The demographic consequences of population controls have had a dramatic effect too.
In the late 1980s, China’s ancient cultural preference for males was bolstered by new and soon ubiquitous ultrasound technology which led to millions of baby girls being killed, abandoned or aborted: China now has one of the most imbalanced sex ratios in the world with around 114 boys for every 100 girls.
Anything more exuberant might convince a prospective suitor that she is assertive, worldly, charismatic – not a good wife, in other words.
did not conform to a certain level of moral conduct set by Europe and the USA, they remained “stripped of all privileges and left with an ascribed eroticism that invites sexual engagement, exploitation and ultimate abandonment” (Lin, 2007).
The power plays between ‘Mother mind’ and ‘Father force,’ the violent tension between ‘Mahimata’ (Mother Earth) and Lord Shiva (god of destruction) – all cultures have their myths about this duality and can follow its discourse: – the destructive power of the short-sighted masculine West that narrow-mindedly focuses on objects, not relations, and that wants to exploit and manipulate those objects in order to control nature and all things.
– the gentle power of the long-sighted feminine East that holistically perceives the world’s interconnectedness of all objects, and that cultivates and appreciates them in order to balance the relations among all things.
In the Mao Zedong era after 1949, work-unit bosses often arranged pairings instead.
That youngsters may choose their own life partner is a relatively new notion, so China’s dating culture is still in its infancy.