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“There is lots written in the state media about how all these tens of millions of unmarried men pose a threat to society.
But at the other end of the spectrum, unmarried women who are not fulfilling their 'duty to the nation’ by getting married and having children are also seen as a threat.” As it has moved from communism towards a freer economy China has become a richer – and also increasingly unequal – society.
This may be a time of sexual and romantic liberation in China, but the solemn task of finding a husband or wife is proving to be a vexing proposition for rich and poor alike.
“The old family and social networks that people used to rely on for finding a husband or wife have fallen apart,” said James Farrer, an American sociologist whose book, “Opening Up,” looks at sex, dating and marriage in contemporary China.
But all the boys in my grade are very low-class.” Dating changed under the Communists.
In the past girls began pinning up their hair at the age of 15 to indicate they were eligible for marriage. Girls mostly stayed at home and were rarely in the company of non-family members.
In China it is not unusual to find women in their late 20s who have never had a relationship.
Potential boyfriend and girlfriends break off from the group, often in a way orchestrated by other members of the group, and go for walk somewhere.
Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore wrote in The Telegraph, “ China’s spectacular economic growth has, for many, turned dating and marriage into a commercial transaction, and material expectations from marriage have soared.
These days, Western-style dating often only takes place in universities, where young people are beyond the supervision of their parents and can do what they want.