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I dunno, just an American cultural thing, and varies by country. When I was in China, it was just a natural part of conversation: "Where are you from? What do you do? How many brothers/sisters do you have? How much do you make?"

I'm cringing at all the responses in here saying "this is why", as if it's some universal truth, when really it's just rationalizing the particular culture people have been steeped in. Why don't women walk around topless at the beach? Just culture. Some cultures see it as perfectly normal.

I wish people were more okay with it here in America. I make it a point to answer honestly if anyone broaches the subject, and to ask my close friends. Doing my part to change things. :)




> I'm cringing at all the responses in here saying "this is why", as if it's some universal truth, when really it's just rationalizing the particular culture people have been steeped in. Why don't women walk around topless at the beach? Just culture. Some cultures see it as perfectly normal.

Yes, it is cultural, but the answer isn't "it's just culture." There are reasons why it fits in one culture and not in another, and those reasons are interesting.

I realize people saying "it's like this because X" sounds like they are saying something universal. But they aren't. What they are saying is why, given other factors in their culture, things are that way.

Of course it is possible there is no reason for something in one culture. Random things happen. But even if they do, typically those things have effects and other things affect them, and all those things interact in ways that eventually settle down in some fixed point we call "the current culture". And even there, we can say a lot about why that random thing remains and does not vanish, or why it was not changed in a fundamental way, etc.

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