30% say OK to sex before marriage - survey
By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-24 05:44
NANJING: More than a third of Nanjing's young people have said they see
premarital sex as acceptable.
In a survey of 391 16-to-25-year- olds, 36 per cent said they accepted sex
However, the survey also found that 46 per cent of the Jiangsu provincial
capital's young people considered sex before marriage intolerable, while 18 per
cent were unsure, saying it depended on the state of the relationship.
The survey, completed last week, was jointly conducted by the Jiangsu branch
of Marie Stopes International (MSI), a London-based international
non-governmental organization providing sexual and reproductive health
information, and the provincial population and family planning commission.
Among the main reasons given by those who said "yes" to premarital sex, was
the idea that "two people truly in love would naturally have sex."
This was followed by the theory that "premarital sex would help lovers find
out whether they were truly suited to each other and can be happily married in
Cherishing virginity and health concerns were the top two reasons given by
those who rejected sex before marriage.
The results echoed those of a National Population and Family Planning
Commission survey in October which found that more than one third of young
people in China see premarital sex as good preparation for married life.
According to a report released by the Shanghai Population and Family Planning
Commission in 2004, premarital health checkups by the city in 2003 found that 69
per cent of fiances in Shanghai had premarital sex.
According to Li Yinhe, an expert in gender studies with the Chinese Academy
of Social Sciences, soaring premarital sex symbolizes the sexual liberation of
China, especially among young people.
"Instead of considering premarital sex immoral, as society has considered
conventionally, youngsters are now pursuing personal enjoyment," said Li during
a recent lecture in Guangzhou.
However, if youngsters lack vital sex education, this sexual liberation could
lead to a growth in various social problems, including a rise in abortions,
"Compared with the rising interest in premarital sex among the young, their
knowledge of healthy sex sees no evident improvement. Some of them don't know
the basics of contraception, " said Xu Pei, an expert from Nanjing Maternity and
Child Health Hospital.
"Proper sex education should be strengthened in schools and universities."
Statistics from Xu's hospital show that for the past three years, 40 per cent
of women undergoing abortions have been unmarried youngsters.
MSI's survey also found that most of those surveyed received no proper sex
education before having sex, with more than half admitting that they had tried
to glean information from pornography.
(China Daily 11/24/2005 page3)