BEIJING (Reuters) - More than half of Chinese people think sex before marriage is acceptable, but a third say the partners must be in love, the Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, citing results of a recent poll.
A survey, initiated by the Renmin University of China, collected 5,951 responses from people of different age groups, professions and education in 10 provinces and municipalities including Beijing and Shanghai.
The results showed 32.7 percent said premarital sex should not be condemned as long as the couple loved each other, while almost 29 percent regarded premarital sex as a private matter.
While 12.8 percent said premarital sex was immoral, they also said it was understandable.
“Only 15.26 percent said premarital sex was immoral and should be firmly opposed, and less than 7 percent in the 20 to 29 age group believed premarital sex was immoral,” Xinhua said, quoting the survey.
Wanyan Hua, a doctoral candidate at Renmin University, said young Chinese were more open towards premarital sex than previous generations.
“But man is not a primitive animal and love is not purely sex,” she warned. “Over-indulgence in sex will not only harm young people, but also weaken the concept of marriage and family.”
Chinese attitudes towards sex have relaxed in recent decades, triggering a boom in extramarital relationships which the Communist Party blames on bourgeois mores imported from the West.