Chinese Culture, American Culture, and Parenting Aspirations Among Chinese International Students of Diverse Sexual Identities

Li, Yanbin, Psychology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Patterson, Charlotte, Psychology, University of Virginia
Hurd, Noelle, Psychology, University of Virginia

Large numbers of Chinese youth of diverse sexual identities live and study across cultural boundaries between China and the United States. This study investigated parenting aspirations among Chinese international students of diverse sexual identities, attending school in the United States. We also studied associations of perceived impact of Chinese and American culture on parenting aspirations. In total, 265 Chinese international students (Mage = 23 years) participated an online survey; 210 self-identified as heterosexual (58 male and 152 female) and 55 as lesbian/gay/bisexual/pansexual (16 male and 39 female). Consistent with results of earlier research, results showed that sexual minority students were less likely than heterosexual students to desire or intend to become parents. Results also showed that, both for heterosexual and for sexual minority students, the perceived impact of Confucianism was positively associated with parenting aspirations, but that of American culture was negatively associated with them. Moreover, sexual identity moderated the association between the perceived impact of Buddhism on parenting aspirations. For heterosexual students, the association between the perceived impact of Buddhism and parenting aspirations was positive, but for sexual minority students, the associations were negative. Our findings highlighted the essential role of Confucianism in aspirations for the future among all Chinese youth. The impact of Buddhism was, however, moderated by students’ sexual identities; for sexual minority students, it was associated with childfree visions of the future, but for heterosexual students, it predicted desire for parenthood. Overall, the results extend those of earlier research on the role of sexual identities in shaping young adults’ aspirations for future parenthood, and they add new information about cultural influences in this regard.

MA (Master of Arts)
Diverse Sexual Identities, Parenting Desire, Parenting Intention, Chinese Culture, American Culture, International Students
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