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Social Observations - Dating and Marriage
The aim of this section is to give those travelling to China for the first time an insight into the lives of ordinary Chinese People
Personal Relationships

Young people usually have their first proper 'Date' during late teens. Often this is someone from their college, whom they will see until they graduate. Afterwards they may work in different Provinces or Countries, and they will endeavour to see each other for a day or so, once every four to six weeks. This continues for several years, and usually until they can afford a home of their own, and get married. It is unusual for traditional Chinese youngsters to have many partners.

Whilst this still holds true for the majority of modern Chinese, it is now more normal for Eastern City dwellers to have two or three relationships before marriage. However, most Chinese will be considered quite niaive by Western standards, even in the most religious of families. That stated - A small minority walk a very different path in life...

Age of Consent
The Age of Marriage in all China is set at 22 for boys, and 20 for girls. There does not appear to be a specific Age of Consent for sex - please correct me if I am wrong?

These are legal in China: They are cheap, quick, and performed to very high clinical standards. They are also more common than you would imagine, as engaged couples will usually abort if they are not married before pregnancy

One Child Policy vs Abortion
Originally this Policy was introduced to slow the Chinese population explosion, and it has worked fairly well in general. The main problem is that being a male dominated society, couples were choosing to abort female embryos and only give birth to boys. This has since led to a disparity between the numbers of boys vs numbers of girls available for marriage; currently around 10% more boys in areas like Beijing and Shanghai. Cantonese are not usually bothered by this enough to abort a foetus. Due to the possibility of social problems in the future, abortion is no longer allowed simply for the purposes of gender manipulation

Marriage and Children
Whilst Cantonese do adhere to the 'One-child' policy in cities, there are exceptions. Wealthy people can pay the state a very large amount of money to have more children, the fees rising for each additional child. Farming communities can have two children, provided the first is a girl. There are other specific exceptions, too complicated to list here

Few modern Cantonese suffer arranged marriages - however, to marry a girl your parents disapprove of can be extremely bad. For lovers it actually goes like this:

1. Your first option is to marry a girl your parents approve of = Her Family is revered in their specific local culture, and from good stock (Sounds a tad English?)
2. You have to be very much in love, or lucky, or think outside the box for any other optional marriage partner. Very serious stuff
3. The Number-One mate for a Cantonese Boy is otherwise actually a Japanese Girl - Japanese boys remain by their unrepentance 'Unforgiven', and this is a very deep-seated resentment, especially in Guangdong
4. Chinese girls often want to marry a Western foreigner for a passport to your country, your money, or a better type of life...? Very few of these girls actually marry outside of their local community in reality, but are given to flirting with the idea...
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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