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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 ).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 ).), 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 ).
One of the enduring cultural traits is “xiao,” which, in the most basic sense, refers to filial piety.
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.
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 ).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.