Parents and their children are genetically related but not genetically identical, a fact that leads to conflict between the two. One such domain of conflict is mate choice, where in-law and mate preferences diverge. The current research examined this divergence in preferences in the Chinese culture and how it varied across cultural contexts. More specifically, we have employed an online sample of 356 Chinese families, and we asked parents to rate the importance of several traits in a prospective spouse for their children and their children to rate the importance of the same traits in a prospective spouse for themselves. Comparisons of parents’ and children’s answers indicated a disagreement in several domains including good looks and family oriented. It was also found that there was more disagreement between parents and sons than between parents and daughters. Finally, the responses of Chinese parents and their children in the current study were compared with the responses of Greek Cypriot parents and their children from a previous study. It was found that, across several domains, there was more disagreement between parents and sons in the Chinese sample, while for the family oriented and the chastity, there was more parents–sons and parents–daughters disagreement in the Chinese sample. The implications of these findings were further examined.
- mate choice
- parental choice
- parent–offspring conflict
- parent–offspring conflict over mating