Oddly Enough

Chinese youth conflicted about sex, survey finds

A young couple embraces in the People Square in Shanghai, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - A new survey of China’s first generation born under the one-child policy has found they are more open but still conflicted about sex, and don’t approve of one-night stands, a state newspaper said on Wednesday.

With the world’s biggest population straining scarce land, water and energy, China has enforced rules limiting family size since the 1970s, generally limiting couples to having just one child, though there are exceptions.

The survey, carried out by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on people born between 1976 and 1986, found that their average age for first sexual experience was 22.8 years, the China Youth Daily said.

But more than 96 percent of the surveyed first had sex with their partner, rather than just a one-night stand. Nearly 20 percent first had sex before the age of 20.

“The survey found that on the one hand they had sex earlier but on the other it was in a stable relationship,” the newspaper said. “This shows the contradictions felt in the first generation of single children toward sex.”

Most did not approve of one-night stands, and almost three-quarters said they would never try homosexuality, the report added.

Premarital sex and cohabitation were not generally felt to be problems, the survey found.

Still, more than 97 percent wanted children of their own, and 61 percent said that in an ideal world they would like to have two children. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie and Valerie Lee)