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Does Being "Leftover" Matter?

Title: Does Being "Leftover" Matter?: A Study of Female's Self-Disclosure on One Chinese Online Dating Website.
Name(s): Wang, Zihan, author
McDowell, Stephen, professor directing thesis
Castillo, Jeanette, committee member
Bunz, Ulla, committee member
School of Communication, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study examines women's online dating profiles at different age ranges and answers the primary question: is there a correlation between women's self-descriptions in the popular online dating website,, and their age? In recent years, Chinese females are under great pressure to get married between the ages of 25 and 30. If a female does not have a stable relationship that is working towards long-term commitment, she starts to feel like a "leftover woman." And, there are different levels of "leftover-ness" between the ages of 25 and 40. In 2007, "sheng nv" or "leftover woman" was added to the Chinese lexicon by China's Ministry of Education. A leftover woman was defined as a "highly educated, highly paid and highly independent modern woman who has high standards towards their life partner and therefore did not get married at a relevant younger age." With this background, this study examines how social pressures associated with the "leftover" identity influences the Chinese female's attitude towards self. To do so, I analyze personal profiles on the most popular Chinese online dating website. Based on the Concept of Possible Selves (Markus and Nurius, 1986), and Uncertainty Reduction Theory (Berger and Calabrese, 1975), this study suggests the cultural perceptions of "leftover woman" are both right and wrong. Women do not show significant differences in breadth and depth of self-disclosure among age groups, from young to old. But comparing younger women with women in older age groups, older women do reveal more motivation in their profiles. Moreover, women's requirements for potential partners are also different among age groups.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-5455 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the School of Communication in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2012.
Date of Defense: October 31, 2012.
Keywords: leftover women, online dating, self-disclosure
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Stephen McDowell, Professor Directing Thesis; Jeanette Castillo, Committee Member; Ulla Bunz, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Wang, Z. (2012). Does Being "Leftover" Matter?: A Study of Female's Self-Disclosure on One Chinese Online Dating Website. Retrieved from