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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.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.

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.

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

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 ).

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