SEX EDUCATION AND RESEARCH IN CHINA

SEX EDUCATION IN CHINA

Sex education was formally introduced in China in 1985. At that time forth graders were shown anatomically correct bodies and told about sexual reproduction and middle school students attended classes in "adolescent studies." The result was that children were often better informed about sex than their parents. One 12-year-old boy who was taken to a clinic by his mother after she discovered stains on his sheets told his mother, “Wet dreams are normal. They told us that at school."

In the Mao era, with taboos on the discussion of sex and a lack of sex education, many Chinese grew up ignorant about sex. One Chinese doctor told the New York Times, "particularly in the small cities and towns, sheer ignorance of sex is a big, big problem There are so many wrong ideas, even among doctors, that people don't know what to believe." To make his point he showed an article in army magazine by an "expert" on premature ejaculation who warned that masturbation led to impotence.

Free sex education workshops are held in some places for adults. Many of those who attend are adults who are planning to get married in the near future. One man attending one of these classes told the New York Times, "I need to learn some things: when is the best time to get pregnant, what kinds of contraceptives are available? Both men and women should be informed."

Sex education in the schools is still in the developing stages. Different districts have different texts. A typical sex education film shows some sperm uniting with an egg and some clips of animals having sex. Xu Zhenlei, an official with the China Sexology Association told the Washington Post: “Generally speaking, most parents are against sex education. If you are talking about the sex education they say, “Don’t date and focus on your studies.”

A United Nations-funded survey of 22,288 Chinese aged 15-24 by the Peking University Population Research Institute in 2009 found that two-thirds were accepting of premarital sex but that most "had very limited levels of sexual reproductive health knowledge." The survey found 22 per cent had had sex before; of those, more than 50 per cent used no contraception during their first sexual encounter.

Sex Education in China from the 1950s to the 1990s

In line with its general policy of suppressing any discussion of sexuality, the Chinese government neglected the development of sex education courses for the general curriculum. It was not until the early 1980s that model programs were developed, and even then, discussion was usually limited to the necessity of using contraception to limit population growth. In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, not only was there a complete lack of systematic sex education, but only a few booklets on sexuality had been published. The most popular one, Knowledge of Sex (Xing-di-zhi-shi), was published in 1957. Most of these booklets are devoted to social topics, such as love and marriage, and medical topics, such as sexual dysfunctions. Only a few pages discuss aspects of sexual relationships such as arousal, sexual responses, and frequency of intercourse. Yet, for more than twenty years, Knowledge of Sex was virtually the only sex booklet available to a population of eight to nine hundred million people. (See also Sections 14B and 14C.) [Source: Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo, Fang-fu Ruan, M.D., Ph.D., and M.P. Lau, M.D. Encyclopedia of Sexuality =]

In 1980, heartened by the end of the Cultural Revolution, a few authors and publishers began to produce new materials. The first effort was a new edition of Knowledge of Sex published by People’s Medical Publishing House. The first printing of 2.5 million copies, released in June 1980, was sold out almost immediately, and some people resold their copies at nearly double the original price. Between 1980 and 1984, more than ten new sex booklets were published. Two of them became bestsellers. The first. Required Readings in Wedding Hygiene was originally published in September 1980, and by November 1981 had already been reprinted eight times, for a total of more than 7.5 million copies. The second, Questions and Answers about Wedding Hygiene, was published in July 1984 with a printing of 4.2 million copies. =

Finally, in the mid-1980s, four major types of pressure led national and local officials to acknowledge the need for sex education programs. First, the population growth continued to be a very serious problem. A birth control program had been instituted in January 1973, but it became unavoidably clear that to implement the program effectively, young people would have to be given sexual information essential to understanding and using contraception. Second, rates of teenage pregnancy, juvenile sex crime, and sexually transmitted diseases seemed to be increasing. It was stated that sex education offered the best hope for diminishing these problems. Third, medical professionals felt that the numbers of patients they were treating for sexual dysfunction demonstrated a need for improved education. And finally, as a result of the new “open-door” policy of receptiveness to Western cultural influence, and a simultaneous increase in personal freedoms, the Chinese people were expressing a desire to improve their lives, including their sexual lives. =

The first high school sex education courses were introduced in 1981 in Shanghai. In early 1986, forty Shanghai middle schools, about 10 percent of the city’s total, introduced an experimental sex education course for coed classes in the 12- to 13-year age group. In addition to helping students understand the physiological and psychological changes they were undergoing, the Course was designed to teach hygiene and sexual morality. By June 1986, nearly a hundred Shanghai middle schools gave sex education courses. And, by February 1988, 6,000 middle schools all over China had instituted sex education courses. Thirteen of the twenty-eight provinces, including Shanghai, Jiangsu, Tianjin, and Helongjiang, had made sex education courses part of the standard middle school curriculum. In February 1988, the State Council announced that sex education courses would be established in middle schools nationwide. =

“From January to October 1985, a special series of columns entitled “Essays on Sex Education” by the author of this chapter was published in Required Readings for Parents, the leading national monthly magazine on child and adolescent education. The series consisted of ten rather long articles on various aspects of sexuality and sex education. It was the first systematic treatment of such topics to be published since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The “First National Workshop on Sex Education” was held in Shanghai on July 22 to August 7, 1985. This was the first such conference convened in mainland China since 1949. It was an interdisciplinary workshop, attended by more than eighty professionals from eighteen provinces, most them of in the fields of birth control, sociology, urology, and high school and college education. The author was the major instructor. Also in 1985, the author served as chief editor, and as a major contributor, for a large updated volume of the Handbook of Sex Knowledge, published by the Scientific and Technological Literature Publishing House in Beijing in October. Although it was intended to be the most up-to-date text of its kind, the book could not include any descriptions of sexual positions, or any nude illustrations (except anatomical drawings). Despite these self-imposed restrictions, the first printing was limited to 500,000 copies by the government. After the author left China for the United States at the end of 1985, he was asked to prepare a new version to include the knowledge of the prevention of AIDS. In 1988, the revised edition was jointly published by the Scientific and Technological Literature Publishing House and the People’s Medical Publishing House, one of the two publishers officially permitted to publish books on sex. Yet in 1988, the government allowed the showing of a film that explicitly referred to the Handbook. The movie, entitled Mandarin Duck Apartments (to the Chinese, a pair of mandarin ducks symbolizes an affectionate couple), includes a scene in which an old woman counsels a young newlywed who feels that sex is dirty and shameful. The old woman shows her the Handbook, explaining that findings in sexual science show that women have as much right as men to enjoy sex. =

After the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, the government fell into its old habit of including sexual restrictions in a wave of political repression. But, because of the huge pressure from population control, STDs, and the prevention of teenager pregnancy, the government cannot inhibit and stop sex education any more. The sex education classes, exhibitions, meetings, and publications are still continued and developing in China today. Given the government’s authoritarian control described in the section above, it is obvious that informal sources of sexual information, such as television talk shows, radio phone-in programs, and popular magazines commonly found in more democratic and open countries are very limited in China because they are illegal and severely punished. Underground sources continued to flourish, and official control has been relaxing as more emphasis has been shifted from ideology to economy. =

Sex Research in China

No sex research existed between 1949, when Mao and his Communist Party took control over mainland China, and 1979. There were some studies on reproductive system and reproductive endocrinology, but these were in the biological and medical fields, not behavioral studies. However, since 1979 and especially after 1985, sex research became an apparently growing, even prosperous, field. China’s sex research was started and developed under the names of “sex education” and “sexual medicine,” two fields that are accepted and permitted by the government and society. Before the beginning of the open-door policy in 1979, even sex education and sexual medicine were non-existent. [Source: Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo, Fang-fu Ruan, M.D., Ph.D., and M.P. Lau, M.D. Encyclopedia of Sexuality =]

The year 1982 saw a breakthrough for sexology in China. In that year, Robert Kolodny, William Masters, and Virginia Johnson’s Textbook of Sexual Medicine (1979) was translated into Chinese under the guidance of Professor Wu Jieping, with the actual translation being done by his graduate students. The Chinese edition entitled Xingyixue (Sexual Medicine) was published by Scientific and Technological Literature Publishing House, Beijing. It is the first contemporary and updated Western sex book published in China since the founding of the PRC in 1949. =

The year 1985 marked another turning point for sexuality education and sexology in China. In that year, Ruan’s article, “Outline of the Historical Development of Modern Sexual Medicine,” was published by the Encyclopedic Knowledge, and his series, “Essays on Sex Education: Ten Lectures,” were published in Required Readings for Parents. From July 22 to August 7, 1985, the First National Workshop on Sex Education was held in Shanghai, with Ruan as the major instructor. In October 1985, the Handbook of Sex Knowledge, the first large modern book on sexuality written by Chinese and in Chinese, was published in Beijing by Scientific and Technological Literature Publishing House, with Ruan as editor-in-chief. All of these events were strong signs indicating the establishment and development of sexology in China. More and more sexual social surveys, publications on sex, and development of academic sexological journals and societies have followed. As early as 1984, a project on survey and analysis of sex, love, marriage, family conflict, and crimes was carried out by the Beijing Society for Studies on Marriage and Family. This project was headed by Ms. Wu Cangzhen, Associate Professor of Marriage Law at China Politics and Law University in Beijing. =

The most famous and important sexual social survey is the Shanghai Sex Sociological Research Center’s National Sex Civilization Survey headed by Dalin Liu, professor of Shanghai University. Using 40 paid assistants and volunteer interviewers, between February 1989 and April 1990, the center obtained responses to a 239 questions surveyed from 19,559 people in over half of China’s twenty-seven provinces. The 1992 publication in China caused a sensation all over South-East Asia. Planned and executed from beginning to end without government order or interference, this survey was supported by private Chinese sponsorship. It has already greatly contributed to a more uninhibited dialogue about sexual issues within China and has strengthened the status and prestige of Chinese sexologists, and facilitated the organization of various regional and national associations and national and international conferences. An American translation of this monumental work will be published in 1997 by Continuum Publishing Company, New York. The most striking trend found in this study is the deterioration of the strong tie between sex and marriage. This survey was published in December 1992 in Shanghai by Joint Publishing, Sanlian Books Company, entitled Zhongguo Dangdai Xingivenhua - Zhongguo Lian-wanii “Xingwenming” Diaoza Baogao (Sexual Behavior in Modern China - A Report of the Nationwide “Sex Civilization” Survey on 20,000 Subjects in China). It is a large volume, with 866 pages and 677,000 characters. (See Section 14, Addendum for details on this nationwide survey.) =

Sex Surveys in China

According to sex survey by SSL International PLC, makers of Durex brand condoms, involving people in 28 countries, the Chinese are the forth least sexually active people, on average having sex only 72 times a year, compared to the world average of 97 times a year.

A United Nations-funded survey of 22,288 Chinese aged 15-24 by the Peking University Population Research Institute in 2009 found that two-thirds were accepting of premarital sex but that most "had very limited levels of sexual reproductive health knowledge." The survey found 22 per cent had had sex before; of those, more than 50 per cent used no contraception during their first sexual encounter.

According to the Encyclopedia of Sexuality, published in the early 1990s, Professor Dalin Liu’s survey showed that 34 percent of rural couples and 17 percent of urban couples said they engaged in less than a minute of foreplay, sometimes none at all. Not surprisingly, 37 percent of rural wives described intercourse as painful. While urban couples may be more adventurous sexually, they are not necessarily more satisfied. Professor Suiming Pan’s sample of 600 couples were all residents of big cities, and 70 percent of them said they were unhappy with their sex lives, and a random survey of married couples living in Shanghai found that 45 percent were unhappy with their sexual relationships. According to Professor Kang Jin, president of the Shanghai Committee of Rehabilitation of Male Dysfunctions, in 1989 at least 20 percent of China’s adult male population was suffering from some type of sexual dysfunction. Clinics of sexual counseling, sex therapy, or Western and/or traditional Chinese sexual medicines have been established in most big cities. [Source: Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo, Fang-fu Ruan, M.D., Ph.D., and M.P. Lau, M.D.Encyclopedia of Sexuality =]

On the global importance of the study, Timothy Perper, PH.D. wrote: “Because the People’s Republic of China is one of the most populous nations, decisions made by its people and by its government about sexuality directly affect its population growth and therefore have global importance. Since the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949, China has undergone immense and sometimes profoundly convulsive changes. From the 1949 revolution onward, China’s government has increasingly become deeply involved in the reproductive decision making of its citizens. Those who study sexuality and understand its implications for world population growth must surely hope that China’s own scholars, and others who know its rich history, many languages, and varied cultures, will continue and expand their studies of sexuality in China. Because China is both a crucible and a harbinger of the future, these studies will be invaluable for documenting how decisions made by the Chinese people and government will inevitably affect the future of everyone on the earth. [Source: “1989-1990 Survey of Sexual Behavior in Modern China: A Report of the Nationwide “Sex Civilization” Survey on 20,000 Subjects in China: by M.P. Lau’, Continuum (New York) in 1997, Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review (1995, volume 32, pp. 137-156), Encyclopedia of Sexuality ++]

During her first survey in 1989, Chinese professor Li Yinhe,15 percent of the 2,500 young people in Beijing she interviewed reported having premarital sex, and most of the outliers were already engaged and simply waiting for the bureaucracy to produce a marriage license. In a nationwide follow-up study with 4,000 subjects done in 2013, that figure had increased to more than 70 percent. “The changes have been revolutionary,” she said.[Source: Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, March 6, 2015]

1989-1990 Survey of Sexual Behavior in Modern China

M.P. Lau did a detailed analysis of the original 1989-1990 Chinese version of the nationwide Kinsey-like survey of Sexual Behavior in China--- 1989-1990 Survey of Sexual Behavior in Modern China: A Report of the Nationwide “Sex Civilization” Survey on 20,000 Subjects in China. This survey was published in Chinese in 1992; an English translation was published by Continuum (New York) in 1997. Lau’s review-essay was published in Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review (1995). The survey of sexual behavior in the People’s Republic of China was conducted from 1989 to 1990. Unprecedented in scope and scale, the survey involved twenty-eight sites (cities, towns, and villages) in fifteen of the twenty-seven provinces or autonomous regions. A total of 21,500 questionnaires, with 239 items covering a wide range of variables were distributed, and 19,559 of the returned replies were found suitable for study. About five hundred investigators were involved, including about two hundred field workers, most of whom were female volunteers. There was a caucus of about forty core leaders, with coordinating headquarters at the Shanghai Sex Sociology Research Center. The main academic leaders were Dalin Liu, Liping Chou, and Peikuan Yao of Shanghai and Minlun Wu (M.L. Ng) of Hong Kong. [Source: “1989-1990 Survey of Sexual Behavior in Modern China: A Report of the Nationwide “Sex Civilization” Survey on 20,000 Subjects in China: by M.P. Lau’, Continuum (New York) in 1997, Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review (1995, volume 32, pp. 137-156), Encyclopedia of Sexuality ++]

This study has been compared to the Kinsey Reports (1948, 1953) in the popular media (Burton, 1990). For the first time in history, it provided extensive scientific data on the sexual behavior of the contemporary Chinese, who comprise 22 percent of the world population. Information is available on puberty, romantic love, mating, marriage, marital life, marital sex, premarital sex, extramarital sex, abortions, divorces, as well as data on family planning, women’s issues, prostitution, pornography, sexual transgressions, and sexual variances, both as to attitudes and behavior. ++

Timothy Perper, PH.D. wrote: “Technically, the nature and scope of this survey made the task very difficult. Sexuality is a matter of privacy and confidentiality and a topic often misunderstood and stigmatized. The peasantry was difficult to reach, in terms of both logistics and communication. There was little financial support, especially after the Tiananmen events. However, there was a ground swell of moral support from both inside and outside China, and many “comrades” from the tightly organized, stratified bureaucratic infrastructure in the nation, especially from women’s groups, contributed their time, energy, and ingenuity, frequently working “to the point of exhaustion.” ++

“The investigators were well aware of the limitations of the study. They experienced numerous stumbling blocks and frustrations, and encountered criticism and derision. It was not possible to obtain a completely representative sample, but a study of selected mainstream or significant groups in accessible locales is still very meaningful. Efforts were made to collect data from diverse parts of China, and a mixture of random and non-random sampling was used. The large sample sizes may allow statistical adjustments for some of the biases in further analysis. ++

“The questionnaires were as comprehensive as circumstances permitted. In the interest of not being too intrusive, many questions were addressed only to attitudes and beliefs, as respondents would feel too hesitant to report actual behavior or practice in some areas. Limitation of time and resources precluded the compilation of an index. Materials on some special topics are scattered throughout the book. For example, data on homosexuality have to be found laboriously from more than ten places, and information on premarital sex must be traced from some eight sources among the pages. ++

“No study of human sexuality can be complete without including a major human culture of the world and its most populous country. The practical import of this study cannot be overemphasized. It should equip the nation with more knowledge to meet the challenges of sexuality both at the individual and at the societal levels. Wary of the perils of a sexual “revolution” with sudden release of pent-up drives, the authors repeatedly stress the importance of an interpersonal perspective and “sociological imperative.” ++

2013 Sex Survey Reveals Chinese Have Active But Flawed Sex Lives

Shan Juan wrote in the China Daily, “Chinese couples are the most sexually active in the Asia-Pacific region, but a large number remain dissatisfied with their sex life, according to a survey endorsed by the International Society of Sexual Medicine. Chinese respondents said they had sex nine times per month on average, compared with an average of 7.7 times across the Asia-Pacific region. However, many identify premature ejaculation and the brevity of intimate sessions among key reasons for dissatisfaction. [Source: Shan Juan, China Daily, September 26, 2013 |::|]

“The 2013 Asia-Pacific Sexual Behaviors and Satisfaction Survey polled more than 3,500 men and women aged 18-45 years old in Australia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. A total of 1,002 people were from mainland China. The study was aimed at “understanding the impact of premature ejaculation has on couples’ relationships and sexual satisfaction.” The survey was conducted between March 18, 2013 and April 2, 2013, used the five-question Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool (PEDT), which is a validated research instrument for diagnosing PE. “The survey aims to spot possible factors impairing sexual satisfaction and help improve the sexual health of the people,” said Chris McMachon, president of the society.

“In China, some 52 percent of those polled said they were not satisfied with their sex life, a figure that reflects the general situation across the entire region. Meanwhile, about 96 percent of the Chinese female respondents said they wanted prolonged sexual intercourse, far higher than the average of 63 percent among women in the region. Thirty percent of Chinese men surveyed said they were concerned about their partners’ level of satisfaction with their sexual relationship. The figure for the Asia-Pacific region as a whole was 38 percent. |::|

“While erectile dysfunction was not included in the survey results, 84 percent of concerns raised by respondents related in some way to the issue of PE. According to McMachon, PE involves aspects of length of time, control of ejaculation, and related negative feelings like distress. He said that international studies show that the length of time couples spend making love in each session averages to 5.4 minutes. |::|

“Thirty-two percent of men polled alleged they suffered from PE. Risk factors for PE include genetic predisposition and poor nerve conduction, while mental factors contributed to nearly 20 percent of all PE cases, said McMachon. Regarding socioeconomic factors affecting PE, he said that less educated men were more often affected by the complaint. Jiang Hui, president-elect of the Chinese Society of Andriatrics under the Chinese Medical Association, added that prostate diseases were also a factor. “But that in most cases, PE doesn’t affect pregnancy,” he said. |::|

“The survey showed that only 30 percent of PE sufferers in China sought medical treatment, compared with 55 percent throughout the region. The report revealed various misunderstandings on the issue, with some 20 percent of respondents saying that the same treatment would apply for both ED and premature ejaculation. According to Jiang, the Chinese seldom consider PE to be a medical condition, a fact that contributed to the low rates of treatment. In the andriatrics department where Jiang works, about half of the total cases involve infertility, while some 30 percent involve ED. He says that as public awareness of PE improves, many more men suffering from the condition will seek treatment. However, he pointed out that so far China has no uniform clinical standards for the diagnosis of PE. A combination of drug treatment and physiological counseling works well to improve the situation, according to McMachon. He also urged females to encourage their partners to overcome the condition. “Usually we say that it is the couple, not just the man, who suffers from or fights PE,” he said. |::|

Sexual Dysfunction in China

In November 2014, Didi Kirsten Tatlow of the New York Times wrote: “Shortly before Men’s Health Day on Oct. 28, reports of a new study of sex in China, presented in jokey and sympathetic language, raced through the Internet. The topic was guaranteed to attract as much attention in China as anywhere else: A sexual revolution has been underway in the country since at least the early 1990s with the easing of severe Maoist-era repression. Chinese men, overworked and overstressed, were suffering high levels of impotence, said the study, ‘‘China Ideal Sex Blue Book.’’ Only a little over half of the thousands interviewed were achieving full erections, which it described as being ‘‘like a cucumber.’’ (It described its opposite as ‘‘like tofu.’’) [Source: Didi Kirsten Tatlow, Sinosphere, New York Times, November 5, 2014 /~/]

“For Dr. Jiang Hui, a urologist at the Peking University Third Hospital and an author of the study, which was conducted by the China Sexology Association and two Chinese health publications, and supported by Pfizer, the manufacturer of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, it was more evidence that Chinese men need help — preferably from prescription drugs like Viagra or Cialis. In a telephone interview, Dr. Jiang declined to say exactly how Pfizer supported the survey or why the report recommended the company’s products as a first line of treatment. For Dr. Jiang, Chinese men are still too reluctant to seek help. He hoped his survey would help educate people about sexual problems. ‘‘People just don’t have the knowledge,’’ he said. /~/

“In scientific terms, the survey was ‘‘of very limited significance’’ for methodological reasons, Everett Yuehong Zhang, a professor of East Asia studies at Princeton University, said in an email. But it was significant in another way. ‘‘It can be referenced to as a sign of the sustaining research interest in this topic,’’ said Mr. Zhang, whose book ‘‘The Impotence Epidemic: Men’s Medicine and Sexual Desire in Contemporary China’’ is to be published in 2015. To Mr. Zhang, the ‘‘epidemic’’ is mostly about the increased visibility of the problem, as Chinese men become more willing to seek treatment, reflecting the changing nature of desire in China today for men and women. In that sense, he said, departing from the crisis tone of the ‘‘China Ideal Sex Blue Book,’’ what is being termed an ‘‘impotence epidemic’’ could actually be a ‘‘positive’’ thing. /~/

‘‘Through anthropological fieldwork I conducted in men’s clinics, I discovered that we are not sure that more Chinese men are suffering from impotence than before,’’ he said. ‘‘Instead, we are sure that more impotent men are encouraged to break silence and reach out to doctors in order to cure impotence,’’ he said. ‘‘This tendency reflects the overall orientation today of the Chinese population — men as well as women — to satisfy sexual desire.’’ Mr. Zhang, who interviewed about 350 couples for his book, found plenty of evidence of psychological factors, as well as physiological ones. Some may have distinctly Chinese characteristics. /~/

‘‘In so many men and women I interviewed, the ups and downs of male potency may be related to the ups and downs of one’s social status,’’ he said. Trauma was an issue, from famine or political violence. As was losing a safe state job under the economic reforms, or having to drink excessively or visit prostitutes with colleagues or officials to secure business deals. Ultimately, this was about China’s search for modernity, Mr. Zhang said. /~/

Lin Yinhe’s: China’s Most Infamous Sexologist

Andrew Jacobs wrote in the New York Times, “Li Yinhe, China’s leading advocate of freewheeling sexuality, has been shocking this outwardly prudish nation for three decades. An American-trained sociologist, she promotes one-night stands, sings the praises of sadomasochist sex and has called on the government to decriminalize pornography. She is also a hero to gay and lesbian Chinese, having for years pushed a same-sex marriage bill in China’s legislature despite little chance of passage.” [Source: Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, March 6, 2015 /=/]

Professor Li turned 63 in 2014 and retired that year from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She lives in an apartment in south Beijing with her partner—a female-to-male transgender taxi driver (See Below)— and adopted son. Her husband, the renowned novelist Wang Xiaobo, passed away in 1997 from a heart attack. Her adopted son is a disabled child that was abandoned by his biological parents

“Professor Li has been tracking Chinese attitudes about sex since the late 1980s. It was then, after nearly a decade spent working on a doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh, that she returned home to find a nation still constrained by the puritanical mores imposed by Mao, who died in 1976. “It was just like in Orwell’s ‘1984,’ with antisex youth groups advocating celibacy,” Chinese sexologist Li Yinhe, who spent part of her adolescence digging ditches in the countryside, told the New York Times. “Everyone I knew was a virgin until they got married.” /=/

“During her first survey in 1989, Chinese professor Li, percent of the 2,500 young people in Beijing she interviewed reported having premarital sex, and most of the outliers were already engaged and simply waiting for the bureaucracy to produce a marriage license. In a nationwide follow-up study with 4,000 subjects done in 2013, that figure had increased to more than 70 percent. “The changes have been revolutionary,” she said. /=/

“Still, the government is priggish when it comes to matters of sexuality. Communist Party members can be purged for serial infidelity, orgies are strictly illegal and television censors have been on an anti-cleavage campaign of late, though their efforts have generated widespread public ridicule. One of China’s biggest online pornography operators is serving a life sentence. Professor Li practically harrumphs when asked about the government’s antisex policies. “Medieval,” she says with a roll of the eyes. She does more than complain. In 2010, after the police arrested 22 members of a swingers’ club in Nanjing, she was one of the few public figures to speak out in their defense, calling the charges a violation of basic human rights. “To be honest, real change will only come once this generation of leaders dies out,” she said. /=/

“In the meantime, some of her work continues to be stymied. In the decades since Chinese publishers refused to accept her translation of a study on bisexuality, Professor Li has produced several books that have been repeatedly rejected by mainland Chinese publishers, including a study of polysexuality and her most recent work, a collection of sadomasochism-themed short stories that will be published in Hong Kong this year. One of the tales involves a researcher who is punished for making a mistake while working at her stiflingly highbrow academy. Asked whether such stories were inspired by experience, Professor Li cracked the faintest of mischievous smiles. “Of course,” she said. /=/

Lin Yinhe and Her Transgender Partner

Andrew Jacobs wrote in the New York Times, In December 2014, Professor Li Yinhe reluctantly moved the nation to the threshold of a new frontier: transgender love. After a blogger accused her of being a closeted lesbian, Professor Li shot back with a blog post announcing that her partner of 17 years, although born a woman, is a transgender man. “I am a heterosexual woman who has fallen in love with a transsexual person,” wrote Professor Li, who was married to Wang Xiaobo, a well-known Chinese novelist, until his death in 1997. “I treat him as a man.” [Source: Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, March 6, 2015 /=/]

Li’s partner, Zhang Hongxia, is 13 years younger than her. Jacobs wrote: “Exuding a buoyant, boyish charm, the former Beijing taxi driver, is uninhibited and impulsive in a way that Professor Li is not. “God meant for us be together,” Mr. Zhang said. Their first encounter was not especially romantic. Professor Li, recently widowed, was speaking to a group of lesbians at a private home in Beijing when Mr. Zhang — who at the time still identified as a lesbian — started flirting with the guest of honor. For all her expertise in the realm of sex, Professor Li misread the signals, though later suggested that the two meet at a McDonald’s. /=/

“Mr. Zhang was thrilled, thinking it a date. “But when I saw her take out the pen and paper, I realized I was just a research subject to her,” he said, glancing sidelong with a smile. “Our love was one-sided at first, but I slowly melted her heart.” During their long courtship, Professor Li also helped Mr. Zhang come to realize that he was transgender, a concept that was then even alien to most Chinese gay men and lesbians. For years, he said, the notion that he was a lesbian did not feel right — especially because he identified as a man and was drawn to heterosexual women. /=/

“Recalling his early 20s, he said he would recoil at the slightest physical contact from the men he was dating. “If a guy would put his hand on my knee, my hair would stand up on end,” Mr. Zhang said. “I thought, ‘This is what I should be doing to other girls.’ ” Through it all, his mother was nonjudgmental and never pressured him to marry. Today, she lives across the hall from the couple, preparing meals and helping to take care of their 14-year-old son, who is developmentally disabled. /=/

“These days Mr. Zhang is kept busy managing Professor Li’s frequent speaking engagements, many of them overseas. (Next month she will be lecturing about gay rights at Brown University.) “All I want to do is spend the rest of my life with her,” he said. Professor Li nodded silently. But in announcing their relationship, Professor Li did not mince words. “Love is so simple and spiritual,” she wrote. “It is not related to social status, age, or even sexual identity.” /=/

Impact of Lin Yinhe’s Revelation

Andrew Jacobs wrote in the New York Times, Li Yinhe’s announcement that her partner is a transgender man “has both stunned and intrigued China, where there is little familiarity with transgender men. To the surprise of Professor Li and members of China’s almost invisible transgender population, the reaction has been overwhelmingly sympathetic. [Source: Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, March 6, 2015 /=/]

“Her initial blog post has been read more than 360,000 times, and in January,she and her partner, Zhang Hongxia, 50, posed for the cover of People Weekly, one of the nation’s most widely read magazines. The country’s mainstream news outlets have been jostling for interviews and producing respectful profiles. “Everyone is unique in some way, so let’s work to have society catch up with science,” People’s Daily, the Communist Party flagship news media outlet, wrote on its microblog account. “Respecting the choices of people like Li Yinhe is respecting ourselves.” /=/

Kenneth Tan wrote in the Shanghaist blog: “While Li Yinhe's frank, heartfelt revelation was met with scorn and derision in some quarters, it also won her the support of various opinion leaders, including actress Yao Chen and media mogul Hung Huang, who both reposted Li's Weibo with messages of support. Commentator Lian Peng wrote, "If you've been together for 17 years, you deserve the blessings whether you're heterosexual, homosexual, or whatever-sexual you may be." "Homosexuality, transsexuality and AIDS all used to be taboo subjects, but today, we discuss and debate them, and they have even come to be tolerated and accepted by mainstream society," wrote the People's Daily on its official Weibo page. "Everyone is unique in some way, so let's work to have society catch up with science. Respecting the choices of the Li Yinhe's among us, is respecting ourselves." [Source: Kenneth Tan, Shanghaist, December 20, 2014 <+>]

“Xiaogang Wei, a gay rights activist, said many people were familiar with Jin Xing, a former army colonel and a member of a military dance troupe who was born a man but underwent gender-reassignment surgery in the 1990s. “People have this stereotyped idea of a man trapped in a woman’s body,” Mr. Xiaogang said, “but a biological woman who identifies as a man is something new here. It took a lot of bravery for Li Yinhe to come out like this, and to her credit she has been using her relationship as a teaching moment.” /=/

“There have been a few small bumps, with arrows from outraged traditionalists and critiques from transgender doctrinaires who say she muddled the message by misusing words like “transsexual”; a few have complained that her partner is still technically female, having yet to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. /=/

“Professor Li, long accustomed to withering criticism and official censure, has taken all the hubbub in stride. She said the positive reaction to the revelations about her relationship reinforced what she has long maintained: that unlike the tradition-bound men who run the country, ordinary Chinese are a tolerant lot. “I find people here to be pretty accepting and open,” she said.’ /=/

Internet Showdown That Led to Li Revelation

Kenneth Tan wrote in the Shanghaist blog: “In a scathing attack on the life and work of the outspoken but intensely private academic, a heretofore unknown commentator by the name of Liu Chang'an charged that Li was a lesbian that was "cohabiting for many years with a 'tomboy'." He also wondered aloud if the boy adopted by Li and her partner was "incapable of socialising with his peers and of attending school" because of the "abnormal family environment" he grew up in. Li has "deceived the entire nation" about her sexual orientation because "licentiousness is the domain of homosexuals", and that Li's promotion of libertarian sexual mores over the years was because of her "insecurity" and her need for "affirmation of her sexual orientation". Now the whole world would see that "the emperor has no clothes", he charged. [Source: Kenneth Tan, Shanghaist, December 20, 2014 <+>]

"How anyone lives, who they choose to spend their lives with, these are all private matters, and I have no obligation to explain this to anyone," wrote Li Yinhe, "but since someone has made such vicious allegations, I will have to set the record straight." "I am indeed a heterosexual, not a homosexual," she wrote. "I have no interest at all in the female body." "My partner was born as a female, but identifies as a male. He is only able to fall in love with heterosexual women, not homosexual women." <+>

She also talked about her son. "I am not a fan of kids, so with Xiaobo, we chose not to have kids, but [my current partner] likes kids, and so we decided to adopt a child from the Children's Welfare Institute," she explained. "He may not have the IQ of a normal child, but he's an adorable, kind-hearted and loveable boy." "At 14 years of age, he's still only in Primary 5, while his peers have already gone on to middle school," she added. “I always encourage him with the example of Chen Zhangliang. Apparently he only attended first grade at 9 years of age, but look at him, isn't he a great social scientist now?”<+>

“In an addendum to the article, Li wrote, "I need to clarify that when I say I'm a heterosexual, I'm just stating a matter of fact. By no means do I think that I'm more normal than homosexuals or morally more superior than them. Homosexuals and heterosexuals are equally normal, and equally human." <+>

Advanced Education on Sex in China

Between 1985 and 1991, sex researcher Pan Suiming, Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology at the China Renmin University in Beijing, and his assistants conducted seven social surveys of sex. “Behavioral Analysis of Heterosexual Petting in Public - Observations on Chinese Civil Parks” reported on 23,532 cases between 1985 and 1989 in thirteen parks in six cities. “Dissemination of Three Kinds of Sexual Information and the Accepter’s Response” involved 1,610 respondents in Shanghai, 1989; “Influence of Sex Knowledge and Attitude on Sexual Behavior - The Condition, Motive, and Orgasm” had 603 samples in Beijing, 1988-89, and “Relations Between Satisfaction of Sexual Life and the Marriage” was based on 977 samples in Beijing, 1989. Seven hundred sixty-six respondents participated in the “Chinese Readers’ Answers to the Questionnaire in the Chinese Edition of The Kinsey Report since 1989,” with the research still in progress. “Deep Sexual Behavior Survey - Relations of Sexual Mores, Ideas, Affection, and Behavior,” with 1,279 samples in twenty-seven cities, 1989, indicated that nearly seven out of ten Chinese have had anal sex with heterosexual partners, and that men reached orgasm about 70 percent of the time in contrast to 40 percent for women. “A Sampling Survey on Students’ Sexual Behavior in Every University and College in Beijing” examined 1,026 respondents in 1991. [Source: Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo, Fang-fu Ruan, M.D., Ph.D., and M.P. Lau, M.D. Encyclopedia of Sexuality =]

Between 1985 and 1992, more than three hundred books on sexuality were published in mainland China, including the Chinese translations of classical works by Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis, Margaret Mead, Alfred C. Kinsey, and R. Van Gulik. The first professional academic journal of sexology, Sexology of China, was published in March 1992 by Beijing Medical University.

On May 23, 1988, the country’s first college-level sexology course was introduced at China People’s University in Beijing. This special two-week program, called “Training Workshop on Sex Science,” consisted of workshops on twenty topics, conducted by seventeen professors and experts. The program was attended by 120 people from twenty-six of China’s twenty-eight provinces. As of mid-1993, 26.7 percent of the universities and colleges in China have a course on human sexuality or sex education.

Since 1987, a series of six nationwide conferences on sexology have been held in China. For example, the Sixth Chinese Congress of Science of Sex, was held on May 3,1992, in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province. About five hundred experts attended the congress, over four hundred academic papers in the fields of sex education, sociology of sex, psychology of sex, sexual medicine, and STDs were accepted by the congress. The First International Conference of Sexology was held on September 12 to 15, 1992, in Shanghai. Over twenty participants came from thirteen foreign countries, and over three hundred participants from all over China. About a hundred academic papers on sexual medicine, sex education, sociology of sex, and psychology of sex were accepted by the conference.

Two main Chinese sexological periodicals in the 1990s: 1) Sexology (formerly Sexology of China, Journal of Chinese Sexology) (started in 1992). Journal Address: Beijing Medical University, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Beijing 100083, The People’s Republic of China. Editor’s Address: The Public Health Building (Fourth Floor), Beijing Medical University, No. 83 Hua Yuan Road, Beijing 100086, China 2) Apollo and Selene. A bilingual Chinese/English magazine of sexology published in Shanghai by the Asian Federation for Sexology started in the summer of 1993. Address: Asian Federation (Society) for Sexology., 2 Lane 31, Hua Ting Road, Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China.

Main sexological organizations in China in the 1990s: 1) Chinese Sex Education Research Society. Director: Dr. Jiahuo Hong. (Founded in Shanghai in 1985.). Address: The Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 530 Ling Ling Road, Shanghai, 200032, The People’s Republic of China. 2) Shanghai Sex Education Research Society, founded in Shanghai in 1986. Address: The Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 530 Ling Ling Road, Shanghai, 200032, The People’s Republic of China. 3) Sexology of China Association (Founded in Beijing in 1995; preparatory committee founded in 1990). Director: Professor Guangchao Wang, M.D. Address: Beijing Medical University, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Beijing, 100083, The People’s Republic of China. 4) Institute for Research in Sexuality and Gender. Address: Professor Suiming Pan, Director, Post Office Box 23, Renmin University of China, 39# Hai Dian Road, Beijing 100872, People’s Republic of China; Fax: 01-256-6380.

5) Chinese Association of Sex Education. Address: Mercy Memorial Foundation, 11F, 171 Roosevelt Road, Section 3, Taipei, Taiwan. Republic of China. Phone: 886-2/369-6752; Fax: 886-2/365-7410. 6) China Family Planning Association. Address: 1 Bci Li, Shengguzhuang, He Ping Li, Beijing, People’s Republic of China. 7) China Sexology Association. Address: Number 38, Xue Yuan Lu, Haidion, Beijing 100083, People’s Republic of China. Phone: 86-1/209-1244; Fax: 86-1/209-1548. 8) Shanghai Family Planning Association. Address: 122 South Shan Xi Itoad, Shanghai 200040, People’s Republic of China. Phone: 86-21 / 2794968; Fax: 86-21/2472262 Ext. 18. 9) Shanghai International Center for Population Communication China (SICPC). Address: 122 South Shan Xi Road, Shanghai 200040, People’s Republic of China. Phone: 86-21/247-2262; Fax: 86-21/247-3049.

References and Suggested Readings on Sex in China

Bullough, V.L. 1976. Sexual Variance in Society and History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 11: “Sexual Theory and Attitudes in Ancient China.” Burton, Sandra. 1990 (May 14). “China’s Kinsey Report.” Time Magazine, p. 95. Burton, Sandra. 1988 (September 12). “The Sexual Revolution Hits China.” Time Magazine, pp. 66-67. Evans, Harriet. 1997. Women and Sexuality in China: 1949 to the Present. New York: Continuum. Gil, V.E. 1991 (November). “An Ethnography of HIV/AIDS and Sexuality in the People’s Republic of China.” Journal of Sex Research, 28(4):521-37. Kinsey, A.C., W.B. Pomeroy, and C.E. Martin. 1948. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders. Kinsey, A.C., W.B. Pomeroy, C.E. Martin, and P.H. Gebhard. 1953. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders. Kolodny, R., W. Masters, and V. Johnson. 1979. Textbook of Sexual Medicine. Boston: Little, Brown. Lau, M.P. 1995. “Sex and Civilization in Modern China.” (A review-essay on Sexual Behavior in Modern China, by Dalin Liu, M.L. Wu (Ng), and L Chou). Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, 32:137-156. Lau, M.P., and M.L. Ng. 1989. “Homosexuality in Chinese Culture.” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 13:465-488. Lieh-Mak, F., K.M. O’Hoy, and S.L. Luk. 1983. “Lesbianism in the Chinese of Hong Kong.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12(1):21-30. Liu, Dalin, M.L. Ng, L.P. Zhou, and E.J. Haeberle. 1992/1997. Zhongguo Dangdai Xingwenhua: Zhongguo Lianwanli Xianwenming Diaozha Baogao. [Sexual Behavior in Modern China: Report on the Nationwide Survey of 20,000 Men and Women.] (In Chinese) First Edition, 1992. Shanghai: Joint Publishing Co. English translation published by Continuum (New York), 1997. Liu, Dalin L. 1993. The Sex Culture of Ancient China (In Chinese).

Ningxia People Publishers and Xinhua Bookshops. ISBN 7-277-00935-1/1.204. Liu, Dalin L., and M.L. Ng, eds. 1993 Chinese Dictionary of Sexology. Helungjian: People’s Publication Co. McGough, James P. 1981. “Deviant Marriage Patterns in Chinese Society.” In A. Kleinman and T.Y. Lin (eds.). Normal and Abnormal Behaviour in Chinese Culture (pp. 171-201). Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel. Ming, Wu. 1981. New Knowledge on Prevention of Birth Defects. Beijing: People’s Medical Publishing House. Needham, Joseph. 1983. Science and Civilization in China, Volume 5, Part V: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Physiological Alchemy. “Sexuality and the Role of Theories of Generation.” Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Ng, M.L. (ed.). 1990. Theories of Sex. Hong Kong: Commercial Press. Ng, M.L., and L.S. Lam, (eds.). 1993. Sexuality in Asia. Selected Papers from the Conference on Sexuality in Asia. Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists. Ng, M.L., and M.P. Lau. 1990. “Sexual Attitudes in the Chinese.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 19(4):373-388. Pan, Sui-ming. 1996. “Factors Inhibiting Chinese People from Answering Questions on Sexuality.” A presentation at the combined Eastern/Midcontinent meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Pittsburgh, PA, May 3-5, 1996. Pan, Suiming. 1996. “A Sampling Survey on Students’ Sexual Behavior in Every University and College in Beijing.” Street. Number 10:35-38. Also in China Journal of Research in Youth, Number 11. Pan, Suiming. 1995. “Sexuality and Relationship Satisfaction in Mainland China.” Journal of Sex Research, 7(4):1-17. Pan, Suiming. 1994.

“A Sex Revolution in Current China.” Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality (U.S.A.),6(2):1-14. Full text published in Chinese, in Research in Youth, Number 2, 1994. Pan, Suiming. 1994. “Chinese Wives: Psychological and Behavioral Factors Underlying Their Orgasm Frequency.” China Psychology (Published in Chinese), No. 8. Pan, Suiming. 1994. “Deep Sexual Behavior Survey - Relations of Sexual Mores, Idea, Affection, and Behavior,” (Full text published in Chinese) Chinese Psychology Health, Number 7, pp. 168-171. Pan, Suiming. 1993/1994. “Deep Sex Survey: Relationship Among Sexual Ideas, Orgasm, and Behavior. A paper given at the Conference on Gender Issues in Chinese Society, Miami Beach, Floorida USA, August 1993. Published in part in Chinese, Chinese Psychology Health. 1994. Number 7. Pan, Suiming. 1993 (September). “Marriage and Sexuality in Current Beijing City” Beijing Marriage in the Late 1980s. Beijing: Beijing Government. Pan, Suiming. 1993. “Quantitative Behavioral Analysis of Public Heterosexual Petting in Chinese Civil Parks.” In: Ng and Lam, (eds.). Sexuality in Asia. Hong Kong: Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists, pp. 173-184. Pan, Suiming. 1993.

“China: Acceptability and Effect of Three Kinds of Sexual Publication.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 22(l):59-71. Pan, Suiming. 1991. “Influence of Sex Knowledge and Attitude on Sexual Behavior - The Condition, Motive, and Orgasm.” Privately published in Textbook of Socio-Sexology for use by sociology students at Remin University of China, Beijing. Pan, Suiming. 1990. “Relations Between Satisfaction of Sexual Life and the Marriage” In Research in the New Development of Marriage in Beijing City. Edited by The Beijing Society for Research in Marriage and Family. Beijing: The Office of Social Science Planning of Beijing City Government. Pan, Suiming. “Chinese Readers’ Answers to the Questionnaire in the Chinese Edition of the Kinsey Report since 1989,” Unpublished. Pan, Sui-ming, and P. Aggleton. 1995. “Male Homosexual Behavior and HIV-Related Risk in China” In Bisexualities and AIDS: International Perspectives. London: Taylor and Francis Group Ltd. Reuters News Service. 1994 (November 15). “New Chinese Law Prohibits Sex-Screening of Fetuses.” The New York Times. Ruan, Fang-fu. 1985. “Outline of the Historical Development of Modern Sexual Medicine.” Encyclopedic Knowledge. Beijing: China Encyclopedia Press. Ruan, Fang-fu. 1985. Essays on Sex Education: Ten Lectures. Required Readings for Parents. Beijing: Beijing Press. Ruan, Fang-fu. 1991. Sex in China: Studies in Sexology in Chinese Culture. New York: Plenum Press. Ruan, Fang-fu [using pseudonym J.M. Huaj]. 1985. “Homosexuality: An Unsolved Puzzle.” Zhu Nin Jiankang (To Your Good Health), 1985(3):14-15. Ruan, Fang-fu, ed. 1985/1988. Xing Zhishi Shouce (Handbook of Sex Knowledge). Beijing: Scientific and Technological Literature Publishing House. Revised 1988 edition published jointly by the Scientific and Technological Literature Publishing House and the People’s Medical Publishing House. This book consists of 18 chapters as follows: (1) Science of Sex; (2) Sex Organs; (3) Sex Hormones; (4) Sexual Development; (5) Psychology of Sex; (6) Sexual Response; (7) Sexual Behaviors; (8) Sexual Hygiene; (9) Sexual Dysfunctions; (10) Sexual Varieties; (11) Sex Crime; (12) Sex and Marriage; (13) Sex and Reproduction; (14) Sex in Illness; (15) Sex and Drugs; (16) Sex in the Aged; (17) Sex Therapy; and (18) Sex Education. Ruan, Fang-fu, and V.L. Bullough. 1988. “The First Case of Transsexual Surgery in Mainhand China.” Journal of Sex Research, 25:546-547. Ruan, Fang-fu, and V.L. Bullough. 1989a. “Sex in China.” Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 23:59-62. Ruan, Fang-fu, and V.L. Bullough. 1989b. “Sex Repression in Contemporary China.” In: P. Kurtz, ed. Building a World Community: Humanism in the 21st Century, pp. 198-201. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books. Ruan, Fang-fu, and K.R. Chong. 1987 (April 14).

“Gay Life in China.” The Advocate, 470:28-31. Ruan, Fang-fu and Y.M. Tsai. 1987. “Male Homosexuality in the Traditional Chinese Literature.” Journal of Homosexuality, 14:21-33. Ruan, Fang-fu and Y.M. Tsai. 1988. “Male Homosexuality in Contemporary Mainland China.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 17:189-199. Ruan, Fang-fu, V.L. Bullough, and Y.M. Tsai. 1989. “Male Transsexualism in Mainland China.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 18:517-522. Sankar, Andrea. 1984. “Spinster Sisterhoods.” In meters. Sheridan and J. Salaff, eds. Chinese Working Women. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. Shapiro, J. 1987 (October 18). “Scenes from the Kalideidoscope: Chinese Lives.” The New York Times Book Review, p. 7. Shenon, P. 1994 (August 16). “A Chinese Bias Against Girls Creates Surplus Bachelors.” The New York Times, A1, A8. Sheridan, M., and J. Salaff, eds. 1984. Chinese Working Women. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. Van Gulik, R.H. 1961; 1974. Sexual Life in Ancient China: A Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex and Society from ca. 1500 B.C. till 1644 A.D. Leiden: E.J. Brill. Wehrfritz, G. 1996 (November 11). “China: Blood and Money: The Marketplace Has Helped Spread AIDS.” Newsweek, p. 50. Wen, S.H., J.D. Zeng, and M.L. Ng. 1990. Sex and Moral Education. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing. Xiaomingxiong. 1984. History of Homosexuality in China. (Zhongguo Tongxingai Shilu). Hong Kong: Samshasha and Pink Triangle Press. Zhang, Xinxin, and Sang Ye. 1986. Chinese Lives: An Oral History of Contemporary China. Edited by W.J.F. Jenner and Cheng Lingang. New York: Pantheon Books. Zhang, Xinxin, and Sang Ye. 1986. Chinese Profiles: An Oral History of Contemporary China. Beijing, China: Chinese Literature; distributed by China Book Trading Corp.

Image Sources: 1)Sex products, Alibaba.com; 2) Sexy poster, University of Washington; 3) ox peninses, BBC; 4) Old sex art All Posters.com, Search Chinese Art .

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated July 2015


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