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.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.
Understandably, this places great pressure upon unmarried sons to negotiate with his parents over the identification and selection of a suitable wife, who, in turn, will also provide assistance to his aging parents.
Using a foundation of social exchange theory, the analyses illustrate the differences between the dating attitudes and expectations of Chinese women and men.
Per traditional expectations, both sexes place a low priority on sexual behaviors, yet more progressive attitudes and behaviors are also evident.
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.
While dating and sexual activity among Chinese college students have been previously noted by researchers (e.g., Xu ), comparatively less is known about the attitudes and expectations of youth concerning these behaviors.