China, July 22, 2004 – China Daily

A SURVEY conducted by Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences shows that sexual relationships before marriage and cohabitation among local youth has increased as sexual attitudes have become more open. According to the survey, half of those interviewed think it is understandable for engaged couples or people in love to hit the sheets before tying the knot.

Yet, while attitudes are becoming more open, virginity is still seen as an important virtue. Nearly 60 per cent said that virginity is one of the requirements for their ideal spouse – with both men and women saying they want to marry a virgin. Only 16.5 per cent said they don’t care about their partner’s virginity.

Those numbers are surprising considering 30 per cent of those surveyed said they are no longer virgins. About 19 per cent of university students said they are sexually active.

A survey in 2003 by British condom maker Durex suggests that Chinese people enjoy a better sex life than the world average. Over 50,000 of the over 150,000 respondents out of 34 countries were Chinese. The survey shows Chinese adults have sex 132 times a year on average, a little bit higher than the world average of 127 times.

But another survey conducted by Renmin University of China in 1999 to 2000 found that only 27.1 per cent of respondents thought they are “very content” with their sex life while 60.7 per cent thought their sex life was “good”.

The survey also suggested couples in small cities had more sex and enjoyed a better sex life than those in big cities or the countryside.

But 69.1 per cent of male respondents and 64.9 per cent of female respondents still believe men should play an active and dominant role in sexual life.

The survey also found the sexual capabilities of men declined between the ages of 20 and 64. Many began to lose their interest in sex from the age of

43.9 on average. Their sexual capability undergoes a sharp decline when they reach 47.7, after which they typically have sex only once a month.