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New trend of young, educated Thai women with farang husbands emerges: researcher

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New trend of young, educated Thai women with farang husbands emerges: researcher
Yiamyut Sutthichaya
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Thai-Farang couple. File photo.

BANGKOK: -- Research shows an increase in the number of young middle-class Thai women marrying white men. It reflects not only a shift from a struggle for financial security to self-fulfilment based a love match, but also a clash between the new social trends versus traditional social prejudice.

On 5 July, ‘The farang husband nirvana phenomenon in social media: Reproduction of the ‘Motherland’ norm in international policy implementation,’ a paper by Supichaya Promboon, an undergraduate in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Programme (WGSS) summer course, was presented at Thammasat University’s Thaprachan campus. The paper will be published in the WGSS academic journal in August along with other research papers.

A recent social media phenomenon sees Thai women overtly expressing their attraction to western, or white men, while more and more young Thai women are engaged in transnational love affairs and even marriage, Supichaya found. To the researcher, this is a surprising trend because of the social stigma attached to ‘mia farang’, Thai women marrying white men. Supichaya was curious and thus conducted her research to understand this phenomenon.

“Before I conducted this research, I thought that Thai women marry white men from economic necessity, but after I studied the situation, I changed my mind,” said Supichaya, who studied the trend through match-making websites, targeting Thai women and white men.

The researcher found that Thai women have been engaging in love affairs with white men through their own will instead of for economic reasons.

She found a growing number of young (about 18-30 years old) middle-class Thai women marrying farangs. These women are well educated and financially quite independent in comparison with the former generation which mostly came from the working class in Isan.

Moreover, the new generation’s preferences are different from the past. Instead of old rich men, they prefer young and educated men and their economic background matches their education.

There are currently three reasons according to the research study for Thai women having love affairs with white guys.

First, there are more opportunities to study English to improve communication skills, which facilitates interaction between couples.

Second, there are social media and match-making websites that facilitate meetings and dates between couples of different backgrounds, especially race, leading to a higher chance of marriage later on.

However, social media does not ensure that women will have farang boyfriends. “It is like regular match-making where both people have to meet each other’s requirements in order to start a relationship,” said Supichaya.

Third, most of these women do not possess the appearance which is valued by Thai men (Chinese-like faces, white skin and skinny bodies). White men however find them attractive.

Despite all the factors that help Thai women and westerners start relationships, there are also some illusions about Thai women that please their counterparts.

“Westerners like to think that Thai women are good at cooking and doing chores. Although some women are not good at them, they still benefit from this stereotype when looking for a farang husband,” added Supichaya.

Social prejudice against mia farang

Although new dimension of love is blooming, it is undeniable that there is still social prejudice against women as economic dependents of their foreign partners.

Supichaya said that women who marry white men do not want to be condemned by society as money grubbers. However, women must overcome social prejudice instead of surrendering to it.

“If society has pre-judged them [mia farang] that way, then what should they do? Do they need to abandon their desire and wait for leftover Thai men to have a crush on them at the last moment? Women have the right to choose their partners too”, said Supichaya.

Finally, Supichaya reminded women to think if marrying a white man is their true wish or just a cool trend.

Historically, the rise in the number of Thai women marrying westerners was a result of the pro-US economic policies during the administration of Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat, a military dictator who ruled the Kingdom between 1958-1963 when Thailand was very dependent on western financial aid and investment in order to stimulate growth and generate wealth, which also attracted westerners to Thailand. As a result, western men and Thai women were able to meet and falling in love and finally marrying.

Supichaya believes that these policies made Thai people recognize themselves as inferior to westerners in the same way that women are inferior to men. It led Thais to look at themselves as economically dependent on westerners. This perception of westerners spilled over into other social dimensions, one of which is transnational marriage.

-- Prachatai 2015-07-28

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Wow. So all those posters with young, university educated wives who never ask for money for their family are real after all biggrin.png

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"Westerners like to think that Thai women are good at cooking and doing chores."

Not this westerner. I find it depends largely on the individual. I had one Thai gf that would be aghast if I tried to wash a dish or sweep the floor. I tried to explain the concept of equality in a relationship, whoosh over her head. On the other end of the spectrum my wife is quite happy to see me drudging away with house chores and of course, being the handyman. biggrin.png

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"Third, most of these women do not possess the appearance which is valued by Thai men (Chinese-like faces, white skin and skinny bodies). White men however find them attractive."

Must be millions of disappointed and frustrated Thai guys then.

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Maybe it because so many Thai men are a*holes ?

And farang men are all perfect?

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"....most of these (Thai) women do not possess the appearance which is valued by Thai men..........."

errm........no, most of these (Thai) women are sophisticated and discerning enough to see a Thai man as second best!

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" “Before I conducted this research, I thought that Thai women marry white men from economic necessity, but after I studied the situation, I changed my mind,” said Supichaya, who studied the trend through match-making websites, targeting Thai women and white men. "

I hope her research included more than the above. Perhaps it was but was not reported in this article - quite possible with the very poor state of Thai reporting and journalism.

If it didn't include one on one interviews and focus group interviews and cross group discussions then by most university standards it wouldn't pass.

_________________________________

As a different angle, within the last 5 years or so i've had maybe 10 to 15 Thai female MBA students ask me how they could meet nice farang men, their own age. In most cases going to bars etc., not within their scope of activities at all.

In 99% of these cases the Thai ladies speak advanced English, very pleasant, like to discuss more wordly things, pretty much open to listen and learn, want to politely express their own thoughts. Not the 'up to you' approach.

At one of my Unis here in Bangkok there are currently 2 young Thai men, MBA students, seriously dating female MBA exchange students from Europe (one from Germany, one from England). Money is not a drawcard in either direction. Both of the Thai men come from comfortable, not rich, families and have good employment

In the last 5 years I've been to 2 such weddings. In both cases Thai lady and western man.

In most of the above cases the Thai parents are initially concerned but after a few meetings with the foreign partner they are quite happy. In one case of marriage the Thai parents and the western parents have become close friends and now visit each other about twice per year.

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Will the trend continue with the closing of bars close too uni's... gigglem.gif

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what is more bigoted, the researchers obvious bias or the comments here?

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"Third, most of these women do not possess the appearance which is valued by Thai men (Chinese-like faces, white skin and skinny bodies). White men however find them attractive"

I think the writer is looking for a farang husband.

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Many people all around the world are attracted to the exotic, pretty much every average looking human goes up a few notches in perceived attractiveness once they are transplanted to an area where their features are not commonplace.

First discovered this when I spent a year in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, and spent the entire year getting regularly approached by (gainfully employed and far from poor) models. I was healthy, slim and young, but certainly not a looker.

As for 'Thai blokes are second best' - what a load of tepid idiotic bullshit. Get over yourself.

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" “Before I conducted this research, I thought that Thai women marry white men from economic necessity, but after I studied the situation, I changed my mind,” said Supichaya, who studied the trend through match-making websites, targeting Thai women and white men. "

I hope her research included more than the above. Perhaps it was but was not reported in this article - quite possible with the very poor state of Thai reporting and journalism.

If it didn't include one on one interviews and focus group interviews and cross group discussions then by most university standards it wouldn't pass.

This type of research would be laughed at in the rest of the world. It shows the struggle that pooyais have to understand the world around them and how extremely racist some can be.

Oh deary me. Educated girls marrying foreigners. Of course it was always for money, as though all that show of dowry money in Thai culture was for true love??? What does every Thai soap opera show?

Money grabbing hiso women competing with a true love. What a sad little microcosm of Thai culture this pseudo research actually shows.

"New research shows the true racial jealousy of ill educated hiso student"

This bird should try it, she might never go back.

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Well out of my wife's classmates from Uni seven out of eight are married/dating white guys. Three had kids this year. My Mrs is pale skinned, skinny(ish) and is financially independent. Certainly not a a HiSo Chinese Thai but middle class and educated. Her friends are of very similar background. They like to travel, eat foreign food and want some equality in their relationship.

As a country develops women have more opportunity and if a thai men can't provide the type of relationship required they will look elsewhere. The internet has made this easier. Now a Thai girls of all types have a chance to interact and meet farangs away from the bar scene

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