Why are there more unmarried women than men, noting that the female population is less than the male population in China at present? A report on a survey of Chinese netizens' attitudes towards courtship and marriage might provide the answer.
This was the first ever survey on such issues conducted in China. The poll covered 210 million Chinese netizens. It was published this Thursday, on Valentine's Day, in Hangzhou, the capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province.
Jointly sponsored by China Matchmaker (www.hongniang.com) and the Chinese Academy of Marriage and Family, the survey was conducted for one month using diversified means including online and offline questionnaires and expert analyses. Questions probed into marital status, as well as pressure from, activities concerning, and ways to achieve courtship and marriage.
According to the survey, Chinese netizens think that the most ideal age for a man to get married is 30. Over 90 percent of the women who responded to the survey said they were the most willing to marry men near the age of 30. Significantly, a male youth under 30 years old is considered less eligible as a potential spouse.
Unfortunately age is crueler toward women. About 65 percent of the men surveyed said that they wanted a spouse aged from 25-28 at the time of marriage. After 28, a woman's opportunity to find a suitable mate becomes increasingly less as each year passes. In fact, 25.5 percent of men surveyed would like to tie the knot reluctantly with women at 30; and when they are 35, only 12.5 percent of the male population felt willing to accept them as potential wives.
Ironically, the crisis imposed by age upon men is much lighter. One third of the women were willing to marry a man as old as 35; even men in their forties would still be chosen by 15.2 percent of the women.
Prof. Jiang Qianjin, a psychologist affiliated with Zhejiang University who specializes in courtship and marriage, said that the window of marriageable age for females is smaller than the male window. It is influenced by various factors, possibly exerting more diverse pressures on females than on males.
Stresses related to work and daily life have become the main reasons for males to postpone their marriageable age, said Yan Shan, a manager in charge of matchmaking services at the Hangzhou branch of China Matchmaker.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Tingting February 15, 2008)