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Asian youths dating in college (UC Berkeley student article)

For Asian Americans to discuss Asian American issues and topics.

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Asian youths dating in college (UC Berkeley student article)

Postby Falcon » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:33 am

http://bpr.berkeley.edu/2011/10/those-a ... nd-dating/


Those (Asian) Kids Today: The Truth Behind Asian College Students and Dating
by Dorothy Zuniga, staff writer

Coming into college as a freshman is a completely new experience for most students. For the first time, you are away from your parents and virtually independent. You decide when you eat, sleep, if you go to class, with whom you make friends, and whom you date. That last point — the freedom of dating — can often be a big change from high school, especially for Asian students. As a half- Chinese girl myself, I have observed an interesting pattern for Asian college students. They tend to have discussed romantic relationships with their parents before entering college. In my experience, Asian parents seem to believe that college is the opportune time for relationships to develop. However, I wanted to discover whether my experience as a half-Chinese girl corresponded with the experiences of: 1. Other Asian girls; 2. Other Asian guys; and 3. Asian students both male and female whose sexuality went against their parents expectations.

The following are the responses I received after interviewing three Asian female students: a Chinese senior, a Chinese freshman, and an Indian freshman respectively.

Q: Did your parents talk to you about getting into a relationship coming into college? If the answer is yes, how so?

A1: Yes, they mentioned that college was a limited time of opportunity for getting into a relationship and that there is often less of a chance of getting into a relationship after college.

A2: Yes. My parents believed that most people you meet in college end up staying in touch in the long run. College is the perfect time to meet people and get into a relationship because chances of meeting people after college decreases.

A3: Yes. They encouraged me to get into a relationship, but they still wanted me to keep my priorities straight academically.

Q: Did this affect your mentality coming into college?

A1: Yes. Before the talk I had thought about a relationship in college as something that would happen when the time came. However, after the talk, I thought about what they said and realized that I should be more proactive about getting into a relationship.

A2: Not entirely, but my parents emphasized being more proactive and joining more clubs to get to know people a lot better outside of the large classes. So in a way, I did think about this a bit differently. But for the most part, I believe that when circumstances are right and when you meet the right person, things will automatically progress. Sure, I should be more proactive, but I still believe there are plenty of opportunities available in the future.

A3: This has influenced me to keep my priorities straight in college. I believe a relationship will happen at the right time. It appears all three girls had similar discussions with their parents, and all of the discussions did affect the way they viewed relationships in college. They all seemed to have had at least a small amount of pressure from their parents to get into a relationship, which influenced them to at least think about getting more proactive in the romance department.The following are the responses I received after interviewing three Asian male students: an Indian freshman, a Korean freshman, and a Chinese freshman.

Q: Did your parents talk to you about getting into a relationship coming into college? If the answer is yes, how so?

A1: No, they usually don’t talk to me about my personal life; they put more emphasis on my academics.

A2: Yes they mentioned that I shouldn’t get into a relationship in college so I wouldn’t become distracted from my studies.

A3: Yes, they recommended that I don’t date anyone outside of the Asian races and set the condition that my sister has to approve.

Q: Did this affect your mentality coming into college?

A1: Yes, this has encouraged me to put academics as my priority in college.

A2: Yes, I’m not really looking for a relationship in college and I keep academics as my priority.

A3: No, because I should decide who I want to date.Here, the results appear quite different. Two of the guys seemed to have more pressure to succeed academically and were actually encouraged not to date in college. The third had parents who put conditions on his relationships. Although these results clearly do not apply to all Asian parents, from my interviews it seems that they hold different standards for girls and guys coming into college. Asian girls are expected to get into relationships as quickly as possible during this “opportuneâ€￾ time of their lives. However, Asian guys are reminded to not get into relationships in college and to focus more on their studies. When they are encouraged to date, the encouragement appears to come with conditions (though this situation might not arise in all instances). Also interesting to note is that the one interview subject who claimed not to be affected by his parents did so in response to a very strict, racially conditioned demand; in actuality, he was more affected than any other subject, but in a negative manner.

After these interviews, I also conducted interviews with 4 students (2 girls and 2 guys) from the Cal Queer and Asian club on campus. This time, all four interview subjects were Chinese.

Q: How do you think Asian parents view homosexuality?

A1 (female): I think that they don’t acknowledge it very much because they aren’t that exposed to it. I’ve heard that there are basically no gay people in China. Asian people tend to not understand homosexuality and become afraid of it. They don’t seem to realize that there are actually homosexual people all over the world.

A2 (male): I think it really depends on what region of Asia they are from. My parents are from Taiwan and a lot of people are pretty open about homosexuality there. I know in China a lot of people aren’t very happy about homosexuality because of the one child policy and not being able to carry on the family line.

A3 (female): I think it is hard to tell Asian parents, especially as an only child. There is a lot of pressure to not to be homosexual because your parents want grandchildren, and you want to make them happy. I am Chinese, and I think within my culture parents are not very accepting. When I go back to China, I can see that people think homosexuality is virtually nonexistent. The Chinese mindset is still very traditional.

A4 (male): It depends, but I think if the parents are from Mainland China, they tend to be a lot more conservative. However, they usually don’t seem to care because they are not super religious until their own child is homosexual.

Q: From personal experience, have you ever felt pressured to hide your sexuality from your parents or did it ever feel awkward talking to them about it, especially coming into college?

A1: At the beginning of college, I didn’t really talk to them about it. However, I told them I had been going to protests supporting gay rights, and they knew I was interested in the subject. However, they didn’t think much of it although I was questioning my sexual orientation at the time. I have talked to my parents about it since then, but we rarely mention it. My mom still asks me if I have met a nice guy sometimes, so I just say no and we drop it. My dad has been a lot more excepting, though. They do worry about my future regarding prejudices in job applications, etc.

A2: I actually came out to my parents in high school. However, when I was in elementary school and junior high I definitely felt like I had to hide my sexual orientation from my parents.

A3: Yes, there has definitely been pressure to hide it. My parents and I never brought the subject of homosexuality up. However, I realized that my mom actually was actually suspicious because one time she had her friends over and she thought I wasn’t in the room and I heard her whisper to them “I think my daughter’s gay.â€￾ I was really surprised that she knew but at the same time relieved because it’s a part of me. Also, one time my aunt was visiting from China and pressuring me to get a husband which made me really mad. I responded, “What if I don’t want to get married? What if I want to date a woman?â€￾ I think my dad realized then that I wasn’t joking.

A4: I wouldn’t say that. It’s just communication. I don’t feel like college is… I feel like I’m not afraid to do anything [with regard to my personal life because of my parents]* [*the audio was a bit fuzzy so some of this is paraphrased]

Clearly from my results there is a sense that Asian parents (particularly Chinese ones) are not very informed about homosexuality and typically don’t approve of it. Again, this doesn’t apply to all Asian families. However, from the interviews I conducted, it appears that this parental mindset pressures Asian children to hide their sexuality from their parents. Most children don’t wish to disappoint their parents and would rather not mention something that would risk it. Also, as the students mentioned and as I too have observed in my personal travel, homosexuality does not appear very visible in China. China tends to be very traditional socially, which still affects Asian parents’ beliefs in America because they are usually the first generation that has immigrated.Overall, I found the results from my interviews very interesting. Although they obviously don’t include all Asian college students, I thought it was a nice sample. The results were along the lines of what I expected, but there were also certain items that were unexpected. The students were a lot more influenced by their parents’ ideals than I had anticipated, whether with regard to dating, academics, or sexual orientation. Also, I had no idea that Asian girls tend to be a lot more pressured to date in college than Asian guys. How does this work? If Asian girls are expected to find boyfriends, but Asian guys aren’t willing to date, do they simply have to look outside of the Asian ethnicities? Personally, I believe that the purpose of coming to college isn’t to date around in order to find your future spouse. We all came to college to get a higher education from a world-class university. In college, we should experience new things, learn how to be independent, and meet a variety of people. I think this is what Asian parents should stress when they send their children to college rather than only focusing on dating or academics. I see dating more as a benefit of college as opposed to a purpose or necessity. Also, although I personally do not support homosexuality due to my religious beliefs, I don’t think Asian students shouldn’t be able to talk to their parents about it. Sexual orientation is really a matter of personal preference, and since in college you are virtually an adult, it is really up to you to make that decision, not your parents. Parents and children should be able to have a congenial, open relationship coming into college so that they can support one another.
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Postby zboy1 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:35 am

Forget about being a homosexual or lesbian in an Asian family. In Asian society, nothing is worse than being gay--so you're better off killing yourself before you become one if you're Asian.
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Postby Repatriate » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:49 am

zboy1 wrote:Forget about being a homosexual or lesbian in an Asian family. In Asian society, nothing is worse than being gay--so you're better off killing yourself before you become one if you're Asian.

This is not true for a lot of SE Asian cultures where it's just fine to be gay or lesbian. NE Asian culture is way more uptight about this..it's based on the whole moral virtue Confucianism line of thinking.
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Postby zboy1 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:00 am

Repatriate wrote:
zboy1 wrote:Forget about being a homosexual or lesbian in an Asian family. In Asian society, nothing is worse than being gay--so you're better off killing yourself before you become one if you're Asian.

This is not true for a lot of SE Asian cultures where it's just fine to be gay or lesbian. NE Asian culture is way more uptight about this..it's based on the whole moral virtue Confucianism line of thinking.


I should've excluded countries such as Thailand and the Philippines from my list since those are places where lady boys and homosexuality is prevalent and even embraced. What I meant by "Asian"--I meant Northeast Asians i.e. Koreans, Chinese, Japanese.
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Postby ph_visitor » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:51 am

Repatriate wrote:
zboy1 wrote:Forget about being a homosexual or lesbian in an Asian family. In Asian society, nothing is worse than being gay--so you're better off killing yourself before you become one if you're Asian.

This is not true for a lot of SE Asian cultures where it's just fine to be gay or lesbian. NE Asian culture is way more uptight about this..it's based on the whole moral virtue Confucianism line of thinking.


I think that 20% of boys are gay in rural China.
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Postby Falcon » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:11 pm

An Estimated 10 Million Chinese Women Are Married to Gay Men, Many Deceived Into Unions
It is estimated that 10 million Chinese women are married to gay men, and that about 80 to 90 percent of homosexual Chinese men plan to marry or have married women, according to a Chinese professor who surveyed 1,500 Chinese gay men.
http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/201203 ... search.htm


More of what's in the article:

A1: Yes, they mentioned that college was a limited time of opportunity for getting into a relationship and that there is often less of a chance of getting into a relationship after college.


The students were a lot more influenced by their parents’ ideals than I had anticipated, whether with regard to dating, academics, or sexual orientation. Also, I had no idea that Asian girls tend to be a lot more pressured to date in college than Asian guys. How does this work? If Asian girls are expected to find boyfriends, but Asian guys aren’t willing to date, do they simply have to look outside of the Asian ethnicities? Personally, I believe that the purpose of coming to college isn’t to date around in order to find your future spouse. We all came to college to get a higher education from a world-class university. In college, we should experience new things, learn how to be independent, and meet a variety of people. I think this is what Asian parents should stress when they send their children to college rather than only focusing on dating or academics. I see dating more as a benefit of college as opposed to a purpose or necessity. Also, although I personally do not support homosexuality due to my religious beliefs, I don’t think Asian students shouldn’t be able to talk to their parents about it. Sexual orientation is really a matter of personal preference, and since in college you are virtually an adult, it is really up to you to make that decision, not your parents. Parents and children should be able to have a congenial, open relationship coming into college so that they can support one another.
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