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China: Hype on university virginity rate

On August 16, a survey report on university female student virginity rate was posted around university forums. Since the report was published under the name of Li Yinhe, the most famous sexologist in China, the post quickly became the hottest topic online. Eventhough Professor Li denied her connection with the survey, people continued to talk about the data as if they were facts.

Li Yinhe tries to make sense of the hype in her blog:

网上最近流传我调查大学生处女率纯属误传。我在1989年的确做过一个北京市随机抽样调查,当时发现有过婚前性行为的人在样本中占15%。换言之, 婚前“处女率”为85%。“处女率”之所以如此之高是因为样本的年龄跨度为30岁至80岁。老辈人中将童贞保持到结婚的比例还是相当高的。

现在,20年过去了,后来别人也做过一些调查,婚前性行为比例在提高,换言之,“处女率”在降低。在年轻人群中,在大城市中,有调查显示,婚前性行为已高达六成(换言之,“处女率”降低到四成)。但是在老辈人中,在农村,婚前性行为还是少数,“处女率”还是比较高的。

The survey on university female student virginity rate that passed around recently was a rumor. I did conduct a survey by random sampling in Beijing city in 1989. The founding was that there was about 15% of the Beijing female population had premarital sex. In other word, the “virginity rate” was 85%. The reason why the rate was so high because the sampling population was between 30-80 years old. The ratio for older generation in keeping their virginity before marriage was very high.

After 20 years, there were some other surveys showing that the ratio of premarital sex has been increasing. In other word, the virginity rate is decreasing. In some big cities, there are surveys indicating that among young people 60% of them has premarital sex, which means the virginity rate has been lowered to 40%. However, in rural areas among older generation, only a minority of population has premarital sex and the virginity rate is still quite high.

大学的情况我并未做过调查。那个所谓调查报告漏洞百出。因为从统计上看,某高校“处女率为0”的情况绝对不可能出现。即使只有10%的人是处女;即使只有 1%的人是处女;即使只有一个人是处女,“处女率”就不是0。因此网上流传的所谓调查报告只有两个可能的来源:一是出自一个极不专业的调查;另一个可能就 是完全是瞎编出来的。

有意思的是,大家对“处女率”如此津津乐道。我想,原因有好几个:第一个原因是将童贞保持到结婚的处女越来越少,而且是在一二十年这么短暂的时间段内发生 的剧烈变化;第二个原因是怀念人人将童贞保持到结婚的时代;第三个原因是对处女越来越少的时代潮流感到恐慌和手足无措。当然,也不排除有些人像高尔基的海 燕那样,欢呼这场改变习俗的暴风雨的来临。他们想说的是:让暴风雨来得更猛烈些吧!

I have never conducted any research on virginity rate among university students. The so-called survey was full of flaws. According to statistic rule, it is almost impossible for 0% virginity rate in any university. You can have 10% or even 1% of the virgin population. Only one respondent claimed to be virgin, the virginity rate would not be “0%”. The online survey report either comes from a very unprofessional survey, or it is purely a fake one.

It is interesting to see how people are so enthusiastic about the survey. There are a number of reasons. First of all, there are less and less people keeping their virginity for marriage. Such rapid change of sex culture takes place within the short period of 20 years. Secondly, people are nostalgic about the time when premarital virginity was treasured. Thirdly, people are anxious about the coming of an era when there are less and less virgins. Of course, some may react like the Stormy Petrel in Maxim Gorky's story, cheering for the arrival of the storm that change the culture. They want to see the storm becoming more violent.

Although the sex culture is changing, some continue to insist on the need and desire to marry virgins. For example, Baidu blogger, broken heart, created a “scientific” theory on the “value” of virgin:

在女人和男人交媾的那些日子里,男人的亿万个精子进入了她的体内,精子进入女性体内后,除一部分流出外,其他都发生了自溶。在它们自溶时,会释放出一种遗 传物质“核蛋白体”,被女性生殖器官的内腺所吸收,与此同时,精液中还含有多种性激素,这些性激素也被女性吸收。被吸收的精子和性激素中的遗传物质——脱 氧核糖核酸(DNA),能使母体性细胞产生遗传变异而被同化,进而引起后次卵细胞也随之变化,因此而产生“无距离遗传”的效果,所以如果和有过性经历的女 人结婚,便会出现儿子为什么像其他人的缘故,这种现象虽不普遍,却客观地存在着。

During sexual intercourse, man's sperms enter the woman's body, some of them would eventually leave the body, some have dissolved. A protein and some hormones would be released and absorbed by the uterus. The woman's egg would be affected by the man's DNA which would be passed to the off-spring. That's why when a man married a woman with premarital sex experience, there are chances that their off-spring would not resemble the father.

Then he continues to argue for virginity with “psychological theory”:

非处有好多种,有的非处可能在结婚前不知道睡过多少男人了,有的却只有过一、二次。第一种也就不要去说她了,标准的烂货。如果只有一两次的话说明她对这事 还是比较看重的,确实是为爱而做,那你可就更要当心了,你就等着一辈子生活在那个男人的阴影中吧,在她心中你永远也比不上她第一个男人,哪怕那人是个流 氓。

There are different types of non-virgin, some have slept with numerous guys, some have only one or two experience. For the first type, they are just typical trash. If they only have very few experience, that means they treasured those relation. Then you have to be careful as you have to live in other guys’ shadow for your whole life. In her mind, the first one is always better than you even though he may be a scum.

Tangjikede criticizes such kind of virginity complex:

中国的臭男人有个心结,就是要找结婚的对象一定是处 女,男人有此心结,女人似乎也有此心结,不是处女怎么办呢?不好交代啊,好像不是处女就给不了男人一个说法,于是就开始编:骑车没注意啦,违章跨护栏啦等 等。现在高科技发达了,甚至还有人专门搞处女膜修复。干嘛要修复呢?就是为了圆那个谎话。…

Debased Chinese male has a complex on marrying virgin. However, such complex is also among female. Woman don't know how to defend their rights. If they were not virgins they felt the need to give a good explanation to their men. That's why they lie – that they lost it to their bicycles or to the road side fences while crossing the road etc and etc. Now with the development of technology, virginity can be fixed. Why do they need to fix it? This is to make the lie more effective…

中国是个日益走向开放的社会,开放社会的标志就是宽 容。老唐并不支持随意的婚前性行为,但是老唐认为婚前是否发生性行为应该由个人决定,其实对于大部分年轻人来说,尤其对有责任感的年轻人来说,远没有人们 想象的那么随便。没有发生未必就是什么道德卫士,发生了未必就是见不得人。

China is getting more and more open and the landmark of that is tolerance. I do not support random premarital sex, but having sex with others is an individual choice. Actually our young people, in particular those with a sense of responsibility, are not as frivolous as the public have imagined. Moreover, one's morality should not be defined by whether or not they have premarital sex.

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