CityNews – A recent study by Mahidol University’s Institute for Population and Social Research has shown an increasing number of Thai women choosing to stay single and childless, with the high birth rate of 6 children per woman in 1970 dropping to a more modern 1.5 children per woman in 2013.
A possible reason for this outlined in the study may be due to the higher mortality rates of Thai men in the country. Studies from this year show that there are 3,625,336 females aged over 65, while there are 2,830,418 males in the same age group. What’s telling is that in the 0 – 24 years old age group, men outnumber women, but from 24 years onwards, women consistently outnumber men by about a million. Women are also estimated to live six and a half years longer than men, whose life expectancy in 2014 stands at 71.
This has led a large gender imbalance between males and females, particularly accelerated through Thailand’s greater cultural acceptance of sexual preferences that have led to more men pursuing other men and more women pursuing other women. The study has also revealed a cultural shift in female gender roles, to where we are now more commonly seeing women adopting more confidence to become self-reliant and independent. More women are pursuing higher education and advancing further in their careers. Last year, Thai females were recorded to have a longer school life expectancy than their male peers.
Also contributing to the lower birth rates is the longer cultural delays for marriage in Thailand. The number of women entering their 40s without being married increased from 7% in 1980 to 12% in 2000. Culturally, domestic violence, alcohol abuse and infidelity are prevalent issues in Thai relationships and has contributed to the breakdown of stable households and families over the years.
Another cause of concern evident among some research is that many deaths caused by motorcycles and scooters seem to be mostly young males. There is also a higher HIV rate among men than women, and the majority of those infected are in their 20’s and only beginning to enter the workforce.