Unwanted Sexual Activity among Married Women in Urban China

William L. Parish, University of Chicago
Melissa Kew, University of Chicago
Ye Luo, University of Chicago
Edward O. Laumann, University of Chicago
Zhiyuan Yu, University of Chicago

This paper examines the precursors and consequences of unwanted marital sex in a national sample of 1,166 married urban Chinese women aged 20-64. Married women reported more unwanted sex when the relationship quality was poor (hitting, uncommitted husband, lack of daily intimacy and foreplay, and husband's insensitivity to wife’s sexual needs). Women also reported more unwanted sex when they had higher expectations, a negative view of sex, fewer resources, childhood sexual contact and multiple sexual partners in a lifetime. In addition, physical and psychological problems, alcohol consumption, small children, and lack of support contributed to unwanted sex. Net of feedback effects, unwanted sex diminished women’s psychological well-being.

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Presented in Session 67: Dynamics and Patterns of Sexual Behavior in China