NST : Marriage? No Way!

Marriage? No Way!
80 per cent of Malaysian women will wait after 30, says survery
R. Sonia
UR: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/nst/Sunday/Frontpage/20060305072131/Article/index_html

KUALA LUMPUR, Sat. The results of this survey are sure to bring forth a howl of protests from many women.

They may not find fault with the finding that 80 per cent of women professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 prefer to marry after 30 or not at all.

But they are likely to take umbrage at the reasons given for this: A lack of sexual desire, career priorities, infertility and a search for rich husbands.

And that while they want their husbands to spend on them, they refuse to share their salaries with their husbands.

This is what a survey of 200 women professionals by the University of Malayas Centre for Family Development (UMCFD) shows.

But, there is no reason for the men to smirk.

A Universiti Malaya lecturer and licensed counsellor not connected with the survey says the reason women are not interested in marrying is because there is a lack of “men of quality” in the country.

UMCFD director Professor Dr Abdul Rahim Abdul Rashid said the reason professional women lacked sexual desire was that they were very tired after work and were too preoccupied with their careers.

“Our survey shows that sexual desire in professional women is rather low,” he added.

Rahim said a shift in priorities from marriage to education and career as well as the lack of suitable marriage candidates was another factor.

"More and more women pursue educational and career development. As a result, when they are ready for marriage, there are very few available single professional men.

"As everyone knows, there are more women in institutions of higher learning than men. So naturally there are fewer professional men than women, which is another problem.

“The practical thing would seem to be to allow professional men to marry more than one, but this would definitely not be a good solution.”

A career, he said, meant a lot to women as it symbolised independence. "Among the Malays, the women chase careers to be able to help out their families.

“Eighty per cent of Malay women feel an indebtedness to their parents and feel the need to be financially secure to be able to contribute to the family.”

Another factor, said Dr Rahim, was the professional womans expectation that the future husbands income be in the RM10,000 to RM20,000 bracket.

However, he said, the women did not believe in sharing their salaries with their husbands.

"Eight out of 10 women surveyed said they will refuse to share their money with their husbands, saying it was their money, while the husband is still expected to take care of all the household expenses.

"This will lead to men starting to wonder if they can afford to do so. In fact, there is a trend developing where professional men are starting to stay single.

“There are many unmarried women around who they can hook up with as it is common in urban societies for couples to practise free sex without the strictures and morality of marriage.”

He said feminist movements had also become more vociferous, with women more aware of their rights.

The study also found that women in Kelantan and Terengganu felt sexually superior if they had been married a few times.

“Most women there marry two or three times,” he said, adding that one reason women in the two states divorced and remarried was because men were not able to provide financially for their wives.

He said women also chose not to marry because of medical problems including infertility social status and frustration due to previous failed relationships.

The practice of same sex relationships, said Rahim, also contributed to this problem.

If these issues were left unchecked, he said, the country would be beset with social problems and the population would decline.

Meanwhile, University Malaya lecturer and counsellor Hushim Salleh said women were not interested in marrying because “men of quality” were lacking in the country.

“Many men now are involved in drugs and are gay or soft. I do marriage counselling and 80 women have registered with me to help them find husbands, but only three men registered to find wives.”

Hushim said parents must bring up their male children properly and ensure they did not engage in “disruptive gender activities”.

Another problem for professional women, he said, was that men had inferiority complexes and did not like marrying women more qualified than them.

The absence of family pressure was another reason women were choosing to marry late or not marry, said Hushim.

“Parents are now more understanding when their daughters dont marry as they know they will be able to take care of themselves.”

Both Dr Rahim and Hushim will be among more than 30 local and international speakers at a “Philosophy of Marriage” seminar on March 29-30 at University Malaya.