Special Report: Sex and Family Changes Part 2

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The Institute for Population and Social Research of Mahidol University recently launched a report on sexual behaviour and family changes. The first part discussed four major changes in sexual behaviour. This second part will see what two other academics from the institute have to report. 

According to Assoc Prof Chai Podhisita, Thai families at present have changed dramatically as people at present start to have families or get married later in life. The ratio of single people is getting higher. People aged more than 40 years old and over tend to be single for the rest of their life. More than 20% of women in Bangkok remain single. More people also tend to stay together before getting married or just stay together and separate later if it turns out that living together is not smooth or satisfactory. In addition, marriage lives at present is more fragile with higher tendency of divorce. In 1993, cases of divorce were nearly 50,000. The figure shot up to over 100,000 in 2009 while the number of marriage registrations fell. In the past 30 years, nuclear families dropped from 70% to only 53%.

Meanwhile, as elaborated by Prof Dr Pramote Prasartkul, the public sector should support spouses with readiness to have children without giving burden to the society because at present the birth rate is declining from more than six children per one mother 30 years ago to only 1.5 per one mother. Thai people in the future also tend to have fewer children, and this will certainly affect the population structure. Prof Dr Pramote said the government must enhance life security for senior citizens whose number will be increasing continuously.

Upon changes in sexual behavior and family structure, related public and private sectors should consider this report when they formulate policies in order to ensure that Thailand will have population security in the future.