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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 ).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.In regard to premarital sex, for example, some studies have reported that 86 % of respondents approve of it (see Tang and Zuo ).This involves, especially for sons, the care for parents in their elderly years (see Ho ).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.Thus, in order to best understand and appreciate the social dynamics occurring in present day China, one should first examine some of the important long-standing traditions connected to its culture.The traditional expectations concerning dating and marriage have a long history within Chinese culture and are based heavily upon ancestor worship and Confucian ideology.
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.), perhaps due to their more traditional perspectives.While there is no clear definition of what is an appropriate age for individuals to begin dating, those who begin dating at early ages will typically have to cope with the opposition of parents (Wu ).From this perspective, filial piety and the continuation of family lineage are of tremendous importance (Han ).
One of the enduring cultural traits is “xiao,” which, in the most basic sense, refers to filial piety.Seemingly, contemporary Chinese college students may be adopting a perspective of dating and intimate relationships which focuses less on paths toward marriage and more on immediate pleasure and gratification (Yang ).