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Book Review: Making a Meal of It: Sex in Chinese and Western Cultural Settings by Dr. Jui-shan Chang

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Making a Meal of It: Sex in Chinese and Western Cultural Settings, by Dr. Jui-shan Chang, sheds light on contemporary sex, behaviors, and social mores in both the West and China. Urbanization, increased education, economic growth and changing family structures brought about premarital sex in Taiwan from 1980 onward. Traditional Chinese norms recognized sexual intercourse in marriage.

Modern trends provided for increased personal autonomy for women. An adjunct was increased premarital sexual intimacy. Women who dated future husbands were more likely to have premarital sex. Virginity was espoused by all groups of unmarried Taiwanese men as the ideal .

Openness, egalitarianism, gender equality, and personal autonomy are seen as irreversible global trends. For Taiwanese, modern womanhood mediates Chinese and Western values. Change has evolved from arranged marriages to greater premarital sexual intimacy. Those who have harmonious relations with others are seen as achieving inner peace. The classic five Confucian cardinal relations are the emperor-subordinate, father-son, older brother-younger brother, husband-wife and friend-friend.

Male homosexuality in historical China was tolerated if men married and had children or if they were from the upper class or royalty. The implementation of agony resolution is considered a fork in the road. The reliant woman resolves the agony by looking inward to herself. Affairs undermine individual esteem which is driven by circumstance to re-validate the marriage and dissolve back into familial expectations.

Filial piety or xiaoshun is considered a serious responsibility to care for elderly parents. Chinese would like to use Western skills to pursue Chinese dreams of raising a happy family, caring for elderly parents and getting the best education for the children. The ideal self in China emphasizes reciprocal duties and obligations to others in contrast to the rugged individualism experienced in the West and the U.S. in particular.

Overall, Making a Meal of It has a wealth of information which contrasts Chinese and Western views toward sex from an historical perspective through to contemporary times. There is a considerable statistical analysis presented to provide a level of assurance for a number of important inferences made. The bibliography has extensive citations from many authoritative sources like the Columbia University Press, Princeton University Press and the University of Chicago Press. The presentation is easy to read and understand.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.
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