First let me say this post is a rip-off from a new blog that came to my attention that you should go take a look at. It just started, but the posts that are there are all high-quality.
The post in question relates to a recent Global Times article about one of our favorite topics, namely the imbalance of Chinese men dating Western women compared to Chinese women dating Western men. (We all know which way the scale tips.)
We’ve talked about this anomaly several times before. Here’s what the experts say in the GT piece:
[F]or one of China’s most famous scholars of sex, Li Yinhe, the answer has much more to do with Chinese culture than with foreign attitudes. Asked why Chinese men rarely date foreign women, she said, “I’ve asked that question many times myself. One possibility is, men just don’t have the confidence.”
Casual dating is certainly a lessestablished part of Chinese culture. Twenty years ago, only 15 percent of people in China had sex before marriage, Li said. Today, half of women have already had sex when they are married, Li said, compared with 85 percent of Americans, according the American government’s National Survey of Family Growth.
Yan agrees that Chinese men have trouble approaching foreign women. “I know some Russian girls, and some of my guy friends say, oh, let’s have a party full of blonde girls. So maybe four or five girls and four or five guys go out. And then, the girls are there, and the guys are all together across the room,” Yan said. “They are afraid to be very aggressive, because, traditionally, those kind of men are bad men, playboys.”
Of course, many men in every country don’t really know how to approach women at all. Ashley Li, a 27-year-old Chinese teacher in Wangjing, said that she was looking for a serious relationship with a Chinese man, but had wound up dating foreign men at times because it was very difficult to find a boyfriend. She’s been single for a year, despite regularly going on blind dates.
There’s also an interview with an expat who is totally delighted with her Chinese boyfriend, so we know it’s not totally impossible. But as the cartoon above indicates, its the expat male who has the advantages, fair or not. All he has to do is show up, loser though he may be.
Check out the GT piece, as well as the new blog.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.