Traditional thinking is making it difficult for well-educated women with a high income to find a husband, a survey conducted by the Shanghai Women's Federation suggests.
Tall women are also having trouble finding a husband, the survey indicated.
Traditionally, Chinese men have insisted on marrying a woman with a lower education, and smaller income than themselves. They also prefer women who are younger and shorter than they are.
According to Shanghai Jinguoyuan Matchmaking Agency, one of the largest agencies of its kind in the city, about seven women sign up for help finding a husband for every three men who seek the agency's help.
The federation surveyed 996 people with university education between the ages of 27 and 37, to find out why educated, wealthy women can't find a mate. About 21 percent of the respondents are single, 78 percent are married and the others are divorced or widowed.
The survey indicated that married people are more satisfied with just about every aspect of life than singles with a similar education and income.
"This indicates not many young people will accept staying single," said Lu Jianmin, who was in charge of the survey. "The real reason for the current situation for these excellent women is the traditional thinking that a man must excel a woman."
The survey suggests that 85 percent of men and 75 percent of women think a husband should be at least three years older than his wife. Only 7.6 percent of male respondents said they would consider marrying a woman with a postgraduate degree, while 40 percent of women said they hope to marry a man with a Master's or Doctorate.
None of the female respondents are willing to marry a man who makes less than 3,000 yuan (US$370) a month.
(Shanghai Daily February 23, 2006)