Sat, Jun 15, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Majority opposes decriminalizing adultery: surveys

Staff writer, with CNA

An overwhelming majority of Taiwanese are opposed to decriminalizing adultery, the Ministry of Justice said on Thursday.

The finding is the result of two opinion polls conducted earlier this year, the ministry said.

In a survey conducted in April, 82.2 percent of respondents gave the thumbs-down to decriminalization and only 16.8 percent supported it, the ministry said.

However, after the results of the poll were published by the news media, some academics and advocacy groups questioned the credibility of the findings, accusing the ministry of failing to offer sufficient information to help respondents better understand the general world trend in legislation regarding adultery.

The ministry should have briefed the respondents on current criminal regulations governing adultery, as some respondents might have thought that prosecution of adulterers is the only way to maintain the existing family system, they said.

The ministry should have also proposed supplementary measures that could have made decriminalizing adultery more acceptable, they said.

To address these concerns, the ministry conducted a second survey last month, but this time, the respondents were briefed on regulations governing adultery in the Civil Code and the Criminal Code.

The poll included questions about international trends on promoting gender equality and revising existing laws to meet such standards.

However, the latest survey still found that 77.3 percent of respondents were opposed to decriminalizing adultery.

Those who opposed decriminalization also reached nearly 70 percent even if they were told that the Civil Code would be revised to minimize any possible negative impact of the decriminalization of adultery, the ministry said.

Each of the surveys collected more than 1,700 valid samples, with margins of error of less than 3 percent, it added.

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