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High schoolers sexually active
Updated: 2004-04-07 08:51

Shanghai school officials are worried that a growing number of high school students are dating and having sex, although many of them still know little about preventing pregnancy or sex-related diseases.

Puppy love is no longer a rare phenomenon in China. The youth have so easy access into information about love and sex that they are not mature enough to tell. [file photo]
After offering sex and AIDS education at schools around the city, the Shanghai Xinhua Hospital conducted a survey of several thousand students to see how effective the course was and to find out their attitudes toward dating and sex.

The survey indicates that about 30 percent of high school students in the city have a boyfriend or girlfriend and have engaged in some intimate activity, such as kissing, hugging and touching. Three percent of those surveyed said they had had sex.

The hospital surveyed 10 high schools last year and another 15 schools this year. About 100 students were covered in the survey at each school. It will survey students at 17 other high schools around the city next month.

While no comparable studies were done in the past, Shanghai educators said the number of students who are dating or sexually active is clearly on the rise.

"Students were required to fill in a questionnaire about their knowledge of reproductive health and sex-related diseases as well as their concepts of love and sex-related behavior," said Dr Shen Lixiao of the hospital's child healthcare department.

"We conduct the survey before and after the AIDS education to evaluate the teaching effect," she said. "Most students can grasp the basic knowledge of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and establish a correct attitude toward people infected with diseases," said Shen.

"With the social development and easier availability on information of love and romance, more students engage in love affairs nowadays," said Fang Xiuhong, an official from Shanghai Shixi Middle School.

"The pregnancy rate among young girls is rising quickly," said Chen Daning with Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital.

"Teenage mothers are admitted to our hospital every month. Many youngsters still lack basic sexual knowledge."

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