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The initiation and maintenance of intimate, romantic relationships have been linked with improved physical and emotional well-being, stronger perceptions of community attachment, and better developmental outcomes for the individuals (e.g., Amato 2010; Braithwaite et al. In China, marriage and family life continues to be a central element within Chinese culture, with adolescents and young adults typically assuming that they will eventually find a partner.

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For such populations, who are often away from the eyes of their parents, college life may present opportunities for not only dating but also sexual activity (Xia and Zhou 2003).

Lei (2005) reports that over one third of college students in China had become sexually active while enrolled in school.

The present study will seek to address these calls for empirical study by using a sample of Chinese college students to examine the nature of attitudes and expectations concerning dating among young adults in contemporary China.

The analyses which follow will attempt to more accurately discern the nature of such attitudes and expectations, as well as differences which may exist between females and males.

Nonetheless, there is widespread acceptance that dating is becoming increasingly popular among Chinese youth (Tang and Zuo 2000).

Among Chinese college students, in particular, dating has quickly elevated in popularity (Yang 2011).

Thus, in order to best understand and appreciate the social dynamics occurring in present day China, one should first examine some of the important long-standing traditions connected to its culture.

The traditional expectations concerning dating and marriage have a long history within Chinese culture and are based heavily upon ancestor worship and Confucian ideology.

Seemingly, contemporary Chinese college students may be adopting a perspective of dating and intimate relationships which focuses less on paths toward marriage and more on immediate pleasure and gratification (Yang 2011).

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