Caring for Parents
Marriage in the Chinese culture signifies who will care for elderly parents when the need arises. Daughters marry "out of the family" and become part of their husband's family, while sons remain within the original family structure. Therefore, when the son marries, it is his responsibility to care for his parents, but a daughter's first responsibility is to her in-laws and not her parents.
Head of Household
Sons of China also take on the role of head of household of the original family. A step further than caring for elderly parents, the eldest son steps into an ill father's footsteps carrying out the family's responsibilities when the father can no longer make important decisions.
The Family Name
Chinese sons carry responsibility for carrying on the family name. Chinese women keep their family name when they marry but any children the couple has take the father's name. The result means a family history continues only through a son.
One of the most important roles of a Chinese son is that of filial piety to his father. Filial piety, the practice of showing the most in respect and love for parents and ancestors, is a way of life in China. The father-son relationship is the platform on which all other filial piety family relationships build. The role of sons as such involves setting an excellent example of this love and respect.
The first son of abides by certain cultural rules when a death occurs. These rules dictate the son waits to marry or wear the color red for six months. In addition, he must show a deep sadness. If the death is someone he is not close to, he must still make a show of great grief.