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Bloom is off the rose in China's bridal chambers
( 2003-10-09 15:46) (chinadaily.com.cn)

Only about a third of Chinese newlyweds enter the bedchamber as virgins, a new government report estimates, underlining the extent of the sexual revolution in a society that once swore by pre-nuptial chastity.

Research published by the State Family Planning Association showed 60-70 percent of men and women engaged to be married had previous sexual experience.

In the most sexually active region, 90 percent of people surveyed had had intercourse before marriage, while in the least active, the figure was 44 percent.

The study analysed 196 reports compiled from 1990 to 2000 based on medical examinations Chinese were required to undergo before marriage.

Such medicals are no longer required under new marriage regulations which took effect on October 1 and are meant to trim the bureaucracy from the registration process.

Pre-marital sex was social taboo in traditional China.

But attitudes towards sex relaxed greatly after China embarked on market reforms and policy of opening to the outside world, unleashing a boom in adolescent dating, adultery, prostitution and other kinds of promiscuity.

A recent study by prominent People's University sexologist Pan Suiming suggests that nearly twice as many marriage-aged youths today have sex before getting hitched than their parents.

He found 72.2 percent of men between the ages 25 and 29, and 46.2 percent of women, had had pre-marital sex. Among people above 40, only 45.7 percent of men and 24.1 percent of women had sex before tying the knot.

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