TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New accounts on Ashley Madison soared by 70 percent less than two weeks after adultery was decriminalized in Taiwan last month, primarily among women.
On May 29, Taiwan's grand justices ruled that Article 239 of the Criminal Code violates the constitution and should be ended immediately, effectively decriminalizing adultery. Within 12 days, new registrations on Ashley Madison, an online dating site marketed at people married or in a relationship, skyrocketed by 70 percent in Taiwan.
Liberty Times on Friday (June 12) cited Ashley Madison chief strategist Paul Keable as saying that there are 1.9 million people in Taiwan registered on the website. Keable said that in the past, an average of 2,400 new accounts were created in Taiwan per month.
However, since May 29, Keable said that the number of Taiwanese registered on the site has shot up dramatically. He said that by June 9, there were 1,360 new members based in Taiwan, a 70 percent increase over the same period of time in an average month.
He said that the average age among registrants in Taiwan is 34, and more than 50 percent of them are between the ages of 30 and 49. This data is in line with the average age of a first marriage in Taiwan, which is 30.
Keable said that the second largest group of users was between the ages of 40 and 49 at 20 percent. As for gender, the largest number of female members are between the ages of 38 and 40, while the largest group of male members are between the ages of 40 and 44.
Most of the members are married, but there are also single people who are looking to date married men or women. Keable said the most common catalyst among men for a first extramarital affair is when their wife is pregnant.
However, he emphasized that research shows that 80 percent of female members love their husbands deeply and only join the site out of failure to adjust to married life or because they miss something in their lives. The strategist said that now that Taiwan has decriminalized adultery, members of the public may feel more open about having frank discussions with their partners on marriage and extramarital affairs.
Keable said that since the ruling, the new members in Taiwan were overwhelmingly female. However, he said that there was no significant increase in male members over the same period.
In general, he says that the ratio of female to male members in Taiwan is 1.3 to 1, unlike Europe and North America, where the ratio is fairly even. Keable said that the ratio of women to men tends to be higher in Asia overall.
He suggested that this could be because a higher percentage of women in Asia countries are housewives and are more prone to depression while staying at home for long periods of time. Therefore, he said they go online to seek a lifestyle change.
The website now has 65 million members across the globe, with the top three countries in terms of membership being the U.S., Brazil, and Canada. Taiwan ranks 18th in the world in membership accounts, but seventh in terms of money spent.
Since the start of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the site has seen a 10 percent spike in new membership, according to the Los Angeles Times. It is believed this is because many countries have imposed strict lockdowns, prompting people to seek companionship as they find themselves feeling lonely at home.