Chinese state-run newspaper People’s Daily has a long article today about a new scourge for Chinese society — teenage dating.
Of course, we’re being hyperbolic, but its true the article does give an interest insight into a society that was perhaps once more prudent than Western culture (for example, the minimum age for marriage is 22 for males and 20 for females), uncomfortably butting into more Western style-dating cultures.
Data found by reporter Zhou Wenting that the average age of dating has dropped to 12 last year, from 14 in 2009, and even bigger drops
Perhaps more worrying to Chinese parents is the practice of “hotel dates”, where by young boys and girls spend a few hours together in a budget hotel. Most of these hotels require ID cards, which are usually not given out until minors reach 16, but can be borrowed from older teenagers.
Curiously, the practice is apparently taken from a US teen drama:
A 15-year-old girl in Shanghai, surnamed Guan, said minors are following the rage for hotel dates because they think it’s an international practice, something they’ve learned from US TV series.
“The free and open life in Gossip Girl – a US-based teen drama – seems fancy and we yearn for that,” she said. “When we see how open they are, we believe that we behave too conservatively. We should learn from the West,” she added.
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