Huseng wrote:GarcherLancelot wrote:Why are there more male dropouts?.. .
I don't know if the proportion is statistically higher than with the female ordinands, though I suspect it is.
I haven't really asked too much about this.
Living as a monastic isn't always so easy, and in modern Chinese Buddhism you'll probably be very busy from dawn till dusk. Unless you're really set on it and feel quite connected to your dharma brothers and the institution, then it might not seem so appealing once you've had a taste of the busy monastic lifestyle.
In the old days becoming a monk was often the optimal course of action. In rural communities where the eldest son would inherit most of the land and property, the younger brothers were not left with much. Without land they were limited in their future options. Monasticism was definitely an option and one that most communities respected.
Most monks in previous times took the tonsure in their childhood or teenage years, and hence were locked into that lifestyle, so to speak, for the rest of their lives. If you're trained to be clergy, it wouldn't be realistic to up and leave and take up a trade, especially in pre-modern times. So, they spent the rest of their lives as monks. There were few practical alternatives.
Now adult men who are given the option of becoming monks have ample opportunities available to them. If you're educated and healthy, the world is open to you. This is quite different from when in the old days when novices were mostly children and had skills tailored specifically for the temple setting, so doing anything else in life was impractical.
Becoming a monk in Chinese culture also has had a negative image. It was, and perhaps still is, often thought that adult men who become monks do so because they've failed at life. Maybe they're financially ruined or failed at romance, and as an alternative to killing themselves they go become monks instead. Master Sheng Yen writes about this negative stereotype in his work.
But for some reasons I think there are more japanese and korean monks?.. .