Wed, Dec 08, 2004 - Page 5 News List

Singapore couples too beat for nookie: survey

AFP , Singapore

Married couples in Singapore are too tired to have sex, according to a survey published Sunday in the city-state which is facing a chronic shortage of babies.

The survey of 200 married couples carried out by the Sunday Times showed more than three in five couples have sex once a week or less and 75 percent of them cited tiredness as the reason.

"I have no time to have sex, let alone the commitment to bring up a child," film producer Chan Pui Yin who is married to a businessman was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

Sociologists were not surprised by the results which they said were a reflection of the emphasis on career and social status by Singaporeans.

"The definition of success has changed," said marriage psychologist Dr. Frederick Toke.

"It's measured not by your family, but by your career and your good social status," he said.

Tan Thuan Seng, president of the Christian group Focus on the Family Singapore, echoed similar sentiments.

"People are more selfish now, because of the focus on individual freedom and pleasure," Tan said.

A majority of the couples polled placed love as their number one priority, followed by financial security, children and then sex.

Christine Goh, who placed financial security as her first priority, said she would not be having any children.

"I don't want kids," Goh said.

"To me, they're parasites. They're like mushrooms growing on trees, feeding on the host," she said.

Singapore's low birth rate has become an urgent concern after the fertility rate hit an all-time low of 1.25 children per woman in 2003 with only 35,000 babies born in that year.

The Southeast Asian city-state needs at least 50,000 babies to be born each year, or a fertility rate of 1.8, just to naturally replace its population of 3.4 million. Experts say 2.1 births per woman is the ideal rate for constant renewal.

Fixing the city-state's baby shortage woes has become a national priority with the government dishing out a new S$300 million Singapore annual package of cash and other incentives to encourage couples to have more children.

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