Australia-based Taiwanese author and sociologist Chang Jui-shan (張瑞珊) won a USA Best Books award for her insights on the role sex plays in Chinese and Western cultures. Chang’s Making a Meal of It — Sex in Chinese and Western Cultural Settings was chosen from among 500 entries to win the award in this year’s Health: Sex/Sexuality category.
Chang, who practices psychotherapy in Melbourne, Australia, introduces in her work the notion of “the embedded meaning of sex,” which she based on 20 years of studying how people view sex in Western and “Chinese societies,” which includes Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.
Although Chinese cultures have become more receptive to premarital sex, there are still fundamental differences in the deeper meanings of sex and how it is related to self-identity, according to Chang’s findings.
Chinese cultures primarily understand sex more as a means to carry on a family line and less about self-identity, Chang said.
On the other hand, she said Westerners believe sex is more about self-identity, a way to win recognition and express yourself.
The awards were sponsored by USABookNews.com, an online magazine and Web site that reviews various categories of titles published in the US.
Chang, who obtained a doctorate in sociology from the University of Michigan in the US after completing her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Taiwan, has also taught at the University of Iowa.