More than 70 percent of urban Chinese singles getting nearer to their "expiry date" for marriage are in the grip of depression, according to China's first survey of their mental health.
"Many women who have reached a certain age like me need to make a lot of effort to ward off marriage pressure from our parents, as they keep bringing up the topic," said a 29-year-old woman surnamed Qi in Shanghai.
Qi, who has a good job in a foreign-invested enterprise, said she has seen an increased incidence of depression among the unmarried people around her. "I admit that I want a husband, but I won't get married only for marriage's sake," she said.
These "leftover" men and women, as they are called in Chinese, are defined by the All-China Women's Federation as single women above the age of 27 and single men older than 30.Tip o' the hat to Tania Branigan, the Guardian's China correspondent, for the link. While I wouldn't normally suggest anyone read the China Daily, I would recommend clicking on the link, if only for the graphic. (Hi, Xan!)
What's the answer, you ask? Simple -- turn to the government!
Leftover women and men face greater risks of mental and physical problems, said Han Xiaohong, president of Beijing-based Ciming Health Checkup Management Group, which carried out the survey with the Chinese Medical Doctor Association.
According to the survey, 21.6 percent of the leftover women and men are subject to long-term sexual repression, while only 17.6 percent have regular sex partners. Visiting prostitutes and having multiple sex partners have become two main causes of sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS.
"The government should invest money to hold more matchmaking activities for these leftover people," said Wang Zhiguo, an expert with the marriage research center of baihe.com, one of the most popular matchmaking websites in China.Government-sponsored matchmaking? Hey, it's worked a treat in Singapore. More after the jump.