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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.
What is lacking, however, is a broader understanding of how contemporary Chinese youth view dating and intimate relationships.
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.
Dating and romantic relationships are a normal, yet essential, part of life during the adolescent and early adult years.
Beyond the basic desires which most individuals experience during this time, researchers have noted the relative significance of dating, not only for individuals but also for societies.
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From this perspective, filial piety and the continuation of family lineage are of tremendous importance (Han ).