The liberalisation of sexual mores in China continues to produce interesting side effects. I don't mean the increase in sexually transmitted diseases. I'm talking about the erosion of trust between husbands and wives, as evidenced by a reported recent rise in paternity tests. What does this say about the status of marriage in China? Can the bonds of trust recover after being questioned in this way? Niuniu's friend Xiuxiu recently discovered that her husband, Jun, planned to get a paternity test done behind her back for their three-year-old son, Feifei. She calls Niuniu to vent her anger. 'I can't believe it,' Niuniu says. 'How could he insult you like this?' 'He must have learnt it from his male friends,' says Xiuxiu. 'They egg each other on. They all sleep around, yet have the nerve to question the loyalty of their wives. Men are so spoiled nowadays.' 'What could have motivated him to do this?' asks Niuniu. 'He says I haven't been interested in him lately,' says Xiuxiu. 'That I don't flirt with him. That maybe I'm having an affair. And then he began to think Feifei doesn't look like him.' This is the kind of problem that develops when technology becomes so accessible. People begin to think they ought to use it simply because they can. We've seen this with the popularity of cosmetic surgery, and the abuse of drugs such as Viagra. 'You said he was unfaithful to you before?' asks Niuniu. 'Oh, he doesn't show much interest in me,' says Xiuxiu. 'I keep catching him in the act. His girlfriends send erotic short messages to his cell phone. Sometimes he forgets to delete the messages.' 'Why do you put up with this?' asks Niuniu. 'I've always felt I should let him get away with this behaviour because he's the father of my child. I don't want Feifei to be the product of a broken home. And if I divorced him, he could marry a younger woman right away. But as a divorced woman in her late 30s, I won't be able to find a decent man.' 'Did you ever think that maybe Jun is looking for a way out of the marriage?' asks Niuniu. 'Maybe he thought the paternity test would give him an excuse to divorce you?' 'Yes, but I've shut him up for now. When I was changing Feifei, I held him in front of Jun's face. 'Jun, surely he has your genetic makeup. Look at his tiny penis.' Since then, he hasn't mentioned a word about the test.'