdog rat-things that they like to keep as pets, Canis familiaris only by a technicality. Surely the government can do something about that.
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