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But hard-up male college students who balk at the constantly climbing cost of a date will surely welcome women who are willing to share expenses and not consider it an assault on their masculinity.
As with the best relationships, compromise is key, and men like me are realizing that our traditional roles as breadwinners and protectors are fast becoming outdated.
To satisfy my own curiosity — and to avoid ruining future dates — I asked undergrads at my university who paid the check when they went on dates. Before analyzing the ways that young people split the cost on dates, we must first consider the financial circumstances of Chinese university students, who are generally heavily reliant upon their parents for financial support, and as such have less to spend on luxuries.
Of the students I surveyed, the average monthly living expense for female students was slightly higher than that of their male counterparts: 1,682 yuan compared with 1,568 yuan (8 and 1, respectively).
By comparing these responses, we can see that the percentage of expenses that male and female respondents felt women should pay during dates (30 and 40 percent, respectively) exceeded the percentage of expenses that women actually paid (28 percent).
Clearly, both men and women hope to share the cost of dating more equally — so why isn’t it happening?
In China perhaps even more than elsewhere, men tend to be viewed as breadwinners, while the role of spending money has generally fallen to women.
This practice has, in turn, reinforced gender stereotypes that limit the roles men and women play in society, constituting a form of gender inequality.
I’ve learned that men are generally still permitted to play the gentleman and foot the bill, and that a majority of women won’t feel discomfited by this chivalric gesture.Yet even though women have more money at their disposal, the survey revealed that men continue to bear the majority of expenses.We calculated that on average, women pay for about a quarter of the cost of a date.” The average value stated by male respondents was around 30 percent.Among women, however, this value rose to 40 percent.
Men most commonly hoped that women would pay for a small portion (defined as 25 percent or less) of the date’s total expenses, while over half of women believed that the bill should be split evenly.