‘Impulse divorces’ deterred with quizzes in some Chinese provinces

02/06/2018

 

With divorce rates in China rising, some provinces are turning to an unusual method to keep couples together.

 

The quizzes, which are issued in at least two provinces, are used to measure couples’ compatibility, according to a recent report by the New York Times.

If a couple scores high, officials may delay their divorce and encourage them to reflect on the decision. One court in Nibin, a city in Sichuan Province, blocked a couple’s divorce because they scored so high, according to report.

The tests include fill-in-the-blank, short answer and essay questions that range from simple questions, like anniversary dates, to deep, existential queries, including whether a spouse feels they’ve fulfilled their familial duties.

 

 

The quizzes, which are issued in at least two provinces, are used to measure couples’ compatibility. If a couple scores high, officials may delay their divorce and encourage them to reflect on the decision.

 

 

The test amounts to a total of 100 points. Couples that score higher than 60 are told they essentially have room to improve, and should give their marriage another shot.

“Through the guidance of the questions, couples can reminisce on the moments of their relationship and reflect on their familial roles and responsibilities,” Liu Chunling, an official in Lianyungang, a city in Jiangsu Province, told the Yangtse Late News.

Lianyungang and Nibin are two cities known to have used the test to deter so-called “impulse divorces.”

Nearly two million Chinese couples divorced in the first half of 2017, an 11 percent increase from the year before, according to state news media.

 

 

“Through the guidance of the questions, couples can reminisce on the moments of their relationship and reflect on their familial roles and responsibilities,” Liu Chunling, an official in Lianyungang, told the Yangtse Late News.

 

 

The local news outlet noted that taboos around divorce in China are abating, especially as women become more culturally and economically empowered.

Still, Confucianism stresses the family unit as the basis of harmony, and not everyone is ready to let go of entrenched norms.

“Only through thousands of harmonious family units can an entire society achieve harmony,” Liu told the Chinese paper.

Chinese social media users generally criticized the quiz following the dissemination of the one from Lianyungang on the popular microblogging site Weibo.

 

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