Chinese Hospital's Request: Female Virgins' Blood

Researchers face backlash ahead of HPV study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2013 9:24 AM CDT
Chinese Hospital's Request: Female Virgins' Blood
A Chinese hospital caused an uproar with its request for virgins' blood.   (Shutterstock)

A Chinese cancer hospital has sparked anger with a call for blood donations—specifically from 100 female virgins ages 18 to 24. The Peking University Cancer Hospital says it's planning a study on HPV and that virgins are less likely to have the virus. "It's in line with international practice to collect female virgins' blood samples, which serve as negative control substances in HPV research, given that the risk of contracting HPV is low among women who have never had sex," a hospital spokesperson tells China Daily.

But on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent, users disagreed. "Male virgins are not needed, just females, how is this science?" asks one. Observers have attacked China's emphasis on female virginity: AFP notes that men in the country often want brides to be virgins in accordance with tradition, and surgery to "restore" virginity is increasingly popular. The spokesperson says the hospital will try to improve its communication skills in the future, should it need to make such an odd request again. As for how the donors' virgin status will be confirmed by the hospital? Honor system. (In Sumatra, the education chief recently called for mandatory virginity tests for students.)

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