China Strips Down Sexual Mores

Sex education hasn't caught up
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2008 2:25 PM CST
A young Chinese couple checks into a motel in Beijing, China, Sunday, June 17, 2007. China is in the midst of a sexual revolution, a byproduct of rising prosperity and a loosening of government restrictions...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – After years of Maoist repression, during which sex was considered bourgeois and hand-holding was a major taboo, Beijing is alive with seedy clubs and no-tell motels catering to one-night stands. Most Chinese—60% to 70%—have indulged in premarital sex, compared with just 15% in 1989. But lingering disapproval has kept the revolution largely underground, the AP reports.

Young people are still reluctant to say the word “sex” around anyone but their closest friends, and adults are uneasy discussing the topic. That means sex education is lagging badly. During school breaks, Shanghai abortion clinics get 80% of their business from high-school girls. "If you don't talk directly about sex, it's an incomplete sex education,” said one expert.