Expectation Differences between Male and Female in Chinese Culture

Level 150 S/W


Expectation Differences between Male and Female in Chinese Culture

There are many sexism cultures; and Chinese culture is not an exception. Although legends told that humans are created by a female god, Chinese women are not only considered less important in their family, but also deactivated in the education, business and political areas until modern decades. .

First, women are expected to have lower position in a family.  For one thing, they are not expected to succeed a family. Only male members have their name registered in genealogies. Girls are considered less important than their brothers because they will move out from the family after marriage. For another, traditional people usually expect a husband should be richer, smarter, older or even taller than a wife, even in the equalitarian communist decades. As a result, either in the family of their parents or in their husband’s, women are not considered as important as their brothers or husbands.

Second, women have been discriminated in their education and career. In the history, women have little chance to study because their position in family, and usually do basic work. Now, enterprises have negative attitude with lost caused by absence of pregnancy and have less motivation to hire girls. “The current percentage of women among the unemployed is not yet known, but it is widely reported in the media that women usually account for over 60% of layoffs. “(Report of Major Data on the Second Random Survey on Women’s Social Status (V)).At the same time, official retire age of women is 55, while its counterpart of man is 60. These are the reasons of their low income and short career.

Third, Women are not expected to active in politics. In the history, there is only one female emperor, while there are hundreds of emperors in Chinese history. Women can not benefit from Civil Service Examinations system, an ancient qualification of the governors during a thousand years. Women who have political influence are usually considered dangerous for succession except the grandmothers or mothers of crown princes. Now, although Women occupied 39.2% of position in government and Chinese Communist Party, most of them are vice and unimportant officers..

There has being tide of equalizations, and many changes made in last two centuries to eradicate discrimination against women. In families, women have equal succession priority and less housework, and many husbands in large city do more housework than their “strong” wives. Almost every woman in mainland keeps their last name after marriage and often lives independently from both parents of the couple, and the single children policy make children get full attention from parents. Women only and coeducational schools spread in the beginning of 20th century, and now more than half of primary and high school students and almost half of undergraduate students are female students. Sometimes women have even higher priorities to be elected or promoted in some state-owned factors. A law named “Law Against Discrimination” was submitted to the National People’s Congress to accelerate the steps of discrimination against woman. As a conclusion, women had a secondary place in the past, but they will have equal position in the future.


Jordan,D.K.(2003, September 3). The Traditional Chinese Family & Lineage. Retrieved from http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/chin/hbfamilism-u.html

Jordan,D.K.(2003, September 3). Outline of XIXth-Century Chinese Civil Service Examinations. Retrieved from http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/chin/hbcivilservice-u.html

Cai, M (2002, January 8). Investigation of Chinese female officials. China Woman Daily. Retrieved from http://www.china-woman.com/gb/2002/01/08/zgfnb/lxlt/3.htm

Yang, F. (2003,June 2). Focus on Women Politics. China Woman Daily, Retrieved from http://www.china-woman.com/gb/2003/06/02/zgfnb/lxlt/2.htm

Report of Major Data on the Second Random Survey on Women’s Social Status (V) – Survey Displays The Main Issues With Regard To Women’s Status, China Women’s Daily. (2001 September 6) p.1.



One response to “Expectation Differences between Male and Female in Chinese Culture”

  1. existentialtableau Avatar

    Well written, I worked in China and your observations certainly align with my own – that of an outsider.

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