Report on marriage in China: No house, no wife?

December 19, 2010 | Posted by Vicky

Young people attending a blind date event in China, above

The All-China Women's Federation and the Chinese Research Association on Marriage and Family joined forces to publish a report on marriage trends in China this past week. The investigation, which lasted over 12 months and covered 31 provinces, sought to survey the attitudes modern single men and women have regarding choosing partner.

Most desired partners: gov't officials and teachers

More than 40% of women interviewed said their ideal husband works as a government official, which may be indicative of someone seeking the stable live of a bureaucrat, the report says. Meanwhile, 38% of men interviewed said that their ideal wife was a teacher -- however, a majority of men (52%) said they have no specific expectations of an occupation of their wife. The report says this shows that men do not have a high requirement regarding the profession of their significant other -- they just hope their partners may have a stable job and time to take care of the family, which emerged as a common expectation of both partners.

No house, no chance?

70% of women interviewed said before they would consider marrying, their husband-to-be must already own a house, have a stable income and some savings. Moreover, among of them, about 65% of women hope their husband's income is more than double that of themselves. Men, meanwhile, said they have low requirement of their wife's income.

Notarization of property before marriage

In something like a pre-nupital agreement, Chinese couples before marriage are encouraged to get notarized statements of their respective property. This is to give both the man and women an opportunity to declare which property is theirs, before all property becomes 50/50 owned by the new married couple.

Despite this legal protection, nearly 30% of single women reported they cannot accept the notarization of property before marriage. This is due, the report suggests, to traditional notions that in marriage a women completely enters her husband's family. The study also found more than 30% of women believe their husband should pay for the marriage or that he should pay for the most, while the remaining 70% didn't have strong feelings. In an interesting twist also attributed to traditional family life, over 53% of men consented that family property, including cash, would be handled by their wives -- regardless of what may be legally outlined in a notarization of property.

The younger generation listens to their parents

The report also shows that 23.8% of single people's parents actively seek a marriage partner for them. And it also reports that most young people born after 1980 are apt to follow the advice of their parents when it comes to choosing a marriage partner. Since almost all singles born after 1980 are single children, the report suggests, they are accustomed to relying on their parents in all matters in life or finance.

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