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Editor’s note: this article was translated and edited from an article that recently appeared on Boxun.com. The article discusses a recent “sex” survey, which suggests that the average age of Chinese losing their virginity has decreased dramatically in the last 20 years. The article looks at some of the reasons behind this trend and speculates on whether or not China will catch up with the liberal attitudes towards sex held by many Western countries. |
Many young Mainland Chinese are becoming increasingly open-minded when it comes to their views on sex. A recent investigation shows that the average age at which mainland Chinese lose their virginity has dropped from 22.4 years old to 18.2 in the last 20 years, a significant change. There are of course many aspects that have contributed to the liberalization of attitudes towards sex in Mainland China. In this article, experts are particularly interested the divergent opinions between different generations towards renting a room for a night in a love hotel. People born in the seventies were said to view the activity as “too luxurious,” while younger people born in the eighties and nineties view it as a fashionable and exciting escapade.
First sexual encounters most often occur at university
The survey questioned about 94,000 people, and reported that on average people born in the seventies lost their virginity at 22.4 years old, people born in the eighties lost their virginity at 21.3, while those born in the nineties lost their virginity at 18.2 years of age. Among those surveyed, 62.1% said that they had their first sexual experiences while at university. Moreover, the percentage of those born in the nineties who lost their virginity at university was 72%.
Yang Xiong, Director of the Youth Institute at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences stated that these changes are primarily brought on by changes in the social environment. According to Yang, China’s recent economic development has caused many traditional values to loosen up, with concepts such as one night stands becoming less taboo. The internet also holds some responsibility, with certain easily-accessible online material offering the chance for many young Chinese to broaden their sexual knowledge and change their views. These reasons, coupled with many young Chinese maturing early, both in a physical and mental sense, have been the main causes for the increasing acceptance of sex in society, according to Yang.
The survey also showed that the locations where respondents lost their virginity varied according to when they were born. Those born in the seventies said that they lost their virginity at home, whilst those born in the eighties and nineties said that they preferred the excitement of experiencing their first sexual encounter in a hotel. 18.9% of those born in the nineties said they had had sex in a public space, while 10% stated they had made love in a classroom.
In the United States, the average person loses their virginity at 16.4 years of age. Given recent developments, it seems that China may be catching up to Western countries regarding attitudes to sex. Some countries however may have even lower average ages of virginity loss, though this is likely due to lack of sexual education. The survey showed that only 17% of the young Chinese didn’t use contraception during their first sexual encounters, which does suggest that most young people in China these days do have some common sense regarding sex, though only 50% used condoms.