virginity and premarital sexuality

virginity and premarital sexuality
In contrast with pre-socialist standards of chastity that applied almost exclusively to women, Maoist educational and administrative practices attempted to enforce a new norm of premarital chastity for both sexes. Chinese youth who engaged in consensual premarital sex could be dismissed from school, sent to reform schools, sanctioned by work units or imprisoned for hooliganism, rape or prostitution. During the reform era, Chinese youth experienced a revolution in sexual attitudes, often described as an ‘opening up’ to liberal ideas from abroad. In contrast to ten years before, a majority of youth surveyed in the late 1990s approved of premarital sexual intercourse in a dating relationship that involved romantic feelings. This new romantic standard represented a break with traditional norms of virginity that applied only to women. Young men began to accept the idea that their wives might have had previous sexual partners.
Surveys in the late 1990s found that 70 to 80 per cent of young people had engaged in sexual intercourse before marriage, although sexual intercourse was still relatively uncommon among teenagers and high school students. Public policy changed more slowly. Secondary schools still prohibited dating, and universities still occasionally expelled students for engaging in sexual intercourse, usually in cases of pregnancy. An increasingly open media allowed space for criticisms of state policies, however. In one widely reported case in October 2002 the parents of two students dismissed after the girl became pregnant publicly argued that the university violated the students’ rights to privacy and education, an argument that was rejected by the judges but received much support from editorialists and youth in Internet chat rooms.
Evans, Harriet (1997). Women and Sexuality in China: Female Sexuality and Gender since 1949. London: Chiron Publications.
Farrer, James (2002). Opening Up: Youth Sex Culture and Market Reform in Shanghai. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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