The Influences of Women’S Self-Perceptions on Their Household Contributions: a Comparison of Three Chinese Cities

ABSTRACT - Women in three Chinese cities, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei are studied regarding their self-perceptions and their contributions to the family. Chinese women, who are raised in the Confucian tradition as well as influenced by Western culture, may experience conflicts regarding themselves and their roles in family and society. Their sense of self-independence and their perceived obligations to family and society potentially affect their monetary and time contributions to the household. A survey of 3016 women shows that women in Beijing are more conservative and traditional, women in Hong Kong are more capitalist and liberal, and women in Taipei are in between. Implications for marketing are drawn.


Lien-Ti Bei Tsai-Ju Liao Kealoha Widdows Richard Widdows (2004) ,"The Influences of Women’S Self-Perceptions on Their Household Contributions: a Comparison of Three Chinese Cities", in GCB - Gender and Consumer Behavior Volume 7, eds. Linda Scott and Craig Thompson, Madison, WI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: .


It is clear that women’s participation in economic activity is to some extent influenced by cultural values and norms regarding proper gender roles. (See, for example, Mammen and Paxson, 2000.) The conflicts between traditional roles and self-perceptions and increased participation in labor markets are perhaps best exemplified in Asia, where traditional Asian social and family values are often viewed as compromised by female participation in the economic arena (Hong, 1976).

A fundamentally important feature of Chinese culture that shapes attitudes and behaviors is the notion of Confucian values, which derives from Confucius, Mencius, Lao Zi, and their followers (Walstedt, 1978). Chinese are deeply influenced by these codified values in the adoption of appropriate forms of conduct. In line with these codes of conduct, traditional Chinese families tend to divide labor by gender. Males devote themselves to the labor market and manage the society, while women are traditionally viewed as being responsible for household work and taking care of children. In addition, women are usually relegated to subservient cultural roles and are normally expected to obey the males in the family structure.

Without question, modern Chinese women are influenced by the Confucianism tradition. However, women in urban areas, such as Beijing, Taipei, and Hong Kong, are also influenced by Western media and the implicit values of non-Chinese culture. Our goal is to explore differences among modern Chinese women across these three contexts, as well as to identify the similarities in the effects of self-perception variables on women’s contributions to their households.

Women in these three cities share common historical and cultural heritages, but each city has its unique culture shaped by modern and divergent political and economic circumstances. Beijing is a city rooted in ancient Chinese tradition and isolated for much of the latter part of the 20th century due to the control of Communism. Hong Kong, under British colonial control for 150 years before it was returned to Chinese in 1997, is more Western-oriented and capitalistic. Taiwan is an emerging economic powerhouse with its own indigenous population and close ties to the West, especially to the US.

We evaluate how national cultural context influences attitudes towards women’s work and family responsibilities.


The research questions we investigate are (1) how urban women in these three Chinese cities view themselves vis-a-vis traditional Chinese values, and (2) whether these attitudes affect women’s economic behavior in the form of the magnitude of their monetary and non-monetary contributions to their households.

Chinese Cultures

Chinese are encouraged to follow the tradition of Confucianism in order to learn how to function in society (Bond, 1988). Confucianism exercised considerable influence during the pre-Qin period (before 221BC), and from the Han dynasty (206BC-AD220) on until recent decades (Yu, 1996). The long history and robustness of the tradition ensured that later generations would follow the culture no matter where they were. Because Chinese societies emphasized hierarchy and discipline (Bond, 1996), women’s status in Chinese societies has suffered (Veronica, 1996).

In Chinese society, daughters were destined at birth to be married and integrated into another family, their husbands’ family. A woman was exhorted to obey her father before marriage, her husband after marriage, and her children when widowed. Furthermore, a wife could be divorced because of failing to give birth or please her parents-in-law (Veronica, 1996). In sum, women’s status in traditional Chinese society was lower than men’s status. Traditional values established moral roles for women to obey their husbands and to take care of their family.

Although the three Chinese cities studied spring from the same cultural tradition, differences in socioeconomic standards and political ideologies may have resulted in some divergence in attitudes during modernization. One of our goals is to explore these differences.

Economic Development and Political Revolution

As economies evolve from predominantly agricultural to industrial, women have more opportunities for paid work outside the household. When a woman obtains an independent job in the market, she acquires her own social groups and monetary rewards which expand her vision and give her a greater chance to be economically independent. Hong Kong began to industrialize and take on Western cultural elements earlier than Taiwan and China due to its colonial relationship with the United Kingdom. Under the influence of capitalism, women were implicitly encouraged to lead a more hedonistic lifestyle characterized by greater independence. The economic revolution in Taiwan places it between China and Hong Kong. In the 1960’s, Taiwan’s economy experienced an export boom, winning it the title of the "miracle economy". With the development of the economy, women have become more exposed to Western attitudes toward the role of women. Although the degree of Westernization in Taiwan is less than Hong Kong, it is nevertheless significant and increasing (Tse, Belk, & Zhou, 1989).

Women's labor force participation has increased with the growth of the economies in Taiwan and Hong Kong. It is possible that as women’s incomes rose, they became more independent from the family and were able to exercise greater bargaining power in the household work allocation decision. Similarly, it is conceivable that the greater exposure to Western cultural values of women in Hong Kong and Taiwan has enhanced the development of their careers. Studies have consistently shown that women's job experience encourages the adoption of egalitarian ideas (Smith-Lovin and Tickamayer 1978; Thornton and Freedman 1979).

The participation of women in the labor force is as high as 80% in China (World Bank, World Development Report, 1995). This high rate is primarily due to Chinese government policy designed to demonstrate that women can "hold up half of sky". Panayotova and Brayfield (1997) argued that this kind of external policy coercion does not necessarily improve gender equity for women; a similar result is found for Hungary. Thus, high labor force participation would not signal egalitarian gender values for Chinese society if women were forced to work by social pressure rather than by their own choice. China’s long history of Communism (from 1938 until 1979 when market oriented reforms began to be introduced) meant that China had closed her doors to Western culture and values. As such, Mainland China’s value system is mainly influenced by Chinese traditional culture and by the values of Communism. Therefore, women in China should perceive stronger family responsibility constraints, behave properly as per their traditional obligations, and have less independent opinions. Based on the above discussion, two hypotheses are suggested:

H1-1: Women in Hong Kong have the strongest individual opinions, women in China have the weakest self-opinions, and women in Taiwan are in between.

H1-2: Women in China have the strongest sense of family obligation, women in Hong Kong have the weakest sense of family obligation, and women in Taiwan are in between.

Regarding women’s attitudes toward social obligations, things are less clear-cut. As described previously, women are involved in the labor market for different reasons in these three societies. Women in China are educated deliberately to contribute to the labor market and the society as men do. There is also political pressure directed toward joining the labor force and contributing to Chinese society. The Chinese government encourages women to participate in political activities and do volunteer work for the society and country. However, the governments in Hong Kong and Taiwan tend to respect people’s free will in regard to political and social activities. Therefore, women in China should demonstrate stronger social-participation attitudes after so many years of edification. Hong Kong was a British colony before 1997 and as such, had little opportunity for political participation. Therefore, it is hypothesized that:

H1-3: Women in China have the strongest social-participation attitudes, women in Hong Kong have the weakest society-participation opinions, and women in Taiwan are in between.

Another dimension of social attitudes is concern for the environment. After improving their living standards, people begin to pay attention to environmental issue and societal benefits according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Maslow, 1954). Therefore, China is expected to have the lowest environmental consciousness due to its lower economic development compared to the other two Chinese societies. However, concern for economic status is more individual-oriented and less environmental-oriented. Therefore, women in Hong Kong may care less about external factors such as animal or environment protection. This type of attitude opinion is referred to as ‘social consciousness’ in this study. Hence,

H1-4: Women in Taiwan have the strongest sense of social consciousness, women in China have the weakest, and women in Hong Kong are in between.

Women’s Opinions and their Contributions to the Family

Women, including mothers with children, are expected to work in the labor market in an industrialized society because the one-earner family model is simply insufficient. However, women are also expected to handle household work and child-care by themselves as their duties in a traditional Chinese society. This becomes effectively two full-time jobs for most career women. The conflict and stress between work and family may make women feel overloaded. Studies in Europe and United States have revealed that mothers feel stressed when trying to balance requirements of job and home (Googins, 1991).

Career women tend to contribute more to the family through income instead of housekeeping time. Veronica (1996) has suggested that working women could purchase child care in the market or employ domestic child care workers, but these alternatives only reinforce the concept of the traditional female domestic role. A woman may contribute more of her income to the family to maintain her independence against the pressure of Chinese traditional values. Panayotova and Brayfield (1997) have suggested that women who earn a greater share of family income enjoy a greater voice in the household. Thus, women with more independent self-concepts are likely to contribute to their families monetarily instead of contributing their own labor. By contrast, women who are strongly family-oriented would contribute to their families greatly in both monetary and non-monetary ways. Also, Chinese are taught to complete idealized achievement goals: cultivating the self, promoting the interests of the family, ruling the state, and then making the world more peaceful (Yu, 1996). Therefore,

H2-1: Women’s assessment of their own independence is positively related to their contributions to household income, but negatively related to their contributions to housekeeping time.

H2-2: Women’s family opinions are positively related to their contributions to both household income and housekeeping.

H2-3: Women’s social-participation and social-consciousness are positively related to their contributions to both household income and housekeeping.

Women’s Social-economic Profiles and their Contributions to the Family

According to previous studies, a woman’s identity is to some extent a function of her demographic profile, including age, marital status, and occupation (e.g. Clarey and Sandford, 1982; Fan and Marini, 2000). The relationship between a woman’s age, educational level, number of children present, and her attitudes are discussed below.


Age. Thornton, Alwin, and Camburn (1983) employed panel studies and found that younger cohorts of women demonstrate greater support for egalitarian attitudes. Younger women grew up under different social circumstances and had experienced less traditional socialization, while older women have invested more in traditional roles and are less likely to change their beliefs (Thornton and Freedman 1979). Therefore, older women are expected to contribute more to their families due to the stronger influence of Chinese traditional values.

H3-1: Women’s ages are positively related to their contributions to household income and housekeeping.


Children. The number of children present is an important element in a woman’s gender-role. Dugger (1988) argued that marital status in combination with parental status influences women's attitudes toward their gender-roles. Jaffe and Berger (1994) found that married women who have no children prefer egalitarian themes in advertising. Women with children tend to spend more time on children and domestic tasks and contribute more income to the family. Children are always more important than mothers in traditional Chinese families.

H3-2: The presence of children is positively related to women’s contributions to household income and housekeeping.


Education. Education promotes the acceptance of nontraditional gender-role attitudes for women since it provides women with better job opportunities and exposure to new ideas (Scanzoni and Fox 1980). Therefore, women with higher educational levels are more likely to be employed in the labor market, earn more income, and spend less time on household work.

H3-3: Women’s educational levels are positively related to their contributions to household income, but negatively related to their contributions to housekeeping.



Sampling Process

The survey was conducted from November 1996 to January 1997 in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei, with 1000, 1000, 1016 respondents, respectively. Since one of the purposes of this study is to illustrate how women balance their traditional family roles and modern individual roles, sampling women from metropolitan cities is appropriate.

The quota of each age and marital status segment was set to be the same for all three cities. The Taiwan sample was a convenience sample drawn from the greater Taipei area. Taipei was divided into 12 sub-districts according to local government criteria. The target sample size of each sub-district was then decided based on the population distribution. In order to cover all levels of social status, the locations for sampling included department stores, traditional markets, restaurants, libraries, hospitals, parks, stations, office buildings, beauty salons, etc.

For the Beijing sample, the city was classified into different regions and, within each region, different units comprising various sized city blocks. The research assistants contacted each of the units and sought approval to randomly choose the respondents to interview within the unit (Tse, Sin, Yau, and Yu, 1999). The sample in Hong Kong was collected by a private research company again using the criteria described above (Sin, So, Yau, and Kwong, 2001).

Questionnaire Design

The questionnaire has four major sections and originally was conducted for multiple purposes. The portion relevant to this paper concerns women’s opinions regarding their perceived roles. The second and third sections pertain to consumption attitudes and family related issues. The final part contains questions about personal background.

For this paper, scales were developed in order to focus on the interaction of Chinese context, culture, and changing opinions of women in the three cities. There are 42 questions related to women’s opinions about their roles. The subjects were asked to state their agreement regarding women’s roles in the family, society and country, and their self-concepts. A 5-point Likert-type scale, from ‘1’ as strongly disagree to ‘5’ as strongly agree, was used to measure responses.



Socio-economic characteristics, such as education level, presence of children, age, and household income, of the three samples are presented in Table 1. The sample profiles reflect the demographic distributions of each city, except for household income in Hong Kong. The distribution was skewed toward high-income families. This could be due to either sampling error, or, more likely, because women in Hong Kong do not like to provide information about their true incomes (as is reflected by the many observations with missing data).


Insert Table 1 about here


Women’s Contribution to the Family

Regarding contribution to total household income, women in China seem to be the highest contributors, with 42.4% of women in the sample contributing between 41% and 100%, compared to the 31.6% of women in the Hong Kong sample and 25.6% in the Taipei sample. In terms of housekeeping time, most women in China (65.5%), Hong Kong (54.5%), and Taiwan (65.9%) spend 1-4 hours on housekeeping per day (Table 1).

Factor Analysis of Women’s Opinion Regarding their Roles

For further analysis of the 42 questions related to women’s opinions regarding their roles in family, the questions were divided into three sets according to the focus of the question: Self, Family, and Society. "Self" refers to women’s perception of responsibility and proper behavior as an individual. "Family" questions concern women’s status and roles within her family. The "Society" set contains questions about women’s attitudes and sense of obligation to the society. After categorizing the women’s opinions into three sets, principle component factor analysis with varimax rotation was employed to determine the factor structure for self, family, and Society for each of the three cities.

A high Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) Measure of Sampling Adequacy Index of 0.891 indicates that the data set has a sufficient correlation in terms of sampling adequacy to run a factor analysis. Following an item-to-total correlation test to delete irrelevant items, 32 items were retained to represent the three sets.

In the "Self" set, as shown in Table 2, there are three kinds of self-opinion with eigenvalues greater than 1: independence (such as, economic independence, independent thinking), subjugation (i.e., women are inferior to men in status, performance, and education), and equality (men and women are equal in women’s opinion). There were two factors in family opinion: responsibility (such as, taking care of the family), and constraint (such as, women should obey their family). Two factors are found for the "Society" set, also: consciousness (including interest in environmental protection, helping abused children, and so on) and participation (such as participating in political activities). The Cronbach’s alphas of these three sets are all in the satisfactory range, between 0.54-0.65 (Nunnally, 1978). The reliability of the "Self" set for the total sample is 0.627, of "Family" is 0.756, and of "Society" is 0.552.


Insert Table 2 about here


Women’s Contribution and Women’s Opinion Variables

An ANOVA test was employed to see whether women’s opinion variables or women’s contribution differ among the three cities. Except for the factor of Self-Independence, all variables were significantly different. A Scheffe post hoc analysis was then used to test for differences in the three cities. Results are reported in Table 3.

For the self-subjugation factor, Hong Kong has the lowest score (mean=4.088, SD=0.031).. Regarding the self-equity factor, the score of women in China is the lowest (mean=3.214, SD=0.02). This is consistent with the fact that women in China have been brought up under a stronger traditional Chinese value system compared with women in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Thus, H1-1 regarding women’s self-opinion is partially supported.

Women in China (mean=3.459, SD=0.023) also have the highest family-responsibility scores compared to Hong Kong (mean=2.966, SD=0.032) and Taiwan (mean=2.834, SD=0.021). As for the Family-constraint variable, women in China have the highest value (mean=3.737, SD=0.020) compared with Taiwan (mean=3.698, SD=0.018) and Hong Kong (mean=3.559, SD=0.027). Women in Hong Kong seem to be less constrained by traditional notions of family responsibility. Thus, partially supported.

Women in China demonstrate the highest interest in social participation and perceive themselves more as a member of a larger society (mean=3.946, SD=0.018. As such, H1-3 is supported. Women in Taiwan score highest on society-consciousness (mean=4.258, SD=0.015), compared to women in Hong Kong (mean=4.030, SD=0.022) and China (mean=3.763, SD=0.016). H1-4 on women’s society and environment consciousness is supported.

Interestingly, women in China contribute the highest percentage to their household income (mean=3.394, SD=0.047), followed by women in Hong Kong (mean=3.086, SD=0.065), and then in Taiwan (mean=2.529, SD=0.044). As Chinese women are more traditional in value-orientation (Tse, Belk, & Zhou, 1989), they may tend to consider their own wages more as part of family income than as individual property. The housekeeping time that women spent at home weekly show an almost reverse pattern. Taiwanese women spend the highest amount of time on housekeeping work (mean=1.353, SD=0.024), following by women in China (mean=1.254, SD=0.026). Since 34.8% of Taiwan respondents contribute less than 10% to family income and are mainly housewives, they have more time to contribute to housekeeping. Women in Hong spend the least time on housekeeping (mean=1.045, SD=0.035).


Insert Table 3 about here


The Influences of Women’s Opinions and Social-economic Variables on Women’s Income Contribution

The correlations between all the variable pairs were calculated first. They range from -0.36 to 0.66 in the three places. The only highly correlated pair is women’s age and the presence of children. The variance inflationary factor (VIF) was used to examine the degree of multicollinearity among independent variables. Virtually no multicollinearity problem was found in these variables. The VIF values of all independent variables are below 2, far smaller than 10 (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, and Black, 1995).

Hierarchical regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between women’s contribution to the family and their opinions regarding their roles. In the first hierarchical regression model, only socio-economic variables, such as, age, education, and children, were included. In the second regression model, women’s opinions (i.e., self-independence, self-subjugation, self- equality) were added into the model. Family opinions (i.e., family-responsibility and family-constraint) were added to the third model. All the above variables plus social opinions (i.e., society-consciousness and society-participate) were included in the fourth regression model. As presented in Table 4, when the variables of women’s opinions about self-role are included into the model, the F values increase significantly in all three locations.

Among socio-economic variables, women’s education level plays the most important role. It is significant in all the models and all three samples, suggesting that better-educated women earn more and thus contribute more to their families as suggested by H3-3. Women’s age and the presence of children do not have consistent influences in the three samples. Age is significant in Taiwan’s equations, while the presence of children at home is significant for China’s sample. Thus, both H3-1 and H3-3 are partially supported.

Women in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taiwan demonstrate different patterns regarding the influence of their self-perception on income contributions. Self-independence has a positive impact on women’s income contribution in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but not in China. It is possible that women in China treat a job as just a job because it is assigned to them by the government rather than a personal choice

Self-subjugation is significantly related to women’s income contribution only in Hong Kong. When women in Hong Kong view themselves as subjugated, they may tend to believe what they earn is part of family income and should not be spent on themselves. Self-equality has a positive impact on women’s income contribution only in China.

Women’s opinions regarding their roles in family and society do not seem to be important to their income contributions. Only the family-constraint variable has a positive impact on women’s income contribution, and only in China. When they feel highly constrained by their gender roles in the family, Chinese women tend to contribute all their income to the household. Hence, H2-1, H2-2, and H2-3 are partially supported regarding monetary contribution.


Insert Table 4 about here


The Influences of Women’s Opinion and Social-economic Variables on Women’s Time Contribution

Women’s other major contribution to their families is their time spent on domestic tasks. Regarding the socio-economic variables, the presence of children is positively significant in all the regressions and in all three cities. No matter how modern the society is, women seem to contribute their time to childcare. Hence, as the second half of H3-2 states, the presence of children is positively related to women’s contribution.

Women’s age and education do not exhibit consistent patterns in the three places. Age is significant in Beijing, suggesting that older women (possibly brought up under more traditional values) spend more time on housework. Education is significant in Hong Kong. Better educated women in Hong Kong tend to spend less time on household work, possibly trading income in the market for domestic help.

When self-opinion variables are added in, only the model for Taiwan is significantly improved (M2 in Table 5). The impact of self-independence is negatively significant in Taiwan. Thus, more independent women spend less time on housekeeping, and more time on career-related tasks. Self-subjugation is also positively and significantly related to housekeeping in Taiwan. When they feel highly subjugated, they spend more time on housekeeping.

When family-opinion variables are added in, the models are significantly improved (M3 in Table 5). Surprisingly, family-responsibility has a significantly negative relationship with housekeeping in China and Hong Kong, but not in Taiwan. One of the reasons may be that women in China and Hong Kong, with higher levels of family responsibilities, tend to contribute to their family through paid work. Thus, in spite of a high sense of family-responsibility, they do not have much time to spend on housekeeping.

Family-constraint has a significantly positive effect in China, but a negative effect in Taiwan. In contrast, the influence of family constraint in Taiwan seems to be directed elsewhere rather than toward domestic tasks.

Social-consciousness has a significantly positive effect in China and Taiwan. Women who care about social issues, such as environmental protection and abused children, spend more time on caring for their children and on housekeeping. On the other hand, society-participation is positively related to housekeeping time in Hong Kong. Women who volunteer may not employed full time and may devote more time to household tasks. Again, H2-1, H2-2, and H2-3 are partially supported regarding housekeeping contribution.


Insert Table 5 about here




This study attempts to assess the effect of women’s self-perceptions on the magnitude of their contributions to the household in both monetary and non-monetary terms, and to explore how different socio-historical contexts affect the nature of that relationship. The findings suggest that women’s perceptions of themselves and their roles differ significantly across the three socio-historical contexts, but that these differences cannot fully explain women’s household contributions.

We find, for example, that women who view themselves as independent contribute larger percentages to family income in the more "Westernized" cities, but not in the case of Beijing, where it may be expected that women work even though gender norms are traditional. Stronger senses of family-responsibility are associated with lower levels of housekeeping effort in Mainland and in Hong Kong, but higher levels in Taiwan, indicating that different cultural milieus interpret "helping out the family" in different ways. In sum, it is clear that women’s self-perceptions of their gender roles influence their work both in the marketplace and at home, but that those attitudes manifest themselves in different ways across different cultural contexts.

The results of this study have ramifications for marketing. By taking account of the impact of culture on women’s labor and leisure choices, marketing managers can form better strategies to address the issue of dual-roles stress for women. For example, new products or services, such small electronic appliances, day-care centers, can be promoted as effective time-saving tools to help career women become a "successful mother."

As mentioned previously, women in Beijing and Taipei were selected in this study instead of sampling from the whole of China and Taiwan. Women from metropolitan areas serve the purpose of this study well, but cannot represent all women in these three places, especially those in rural areas. Women from rural areas would be more likely to be traditional, family-oriented, and may perceive stronger mother and wife roles. Further studies may focus on the comparison between women in the city versus in those in rural areas.




Bond, M. H. (1988). Finding Universal Dimensions of Individual Variation in Multi-Cultural Studies of Values: The Rokeach and Chinese Value Surveys. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55: 1009-1015.

Bond, M. H. (1996). Chinese Values. in Michael Harris Bond (Eds), The Handbook of Chinese Psychology (pp. 208-226), New York : Oxford University Press.

Clarey, J. H. & Sandford, A. (1982). Female Career Preference and Androgyny. The Vocational Quarterly, 258-264.

Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics Executive Yuan, R.O.C. (2002). Behind the Label: Social Status Observation Table of Taiwan Area (in Chinese) Retrieve on July 29, 2002 from http://www. /look /xls/year.xls.

Dugger K. (1988). Social Location and Gender-Role Attitudes: A Comparison of Black and White Women. Gender and Society, 2: 424-448.

Economic Research Department, The Central Bank of China Web (2002). Behind the Label: CIER- Important Economic-Changing Index (in Chinese). Retrieved on May 24,2002. from tw/FCT /I9102/TAB5.HTM.

Fan, P. L. & Marini, M. M. (2000). Influences on Gender-Role Attitudes During the Transition to Adulthood. Social Science Research, 29(2): 258-283.

Gabrenya Jr, W. K., & Hwang, K. K. (1996). Chinese Social Interaction: Harmony and Hierarchy on the Good Earth. in Michael Harris Bond (Eds), The Handbook of Chinese Psychology (pp. 308-321), New York : Oxford University Press.

Googins, B. K. (1991). Work/Family Conflicts. New York: Auburn House.

Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (1995), Multivariate Data Analyses with Readings, Fourth Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Hong, L.K. (1976). The role of women in the People’s Republic of China: Legacy and Change. Social Problems, 23(5): 545-557.

Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department (2002). Behind the label : Labour Force and Labour Force Participation Rates (LFPRs) by Sex. Retrieved on September 02, 2002 from /censtatd/eng/hkstat/fas /labour/ghs /labour2.htm.

Hwang, K. K. (1988). Confucianism and East Asian Modernization (in Chinese), Taipei: Chu-Liu Book Co.

Jaffe, L. J. & Berger, P. D. (1994). The effect of modern female sex role portrayals on advertising effectiveness. Journal of Advertising Research, 34(4): 32-42.

Mammen. K. & Paxson, C. (2000). Women’s work and developnment. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 14(4):141-164.

Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality, New York: Harper.

Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric Theory, Second Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Panayotova, E. & Brayfield, A. (1997). National Context and Gender Ideology: Attitudes toward Women’s Employment in Hungary and the United States. Gender & Society, 11(5): 627-655.

Scanzoni, J. & Fox, G. L. (1980). Sex roles, family and society: The seventies and beyond. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 42(4): 743-56.

Sin, L. Y. M., So, S. L. M., Yau, O. H. M., & Kwong, K. (2001). Chinese women at the cross roads: An empirical study on their role orientations and consumption in Chinese Society. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(4): 348-367.

Smith-Lovin, L. & Tickamayer, A. R. (1978). Nonrecursive models of labor force participation, fertility behavior and sex role attitudes. American Sociological Review, 43:541-57.

Standing, G. (1982). Labor Force, in J.A. Ross (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Population, Vol. 2. New York: MacMillian and Free Press, 391-398.

Taiwan Institute of Economic Research Web (1998). Behind the Label: International Economic Index.(in Chinese). Retrieved on May, 24,2002. from

Tan, Shen. (1997). Women in Social Development. In Lu, Xue Yi and Li Pei Lin (Eds.). Chinese new period- society development reports 1991-1995 (pp. 539-571), Liao Ning People Publishers (in Chinese).

Thornton, A., Alwin, D. F., & Camburn, D. (1983). Causes and Consequences of Sex Role Attitude and Attitude Change. American Sociological Review, 48:211-227.

Thornton A. & Freedman, D. (1979). Changes in Sex-Role Attitudes of Women 1962-1977: Evidence from a Panel Study. American Sociological Review, 44: 831-842.

Tse, D. K., Belk, R. W., & Zhou, N. (1989). Becoming a consumer society: A longitudinal and cross-cultural content analysis of print Ads from Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China, and Taiwan. Journal of Consumer Research, 15: 457-472.

Tse, D. K., Sin, L. Y., Yau, O. H., & Yu, J. C. (1999). Resolving Consumption Disagreements in Mainland Chinese Families: An Inter-Generational Comparison. Marketing Issues in Transitional Economics (pp. 55-71), Boston /Dordrecht/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Tse, D. K. & Wong, J. K. (1988). Toward Some Standardized Cross-Cultural Consumption Values. Advances in Consumer Research, 15: 387-395.

Veronica, P. (1996). The Past Is Another Country: Hong Kong Women in Transition. The Annals of the American Academy, 547: 91-103.

Walstedt, J. J. (1978). Reform of Women's Roles and Family Structures in the Recent History of China. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 40(2): 379:392.

Yu, A. B. (1996). Ultimate Life Concerns, Self, and Chinese Achievement Motivation. in Michael Harris Bond (Eds). The Handbook of Chinese Psychology (pp. 227-246), New York : Oxford University Press.

Table 1

Profiles of Respondents in the Three CITIES

Note . - US$1=HK$ 7.73, US$1=RBM$8.31 (Published on Taiwan Institute of Economic Research Web, 1998), US$1=NT$ 27.46 (Published on Economic Research Department, The Central Bank of China Web, 2002).

a Significant at 0.01 ; b Significant at 0.10.

Table 2

Factor Structure of the Women’s Opinion Orientation

table.gif (27328 bytes)

Note. -The inventory is in a 5-point Likert-type scale; with "1" as strongly disagree to "5" as strongly agree.


Table 3

Comparison of Mean Difference




F value

Scheffe post hoc analysis







Taipei > HK, Beijing > HK


182.45 a

HK > Beijing, Taipei > Beijing


266.10 a

Beijing > HK > Taipei


18.59 a

Beijing > HK, Taipei > HK


364.30 a

Taipei > HK > Beijing


151.90 a

Beijing > HK, Beijing > Taipei
Contribution to household income


92.89 a

Beijing > HK > Taipei


26.54 a

Taipei > Beijing > HK


Note. - a denotes significant 0.001 level


Table 4

Hierarchical Regression Analysis for Women’s Income Contribution in Three Cities



Beijing (n=707)

HK (n=260)1

Taipei (n=835)


M 1

M 2

M 3

M 4

M 1

M 2

M 3

M 4

M 1

M 2

M 3

M 4

Constant 2.69a 1.65 a 1.27b 1.08c 2.95 a 1.60 b 1.76 b 1.99 b 1.59 a 0.32 0.23 0.51
Age -0.01 -0.00 0.0 -0.00 -0.08 -0.04 0.08 -0.04 c 0.13 b 0.15 b 0.16 a 0.16 c
Children 0.48 a 0.54 a 0.54 a 0.53 a -0.27 -0.24 0.19 -0.21 0.09 0.09 0.09 0.09
Education 0.16 a 0.14 a 0.14 a 0.14 a 0.27 a 0.19c 0.10 c 0.20* 0.20 a 0.19 a 0.18 a 0.18 a


0.04 0.01 -0.02 0.15 b 0.15 c 0.36 b 0.35 b 0.32 b 0.35 b


0.02 -0.05 -0.06 0.11 b 0.13 b 0.27b 0.04 0.02 0.03


0.24 a 0.23 a 0.23 a 0.15 0.15 -0.15 -0.12 -0.13 -0.12


0.02 0.02 0.12 0.15 -0.05 -0.06


0.21 b 0.20c 0.16 -0.21 0.14 0.14


0.04 -0.16 -0.09


0.06 -0.02 -0.04
Model F 15.76 a 10.40 a 8.34 a 6.76 a 3.84 a 4.09 a 3.41 a 2.85 b 7.23 a 5.46 a 4.27 a 3.48 a
R2 0.06 0.08 0.09 0.09 0.04 0.09 0.10 0.10 0.03 0.04 0.04 0.04
D R2 0.02 0.01 0.00 0.05 0.01 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00
F(D R2) 4.79 a 2.28 0.29 4.19 b 1.35 0.62 3.62 b 0.72 0.35

Note 1. - In Hong Kong’s data set, there are 602 missing in the variable of women income contribution to family because most of people in HK consider this issue as their privacy.

Note 2. - a denotes significant at 0.01; b significant at 0.05; c significant at 0.10.

Table 5

Hierarchical Regression Analysis for Housekeeping Time in Three Cities


Beijing (n=790)

HK (n=718)

Taipei (n=880)


M 1

M 2

M 3

M 4

M 1

M 2

M 3

M 4

M 1

M 2

M 3

M 4

Constant 0.68 a 0.72 b 0.64 b 0.05 1.82 a 2.33 a 2.70 a 2.46 a 1.03 a 1.17 a 1.28 a 0.98 b
Age 0.01 a 0.10 a 0.10 a 0.09 a -0.01 -0.01 -0.02 -2.86 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.03
Children 0.22 a 0.23 a 0.23 a 0.24 a 0.20 c 0.19 c 0.19 c 0.19 c 0.40 a 0.40 a 0.40 a 0.40 a
Education 0.03 c 0.03 c 0.02 0.02 -0.28 a -0.27 a -0.25 a -0.26 a 0.00 -0.01 0.00 0.00


-0.05 -0.05 -0.11 -0.06 -0.06 -0.10 -0.15 b -0.11* -0.15 b


  0.03 0.00- -0.03   -0.01 0.05 0.04   0.08* 0.11 b 0.10 b


  0.02 0.01 -0.02   -0.06 -0.08 -0.09   0.04 0.05 0.04


    -0.16 a -0.15 a     -0.14 b -0.12 b     -0.03 -0.02


    0.23 a 0.22 a     -0.05 -0.04     -0.10 c -0.10 c


      0.28 a       0.02       0.11 c


      -0.02       0.11 c       0.02
Model F 28.99 a 14.61 a 13.62 a 12.71 a 14.24 a 7.74 a 7.11 a 6.07 a 31.83 a 17.39 a 13.74 a 11.39 a
R2 0.10 0.10 0.12 0.14 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.10 0.11 0.11 0.12
D R2   0.00 0.02 0.02   0.01 0.01 0.01   0.01 0.01 0.00
F(D R2)   0.30 9.69 a 8.08 a   1.23 4.96 c 1.82   2.76 b 2.60 c 1.88

Notes. - a denotes significant at the a = 0.01 level; b denotes significant at the a = 0.05 level; c denotes significant at the a = 0.1 level


Lien-Ti Bei Tsai-Ju Liao Kealoha Widdows Richard Widdows


GCB - Gender and Consumer Behavior Volume 7 | 2004

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Brand movement

Andrea Lucarelli, Lund University
Gregorio Fuschillo, Kedge Business School
Jon Bertilsson, Lund University

Read More


E6. The Effect of Crowding Perception on Helping Behavior ——Is Squeeze Warmer than Isolation?

Qingqing Guo, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Read More


D11. A Hidden Cost of Advocating: Attitude Depolarization After Recommending

Ravini Savindya Abeywickrama, University of Melbourne, Australia
Gergely Nyilasy, University of Melbourne, Australia
Simon M. Laham, University of Melbourne, Australia

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.