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When couples with very different attributes marry, what are the rationales behind their decisions? This study examines how people evaluate their prospective partners, their motivations to marry, and the effects of attributes on the dynamics of marriage. The paper proposes a new theory that distinguishes intrinsic and extrinsic attributes of partners in the process of mate selection based upon which marital exchanges take place. Marriages between Chinese on the mainland, HK or Taiwan provide a unique opportunity to help construct the theory. Mainland China, HK, and Taiwan have been divided since 1949, creating three kinds of regimes that share a common culture but that have different socio-economic and political systems. However, the recent interactions and re-unification between them have resulted in a significant number of inter-regime marriages. From two surveys on such marriages, the author analyzes the pattern of such marriages within the guidelines of the proposed theory.


When couples with very different attributes marry, what are the rationales behind their decisions? This study examines how people evaluate their prospective partners, their motivations to marry, and the effects of attributes on the dynamics of marriage. The paper proposes a new theory that distinguishes intrinsic and extrinsic attributes of partners in the process of mate selection based upon which marital exchanges take place. Marriages between Chinese on the mainland, HK or Taiwan provide a unique opportunity to help construct the theory. Mainland China, HK, and Taiwan have been divided since 1949, creating three kinds of regimes that share a common culture but that have different socio-economic and political systems. However, the recent interactions and re-unification between them have resulted in a significant number of inter-regime marriages. From two surveys on such marriages, the author analyzes the pattern of such marriages within the guidelines of the proposed theory.