Sandy Sin Chi To  杜先致 Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Sandy Sin Chi To 杜先致

Sociologist and Author

I received my PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge in 2012. I was a Teaching Consultant and Part-time Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong's Department of Sociology from 2012 to 2016. My work on 'leftover women' or 'shengnüs' has been widely cited in both academic and media outlets. My book 'China's Leftover Women: Late Marriage among Professional Women and its Consequences' was published in 2015 in the Routledge Women in Asia Series.


Sandy To received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge in 2012. Her PhD thesis explored the marriage partner choices of 50 single, highly educated Chinese professional women known as 'shengnü'  ('leftover women') in Shanghai. Being the first academic study that explored shengnü's marriage views and partner choices from a grounded theory perspective, it was featured widely in media outlets such as BBC, Telegraph, Deutsche Welle, TIME, and SCMP. Her work has appeared in academic journals such as Symbolic Interaction and Sage Open, and 'China's Leftover Women: Late Marriage among Professional Women and its Consequences' is her latest book.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Gender and Feminism, Marriage and Family, Contemporary Chinese Society, Modern Social Theory, Qualitative Methodologies, Cultural Modernism and Modernity, Creative Writing



Featured Title
 Featured Title - China's Leftover Women – To - 1st Edition book cover


Journal of Family Issues

Family Relations and Remarriage Post-Divorce and Post-Widowhood in China

Published: Dec 24, 2017 by Journal of Family Issues
Authors: Yang Hu, Sandy To

Analyzing event history data from the 2010 China Family Panel Studies and 13 qualitative interviews, we examine the complex and gendered relationship between family relations and remarriage in China.

Sage Open

'My Mother Wants Me To Jiaru-haomen (Marry Into A Rich And Powerful Family)!'

Published: Jan 20, 2015 by Sage Open
Authors: Sandy To
Subjects: Sociology, Asian Studies

In an era of individualization, Chinese individuals often have to face the challenge of balancing their personal choices with their filial obligations. This study explores the “marital filial strategies” of unmarried Chinese professional women who face filial contentions in their “marriage timing” and “partner choice.”

Symbolic Interaction

Understanding Sheng Nu (“Leftover Women”): the Phenomenon of Late Marriage among

Published: Jan 20, 2013 by Symbolic Interaction
Authors: Sandy To
Subjects: Sociology, Asian Studies

In the past few decades, there has been a rise in the number of single, unmarried Chinese professional women, which is known as the sheng nu or “leftover women” phenomenon. Through an interactionist grounded theory method, this study has located the interactional constraints faced by 50 single Chinese professional women that were issued by their male romantic partners and parents.



Sheng Nu 剩女 ("Leftover Women") & Strategies of Marriage Partner Choice

Published: Jan 26, 2013

This video explains the 'sheng nu' ('leftover women') phenomenon in China, and introduces the '4 different types' of 'leftover women' and their partner choice strategies.

RTHK Women's Talk: Do Women Have an 'Expiry Date'? 五夜講場 - 講女時間:女人保鮮期

Published: Aug 26, 2017

五夜講場 - 講女時間:女人保鮮期 女生一旦過了十八歲,便開始擔心自己變老。三十歲更像是一個「賞味期限」,彷彿過了這個年齡關口,女人的價值就會日漸降低,社會也出現「中女」、「剩女」等負面標籤。 今集請來性別研究學者杜先致、浸會大學人文及創作系教授文潔華博士,一起探討女人是否真的有保鮮期?女人對年齡關口的不安又源於什麼?