Marriage and dating customs in china

But China’s cultural context goes back several thousands of years.

It has a written language that has been in use for the longest continuous period of time in the world, and it has the oldest written history (Han ).

For sons, in particular, “xiao” makes finding a spouse a priority and consequently makes dating take on a different quality.

China is typically regarded as a collectivistic culture, in which obligations to the greater society and social institutions (e.g., the family) are considered more important than individual traits and needs (Kwang ).

Dating and romantic relationships are a normal, yet essential, part of life during the adolescent and early adult years.

The influence of individualist values and the changing cultural norms pertaining to dating and familial roles are discussed.

The initiation and maintenance of intimate, romantic relationships have been linked with improved physical and emotional well-being, stronger perceptions of community attachment, and better developmental outcomes for the individuals (e.g., Amato ).

During adolescence and the early adult years, dating enhances identity formation for individuals and provides socialization experiences which are necessary to forming and maintaining intimate and interpersonal relationships in life (Chen et al. Although researchers have directed their efforts toward a better understanding of the dynamics of dating and partner selection, focusing upon the influence of such elements as the family environment (e.g., parental divorce, parental marital quality, parent-child relationships), peer relationships, and community factors (Bryant and Conger ), the majority of studies focusing upon dating and romantic relationships have utilized samples of Western youth.

Even the behaviors within dating appear to be rapidly changing over time.

Behaviors such as holding hands and kissing in public, which may been somewhat taboo only a few decades ago, in China, are now becoming increasingly commonplace (Xia and Zhou ) reports that over one third of college students in China had become sexually active while enrolled in school.

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