The dating Web site Ashley Madison’s membership in Taiwan has risen 70 percent following last month’s ruling by the Council of Grand Justices decriminalizing adultery, and the majority of new members are women.
The Canadian-based dating and social networking service, launched in 2002, targets married people or those who are in relationships.
Ashley Madison chief strategist Paul Keable on Thursday said Asia was unique for the Web site, as women make up the majority of its membership, adding that 1.9 million members are from Taiwan.
He said the site used to see about 2,400 new members from Taiwan per month, but in the first 10 days after the council’s May 29 ruling, there were 1,360 new Taiwan-registered accounts — a 70 percent increase compared with the same period in a typical month.
The average age of the site’s members is 34, while users aged 30 to 50 made up more than half of Taiwan’s members, Keable said.
Female members from Taiwan were on average aged 38 to 40, while men were 40 to 44, he said, adding that most members are married, but some were single people who want to have relations with married people.
Married men on the service cited their wife being pregnant as the No. 1 reason for seeking an extramarital affair, with other sudden major changes in relationships cited as reasons, Keable said.
Research showed that about 80 percent of people who sought affairs said they were in love with their partners, but were unhappy or missing something in their lives, he said.
Now that adultery has been decriminalized in Taiwan, maybe people could talk to their partners honestly about having an affair, Keable said.
While new female members in Taiwan largely outnumber new male members, there were already more women in the nation using the service, he said.
Taiwan ranks No. 18 on the Web site for most members per nation, but seventh for the number of paying members, he said.
However, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Fan Yun (范雲), who was a National Taiwan University associate professor, said there is no correlation between the decriminalization of adultery and an increase in extramarital affairs, citing statistics from Japan and China.
Awakening Foundation general secretary Chou Yu-hsuan (周于萱) said that Ashley Madison’s increased membership could be an indication that the grand justices’ ruling had empowered women to pursue their desires.
The ruling was not intended to encourage people to have affairs and she did not condone people joining the Web site, she said.
Chen Yi-chu (陳怡朱), Mothers Shield Alliance’s secretary-general, said the increase in the site’s female membership was not surprising, given that women have been leading the sexual liberation movement for the past several years in Taiwan.
Ashley Madison gained international notoriety after hackers in 2015 released the personal data of 30 million members.
Two years later it was discovered that a flaw in the Web site’s default data settings left users’ private photographs exposed.
Additional reporting by Wu Po-hsuan and Yang Mien-chieh
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South
‘CORRUPTION’: One DPP lawmaker and two KMT legislators were held incommunicado, while former NPP chairman Hsu Yung-ming was released on bail in the Pacific Sogo case The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that three lawmakers be held incommunicado amid a probe into allegedly bribery relating to an ownership dispute over Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). The three are Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) of the Democratic Progressive Party, and Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Also held incommunicado were Su’s office director Yu Hsueh-yang (余學洋) and Sufin’s office director Ting Fu-hua (丁復華), as well as Kuo Ke-ming (郭克銘), a political lobbyist and general manager of Knowledge International Consultancy (是知管理顧問公司). The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Friday raided the offices of six incumbent and former