In China people’s attitudes toward sex has completely changed. Chinese are experimenting on a new relationship called living apart together (LAT). In this one can life the life of a married couple with prior agreement to separate if one partner does not desires to stay together and that the partner should not control each others sexual behavior.
Sex agreement includes that neither of them is obliged to have sex with the other and if one of them refuses, the other would not force the issue. Both are free to have new partners and if either has had sex with a new partner and is willing to live with that person, the two would stop cohabiting. This trend is being followed by quite a few couples, married and unmarried. Experts, feel that this represents a sexual revolution in China.
Many academic experts believe that this revolution is as a result of China beginning to open itself to the world in the late 1970s.
Before this young lovers could only show intimacy to each other in public by grasping each other’s hand. At that time, men and women were denounced as living a profligate life if they were involved in sexual scandals. People who had premarital sex were fired by their work units if their affairs were exposed. Hospitals did not have clinics for treating sexual problems or sexually transmitted diseases.
During the Cultural Revolution, no mass media referred to sex. Sexual knowledge among the people was very poor. All this changed when the promulgation of the new marriage law was done in 1980 and secondly when China adopted its family planning and one child policy in the same year.
According to the law, divorce is granted when mutual affection ceased to exists and secondly when mediation fails.
Professor Pan Shuiming, an expert on sexology at Renmin University of China, said that under the family planning policy, contraception and abortion are widely practiced legally.
Li Yinhe, an expert on sexology and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that it was the separation of sex from the task of reproduction that has stimulated the changing attitude towards sex.
He says that Virginity is no longer considered an important factor in a girl’s life. This has led to the state relaxing its control over love, sex and marriage.
A study was conducted among the university students to analyze about what they think with regards to sex. It was astonishing to find that 62 % think that premarital sex is acceptable as long as it occurs between true lovers, 85% think it’s not obligatory for sex partners to marry if they do not wish to, 60 % are tolerant of homosexuality and 62% believe that the importance on virginity is a restriction on human nature.
Experts believe that this change is brought about by the economic development in the country.
Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD