Premarital Sex among Never-Married Young Adults in Contemporary China: Comparisons between Males and Females

Lei He, Texas A&M University

Biologically, premarital sex is not a problem for individuals who are sexually mature. However, premarital sex has always been morally unacceptable in Chinese society, in which most people believe marriage is the legitimate requirement for sexual activity. This study looks into premarital sex and its influential factors among never married young adults aged 20 to 34, by using the data from China Health and Family Life Survey conducted in 2000. Cross tabulation, chi-square test, and logistic regression are employed to examine the differences between males and females in terms of their sexual behavior. Although only less than a third of never married Chinese young adults reported that they had sexual experience, male young adults had much higher risk of having sexual activities than females. Generally, males with higher socioeconomic status were more likely to have premarital sex, while female young adults were highly constrained by their conservative attitudes and parents.

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Presented in Poster Session 3