BBC - Capital - Why millions of Chinese men are staying single
Chinese writer Yuan Ren lifts the lid on so-called 'yellow fever': a well-peddled myth that Asian women make better sexual lovers than other. China has many millions more men than women, a hangover of the country's Part of the problem is that the old – and new – ways of meeting people are “ Many eligible Chinese men want to marry younger and pretty girls. What are pros and cons of marrying an asian woman? So, in fact, asian mail order brides are women who want to find their Dating sites give these ladies more opportunities and make it easier to find someone who will meet their demands.
The China Youth Daily newspaper recently published a survey that suggests 89 per cent of young singletons are forced to go on dates during the Lunar New Year holiday, 61 per cent of whom are aged between 25 and 30 years old.
While pressure to marry is by no means exclusive to women, they've arguably been left with a raw deal. With unprecedented population concerns characterised by the highest sex-ratio imbalance in the world and a fast ageing population, mainland media have intentionally popularised the term "leftover women", defined as a woman over the age of 29 who has "failed" to find a husband. Countless surveys, articles, cartoons and television shows depict excessively fussy women who selfishly turn up their noses at potential suitors.
The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China. On the contrary, the rhetoric is, 'women, return to the home, stop being so ambitious and get married'. A recent study by Hong Kong-based sociologist Sandy To Sin-chi shows that these women struggle to find a lasting relationship in what is a conservative, patriarchal society.
Men continue to "undermarry" in terms of education, accomplishments and age, leaving the most successful women on the shelf.
To describes how this is mostly due to a culture that disparages men who aren't in breadwinning roles. Kevin Du Kang, a marketing consultant in Shanghai concurs.
I would lose my confidence and male status," he admits. Responsible for attracting more than 25, singletons to the city's annual Matchmaking Expo, Zhou accuses women of demanding too much - reminding them that the chances of finding an Andy Lau lookalike who owns his own house and car, shares all their interests and loves them unconditionally are slim. However, some flaws are hard to overlook, my female subjects seem to suggest.
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Their most common grievances are close-mindedness, insecurity and "backwards" mindsets in the men they meet. One woman says she was warned by the man she was dating that she'd only be able to spend time with her girlfriends twice a year should they marry while several others confide that the male need for status affirmation and control even finds its way into the bedroom.
A study published in Science magazine last year found that people born after the introduction of the one-child policy, inare more risk averse, less trusting and trustworthy, more pessimistic and less competitive than those born before. According to Lata Gangadharan, professor of economics at Monash University, Australia, the study suggests the effects are more marked for men.
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Whatever the reason for the mainland's apparent shortage of good men, it is proving a real struggle for women who feel trapped between the societal importance of marriage and a fear of settling for someone they have little in common with. Consequently, many women are starting to look more seriously elsewhere, dating outside their ethnicity in order to increase the chances of finding a partner.
To studied 50 leftover women and found them increasingly likely to choose Western men, "who are generally believed to be more open-minded and egalitarian in terms of gender roles". Zhang Yalin, who has been a professional matchmaker for 18 years, says that she's recently noticed a trend in women hoping to find their spouses abroad, with about 30 per cent of her female clients now deciding that foreigners are the best solution.
The programme is aimed at women over 30, divorcees and leftover women, who founder Liang Yali believes stand better chances of marriage with men from countries where age and accomplishments are viewed in a more forgiving light. Claiming a 60 per cent success rate, Liang says women are taught crucial skills, such as how to build confidence and gain greater self-understanding.
Interracial relationships are nothing new in China. Since the first batch of expatriate opportunists started trickling into the country in the s, "yellow fever" has been a common condition among foreign men. The number of Chinese including men marrying foreigners swelled from an official zero in to 53, inaccording to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Although only a handful of the women I speak to seem terribly excited about the prospect of marrying a foreigner, all are at pains to differentiate between expatriates and men living in their home countries.
A survey led by Gregory Mavrides, an American mental-health professional who taught at Guangzhou's Jinan University between andshowed that 49 per cent of the young, female respondents indicated a preference for Chinese husbands.
Richard Burger, author of Behind the Red Door: Now, with far fewer women than men, the race to find a suitable partner—and win her over before someone else does—has led some men to go to great lengths to find a wife. View image of Credit: In another case, a computer programmer from the southern city of Guangzhou bought 99 iPhones as part of an elaborate marriage proposal to his girlfriend.
Unfortunately, he was turned down, with his humiliation exacerbated as photos of the event were widely shared across social media. Young generations have more choice and they are following their hearts rather than parents Part of the problem is that the old — and new — ways of meeting people are not always working.
Chinese New Year has long been an opportunity for single people to meet a partner. Most people visit the houses of family and friends during the festival, which occurs between late January and mid-February, so singletons have many chances to meet potential partners.
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Getty Images But that longstanding tradition of meeting a potential partner has given way to modernity. Online dating is growing fast in China, as elsewhere, and messaging apps such as WeChat are increasingly popular ways of getting to know people. Other men are turning to psychologists and stylists to make themselves more appealing. View image of Modern dating leaves more options for women in China Credit: Alamy The problems for men in finding a partner are most acute in poorer rural areas, made worse by long-held traditions that the husband must be able to offer a decent level of financial security before he can secure a wife.
Age gaps of 10 to 20 years or more are common in Chinese marriages But this financial burden on men is also making it harder for many women to find a partner.