China’s “Leftover” Men and Women: Over 30% Masturbate through the Pressure

by stephanietsaikarlik

A recent report by China’s Sohu News highlights the pressures faced by China’s single demographic referred to as “leftovers.”

Made up of men and women between the ages of 30 and 39 and unmarried, China is now seeing a drastic increase in the leftover segment of the population.

The number of estimated leftover men in China is about 12 million individuals, while an estimated 5.8 million leftover women inhabit the nation with a population of 1.35 billion.

Concentrated in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and other tier one cities, leftover women tend to have higher levels of education and higher salaries, with about 48% possessing a master’s degree or higher and 36% earning over 15000 yuan monthly ($2450 U.S.). Many leftover women express that they expect future male partners to have adequate financial resources before getting married. Thirty-seven percent acknowledge that salary is a significant consideration in their partner search.

On the leftover men’s side, most can be found in China’s more populated areas of Guangxi, Guangdong, and Jiangxi. About half do not own property or a car and have lower incomes than leftover women.  Thirty percent make less than 2000 yuan monthly ($3265 U.S.) and 16% have no income at all. Nevertheless, a significant portion of China’s leftover men are highly educated with about 37% percent possessing master’s degrees or higher. While salary tends to be of greater concern to leftover women, physical appearance is high on the priority list for leftover men. Over half admit that a woman’s physical appearance is a major factor in their partner search.

The outcomes of such high numbers of unmarried working people in China include complaints about the opposite sex, many leftover men claiming that women are too independent while leftover women speak of a lack of self-confidence among the men.

Additionally, about 75% of all leftovers suffer from high stress levels citing loneliness and unhappiness in their lives.

This has been connected to poor lifestyle habits, many leftovers admitting to staying up all night restless, suffering from lack of sleep and insomnia, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and bingeing late night.

But perhaps most interesting is how these singles in the city resolve their sexual urges.  About 17.6% of leftovers have a steady sexual partner and 21.6% abstain for extended periods, but the highest percentage, about 31.4% admit to masturbating to alleviate sexual pressure.

While such a situation is mirrored in urban areas all over the world, the prospects for such leftover men and women in China may not be too encouraging. In an environment of traditionally high societal pressure to get married and produce offspring for the continuation of bloodlines, China’s leftovers are expected to grow to an estimated 30 million individuals by 2020. This comes as a result of uneven gender distribution from China’s one-child policy and steady population growth in the world’s most populous country.

Some of China’s leftover set have accordingly come to embrace their leftover status, asserting that they have no desires for marriage or children in the future.