Saturday, January 13, 2007

China teens casual about one-night stands

More than half of China's high school students find nothing wrong with one-night stands and an overwhelming majority of girls would not reject a boyfriend's demands for sex, a poll suggests.

Some 6.2 percent of the survey's 2,300 high school students in Xuanwu, a downtown district in the Chinese capital of Beijing, had already had a sexual experience and the average age of students losing their virginity was 15, the China Daily said on Thursday.

The results surprised educators, the newspaper said.

"The new generation is open-minded about sex," Zhang Meimei, a professor at Capital Normal University who was involved in the survey conducted last year, was quoted as saying.

"We can only conclude that it is a result of a fast-changing society."

China's traditional culture sanctifies abstinence and the ruling Communist Party is also officially puritanical, but three decades of market reforms have brought forth an ever more rebellious and diverse urban youth culture.

Of the 1,300 girls asked if they would agree to sex when asked by a boyfriend, only six gave a definite "no."

"The typical answer: 'As long as he loves me, it's OK'," the newspaper said.

About 200 respondents of both sexes said they would have a one-night stand if the opportunity arose, it added.

Such liberal attitudes to sex have sparked concerns over safe sex, with more than 40 percent of respondents who had had sex saying they did not use contraceptives for their first time, the China Daily said.

Underage girls accounted for about a quarter of the 1.5 million abortions in mainland China every year, and teenage pregnancies were on the rise, the newspaper said.

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