It’s Complicated

Yahoo news has a story about how no one in China wants to get married anymore…

Maybe marriage “rates” are dipping, but many people certainly do want to marry. And have babies. There is in fact intense pressure on women to marry before the age of 30, after which they are considered “leftover” women.

True there are also more people who are partnering up with others without marriage, especially in the big cities, which are highly tolerant of all lifestyles.

One thing I have learned about China is that it exists on a scale that it incomparable to western countries. I now think that, yes, there are well over a billion people here, and my home city, the second-tier city of Chengdu, has over 15 million people, more than New York City. The US has two cities between 5 – 10 million people; China has several dozen.

What I’m trying to say is that, if you look for a demographic trend in China, or if you look for a particular fad or lifestyle, you will find it.

I’ve met women in China who are deeply conservative and traditional, who always behave in a way that benefits their family, friends, and society at large. They are not necessarily prudish; it’s that they were not raised with hypersexualized media (now that is changing), and they have been contextualized by Old China.

But I’ve met very wild women, of various ages, who will have a fling at a moments notice just because – and who seek that out. China has its own version of Tinder called Tantan. Like I said, there are lots of people in China. There is no shortage of adventurous women.

Either way, across the spectrum of personality, women here have a certain charm that is unique to China.

I’m just reluctant to read too much into these articles that make sweeping observations and predictions about China. This place it too big for that. It will take several decades to know for sure what is happening in that department.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation