Poll Lists Top Fears of China

Poll Lists Top Fears of China
Nov 19, 2013 Translated by eChinacities.com

Editor’s note: For all its sophistication and rapid change, Chinese society is still rather conservative and even superstitious at heart. So while Chinese may have glittering skyscrapers in their dreams, what do they see in their nightmares?

This is what a recent Baidu Zhidao poll attempted to find out. In this Chinese translated news report, the list of top fears in China may prove to be surprising if not downright shocking, especially if opinion polls happen to be a phobia of yours.

Men are afraid of becoming bald; women are afraid of getting wrinkles; everyone is afraid of getting “left behind”. No matter if it is men or women, rich or poor, old or young… everyone has fear in their hearts. What are you most afraid of? Do you want to know what other people are afraid of? Yesterday afternoon, Baidu Zhidao published the “List of Things Chinese Are Afraid Of” and the top ten biggest fears of men and women include common phobias, emotional problems, career anxieties and so on. According to the list, men are most afraid of not having any money while women are most afraid of becoming old. Interestingly, under the category of “emotional fears”, men were more afraid of being single than women by eight percent. These conclusions were compiled from close to 20 million questions about “fear”. Let’s see if some of your fears made it on to the list.

Source: Tomasz Stasiuk

Money and vanity top the list

The statistics clearly show that just as men and women are distinct from each other, so too are the main concepts of their thinking as well as the worries that they have. For 2.9 million men their biggest fear is not having any money, while a similar number of women (2.7 million) fear growing old.

In terms of health concerns, men were most concerned with losing their hair, getting a beer belly as well as “not being able to perform”; whereas women were most concerned about getting wrinkles on their faces or having their bust line sag or their waistline grow. In this instance both men and women are concerned with growing old; but the number of women concerned about aging issues far outweighed the number of men.

Baidu Zhidao thinks that the way these fears differ reflects the difference in how men and women ascertain their own self-worth. Many netizens online have acknowledged that men most afraid of not having money and women most afraid of growing old is in keeping with the basic requirements that the material world puts upon men and women. As money symbolizes success for men, having a pretty face is the most important thing for women.

Some netizens have objected to this reasoning by saying they consider the sample taken by the poll to be limited in its scope and can’t be determined to represent all of society. This netizen comment best sums up this sentiment: “Materialism does not constitute the only standard by which success can be judged upon just as becoming old does not signify the termination of the essence of charm. It’s just that we laypeople are not able to transcend the material standard that is foisted upon us. This does not represent the fact that we are debased and materialistic; rather, from another way of looking at it, this constitutes a form of progress.”

Emotional fears: being left “on the shelf”, forced marriages, love turning sour

The “list” also broke fears down into categories, such as emotional, marriage, and career. Unsurprisingly netizens were most interested in the “Emotional fears” category and have spent a great deal of time discussing them online. These statistics reveal that men are 8% more likely to be afraid of being single than women are; could this be the result of China’s overabundance of men? Another interesting statistic is that 70% of women are afraid of getting married, whereas this is something that only 30% of men are afraid of.

Many netizens seem to disagree: “Don’t all women uniformly love arranged marriages? How is it that they are more afraid of getting married than men are?” Baidu Zhidao explains this phenomenon by saying, “Most of our female users are more independent than the average woman.”

Married or not, both men and women are afraid of their emotional relationships changing over time; to be more accurate, women are afraid of being betrayed while men are afraid of having their extra-marital affords discovered. Statistics compiled by Baidu Zhidao indicate that male users will often search for ways to conceal the truth from their wives while female users will often inquire how to best monitor their husbands.

More people are scared of chickens than of cockroaches!

The poll also analyzed which “phobias” men and women have. Some are normal: the sound of an electric drill, fingernails scratching on a blackboard, the hocking up of phlegm. While others are so strange as to be inconceivable: for example, the “fear of the sound of knocking on a door” is rather unexpected. The most surprising is the fact that more people are afraid of chickens (12%) than cockroaches (10%). A psychologist tried to explain this by saying that people are afraid of animals because they represent danger in their subconscious; therefore, learning to be afraid of them is a necessary survival skill. Not sure it explains away the chicken phobia though.

Expert opinion: “This certainly reflects society’s anxieties”

Baidu Zhidao states that the conclusions reached by this poll on what Chinese people are afraid of is the result of the answers taken from almost 20 million questions regarding fears. Do these statistics have far-reaching implications; are they worthy of deliberation? Wang Shaolei, a professor at the News Propaganda College at Nanjing Normal University thinks that this poll constitutes a proper study sample and that the conclusions reached by asking “What Chinese are afraid of?” are appropriate. Aside from using traditional methods like polls and questionnaires, sociologists will conduct surveys using polls conducted over the phone or in-person, on the street; and now new media is a useful source for garnering current views and opinions.

In Wang’s opinion, using new media to conduct investigations has advantages such as being able to use the IP addresses of netizens to verify their locations and thus being able to confirm the geographical areas this study sample covers. In response to this Baidu Zhidao poll, Wang’s evaluation is that there is nothing wrong with the sample so long as researchers conform to the basic requirements that a sociologist makes; then the conclusions reached will have merit worthy of consideration.

Source: People’s Online Daily

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Keywords: common fears of china common phobias of china top 10 fears of china top fears of Chinese top 10 fears of Chinese top fears of China


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Brave guy: "I'm afraid of nothing." Cowardly guy: "Me too!"

Nov 21, 2013 11:20 Report Abuse



For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Nov 20, 2013 01:34 Report Abuse



didnt god tell us to fear him??? just thinking about the early bibles....

Nov 20, 2013 03:42 Report Abuse



For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer's fear is reverence of God. Hebrews 12:28-29 is a good description of this: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’” This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for Christians. This is the motivating factor for us to surrender to the Creator of the Universe. Proverbs 1:7 declares, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” Until we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from understanding who God is and that He is holy, just, and righteous. Deuteronomy 10:12, 20-21 records, “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” The fear of God is the basis for our walking in His ways, serving Him, and, yes, loving Him. Some redefine the fear of God for believers to “respecting” Him. While respect is definitely included in the concept of fearing God, there is more to it than that. A biblical fear of God, for the believer, includes understanding how much God hates sin and fearing His judgment on sin—even in the life of a believer. Hebrews 12:5-11 describes God’s discipline of the believer. While it is done in love (Hebrews 12:6), it is still a fearful thing. As children, the fear of discipline from our parents no doubt prevented some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him. Believers are not to be scared of God. We have no reason to be scared of Him. We have His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). We have His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.

Nov 27, 2013 02:31 Report Abuse



Ecity becoming real bulvar :D

Nov 19, 2013 08:59 Report Abuse



What does bulvar mean?

Nov 19, 2013 13:44 Report Abuse



okay, sorry. I wasn't aware, this word does not refer in english lang. :-( so, the correct one have to be " tabloid journalism" ... " Tabloid journalism tends to emphasize topics such as sensational crime stories, astrology, gossip columns about the personal lives of celebrities and sports stars, and junk food newsThe terms tabloids, supermarket tabloids, gutter press and rag refer to the journalistic approach of such newspapers rather than their size." :-))))))

Nov 19, 2013 23:31 Report Abuse



Most of these types of fears are common fears and are applicable to all race and nationalities across the globe, not only for China and the Chinese. Nobody wants to get old and die. Nobody wants wrinkles in their faces. Nobody wants to be poor. Nobody wants sagging bellies and boobs. Thus the staggering growth of markets that targets all of us with these fears and issues.

Nov 19, 2013 08:36 Report Abuse



Someone is living in the shell, and ehm : Source: People’s Online Daily. That's says all :-)

Nov 19, 2013 09:00 Report Abuse