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While researchers have long examined the dating and mate selection patterns among young adults, the vast majority have utilized Western samples.
In order to further our understanding of the changing nature of dating behaviors and attitudes, this study examines a sample of young Chinese adults and focuses upon the gender differences therein.
In China, marriage and family life continues to be a central element within Chinese culture, with adolescents and young adults typically assuming that they will eventually find a partner.
What is lacking, however, is a broader understanding of how contemporary Chinese youth view dating and intimate relationships.
Researchers have noted this shortcoming and have called for greater empirical examination of partner selection in contemporary urban China (Xu et al. The present study will seek to address these calls for empirical study by using a sample of Chinese college students to examine the nature of attitudes and expectations concerning dating among young adults in contemporary China.
The analyses which follow will attempt to more accurately discern the nature of such attitudes and expectations, as well as differences which may exist between females and males.
Women, in particular, appear to be more focused on pragmatic qualities in prospective partners.
In regard to premarital sex, for example, some studies have reported that 86 % of respondents approve of it (see Tang and Zuo ).Hence, individual choice within dating relationships and mate selection processes is more likely to occur within individualistic cultures.Collectivistic cultures prompt young adults to regard love and romantic relationships within the larger context of their familial and societal obligations (Yang ).From a generational perspective, dating and romantic relationships in China are regarded differently, as adolescents and young adults may have more progressive beliefs, as compared to their parents.Researchers have noted that Chinese parents tend to oppose adolescent dating (Chen et al.
The Chinese character for “xiao” can visually be interpreted as a child with an old man on his back (Han ).