CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Premarital sex is common, survey finds

04-10-2012 08:20 BJT

A new survey indicates that Chinese society is growing more permissive about premarital sex.

In the survey in March, 71.4 percent of respondents said they had sex before getting married, 43.1 percent said they approve of premarital sex, and only 24.6 percent voiced disapproval.

The findings stand in stark contrast with a 1989 survey in which only 15 percent of respondents said they had premarital sex.

The recent survey was created by Insight China, a magazine affiliated with Qiushi, the Party theory magazine, and conducted by Tsinghua Media Survey Lab at Tsinghua University.

There were 1,013 respondents, 56 percent of them men and 44 percent women, from 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

Almost 70 percent of respondents were from 20 to 39 years old. Sixty-four percent have received a college education. Their careers varied from professional manager, private company owner to civil servant and student.

In addition to the 71.4 percent who said they had sex before marriage, 43.1 percent said they approved of premarital sex. Only 24.6 percent voiced disapproval.

Also, 33.7 percent said that "sex is a basic need and has nothing to do with morality," and 27.7 percent believed "two people can have sex with each other as long as they are truly in love, even before marriage."

The survey pointed to a disparity between the thinking of men and women, with 33.5 percent of the female respondents disapproving of premarital sex, compared with only 17.8 percent of males.

The survey was simultaneously conducted on Sina, a leading micro blog site. There, 19,578 netizens took participated, 79.4 percent of whom identified themselves as male.

In the online survey, 86.5 percent of respondents said they had premarital sex, 15.1 percentage points higher than in the print survey.

Li Yinhe, a sexologist who conducted the 1989 survey about premarital sex in China, said an increase in premarital sex was inevitable.

"First, the purpose of sex has changed. Giving birth is no longer the sole valid reason. Second, there is a strong desire for sex from adolescence, before people reach marriageable age, and adolescence tends to begin earlier nowadays," Li said. "Also, when the crime of 'hooliganism' was removed from the Criminal Law in 1997, sex out of wedlock went from being a crime to just a personal choice.

"Sexual desire doesn't have anything to do with morality, but sexual behavior does," Li said. "A married person who has sex outside the marriage without the spouse's approval violates the vow of loyalty."

However, Du Juan, a researcher at the Institute of Sexuality and Gender at Renmin University of China, doubted that the new survey's data on premarital sex represented the situation in Chinese society as a whole. "We shouldn't believe everything that statistics tells us."

But researchers at the institute have concluded from their own national surveys that "the sexual revolution in China has succeeded," she said.

On the other hand, abstinence is also a personal choice, Du said. "People need to follow their own will in choosing for or against abstinence. You don't choose abstinence or sex because it's fashionable."

Speaking on whether a more open-minded view of sex would affect the stability of relationships, Du said: "The development of a modern society has weakened many functions that were thought to be served only by marriages. Sex is absolutely not the only thing to blame when couples and families split up."

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: China Daily

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program