SEX RESEARCH IN CHINA
Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham wrote in the “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”: “Sex research topics commonly include sex history, sex cultures, STDs, family planning, and adolescence. Since 2000 studies have focused more on sexual behaviors and gender issues, such as transgender and homosexuality, which have high profiles in the media and with the general public but still remain a largely taboo subject. News media covered the first two transsexual surgery cases, one from male to female in 1984, and the other from female to male in 1992. Both operations were performed at Beijing University hospital. Due to increasing wealth of the population, more relaxed social policies, and more individual freedom, the number of sex education and research organizations has increased greatly since the 1980s. [Source: Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham, “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”, Thomson Gale, 2007]
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. =
See Separate Articles SEX IN CHINA: SURVEYS, VIRGINITY AND DRASTIC CHANGES factsanddetails.com SEX AND HISTORY IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; SEX AND RELIGION IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; SEX AND LITERATURE IN CHINA factsanddetails.com; SEXUAL ACTIVITY — ORAL, MARITAL AND EXTRA-MARITAL SEX — IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; SEXUAL ACTIVITY AMONG CHINESE YOUTH factsanddetails.com ; SEX LAWS AND OFFENDERS IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; ADULTERY AND INFIDELITY IN CHINA factsanddetails.com; SEX TOYS, APHRODISIACS AND SEX IN THE MEDIA IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; PROSTITUTION IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; PROSTITUTION ISSUES IN CHINA: LAWS, CRACKDOWNS factsanddetails.com ; MAO'S PRIVATE LIFE Factsanddetails.com/China ; MARRIAGE IN CHINA Factsanddetails.com/China ; LGBT AND HOMOSEXUALITY IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; HISTORY OF HOMOSEXUALITY AND BISEXUALITY IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; SEX EDUCATION IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; PORNOGRAPHY IN CHINA factsanddetails.com ; FOOT BINDING factsanddetails.com ; CONCUBINES AND MISTRESSES IN CHINA factsanddetails.com JING PIN MEI, CHINA’S MOST FAMOUS EROTIC NOVEL factsanddetails.com ; TAOISM AND SEX factsanddetails.com
Websites and Sources: USA Today piece usatoday.com ; Sex Incidents in China zonaeuropa.com ; Sex Industry guardian.co.uk ; Chinese sex toy maker lacyshaki.en ; Books: “Sexual Life of Ancient China”, written by Robert van Gulik in the 1920s; “The Illustrated Handbook of Chinese Sex History” by Professor Liu Dalin and “Sex China Studies in Sexology in Chinese Culture” by Fang-ju Juan, The Sexology Research Institute of China is at People's University in Beijing. Sex History and Literature Ancient Sex Culture China.org ; Chinese Sex Literature yellowbridge.com ; Sex in Ancient China Book Review dannyreviews.com Prostitution in China : Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Shanghaiist blog shanghaiist.com ; Homosexuality in China History of Gay life in China fordham.edu/halsall
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 =]
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 was 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. [Source: Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo, Fang-fu Ruan, M.D., Ph.D., and M.P. Lau, M.D. Encyclopedia of Sexuality =]
See Separate Article SEX IN CHINA: VIRGINITY, KISSING AND SURVEYS factsanddetails.com
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. /~/
Li Yinhe: China’s Most Infamous Sexologist
Li Yinhe is China's most famous sex expert. Andrew Jacobs wrote in the New York Times, As “China’s leading advocate of freewheeling sexuality", Li "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 /=/]
Born in Shanxi province in the north of China, Li was among the few who received a university-level education in the country in the 1970s. She 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 novelist Wang Xiaobo, died in 1997. 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.” /=/
Wang Xiaobo and Li Yinhe
In 1980, Li Yinhe married Wang Xiaobo, a renowned Chinese novelist who wrote about sex and revolution. In 1982, the couple moved to the U.S. where Li pursued her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh in sociology. Ian Johnson wrote in the New York Review of Books: Li said that they had had a similar upbringing. Both came from educated families, and both had secretly read novels like The Catcher in the Rye. While in the United States in the 1980s, Wang had read Michel Foucault and his ideas about the human body, but she felt he was more influenced by Bertrand Russell and ideas of personal freedom. “The person he liked to cite the most was Russell, the most basic and earliest kind of liberalism, ” she said. “I think he had started reading these books in his childhood.” [Source: Ian Johnson, New York Review of Books, October 26, 2017]
The two met in 1979 and married the next year. Li was part of a new generation of sociologists trained after the ban on the discipline had been lifted. In the Mao era, sociology had been seen as superfluous because Marxism was supposed to be able to explain all social phenomena. Supported by China’s pioneering sociologist Fei Xiaotong, Li studied at the University of Pittsburgh from 1982 to 1988. Wang accompanied her for the final four years and studied with the Chinese- American historian Cho- yun Hsu.
After Li received her Ph.D., the couple returned to China in 1992 and collaborated on a groundbreaking study, Their World: A Study of the Male Homosexual Community in China. Li eventually took a position at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the country’s top research center, and Wang taught history and sociology at Renmin and Peking universities.
Lin Yinhe’s Work and the Chinese Government's Response to It
Li did a sex survey in 1989. Among other things about 15 percent of the 2,500 young people in Beijing she interviewed reported having premarital sex and most were already engaged and simply waiting for the bureaucracy to produce a marriage license. This work was followed up by Li and Wang's study "Their World: A Study of the Male Homosexual Community in China. "
Sarah Buckley of the BBC wrote: When Li returned to China form the United States, she found a country still living in the puritanical climate set by Mao. In the early years of Communist rule, writing about love was considered bourgeois. It became possible toward the end of the 1950s, Li has said, but writing about sex was forbidden until the 1980s — and even then authors could only go so far. Li's book, The Subculture of Homosexuality, published in 1998, could only be bought by people who had invitation letters from their employers or held senior positions. The official position on her book The Subculture of Sadomasochism, published at about the time, was even more extreme. “"I was informed to burn all copies... But by then, 60,000 volumes had been sold out. So the burning notification was left unsettled, " she says. “Her translation of a book on bisexuality was refused by Chinese publishers, and she had to look beyond mainland China to Hong Kong, to find a publisher for her own study of polysexuality. [Source: Sarah Buckley, BBC News, February 27, 2016]
“The Communist Party has increasingly seen sexuality as a private matter and Li has been allowed relative freedom in her academic research and in her writing. "She positions herself as an avant-garde academic who's introducing the so called international standards towards sexuality... And therefore she's tolerated by her colleagues, a general audience and the regime as well, " says Dr Haiqing Yu, co-author of the book Sex in China.
Andrew Jacobs wrote in the New York Times, “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. [Source: Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, March 6, 2015 /=/]
“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. /=/
Li Yinhe’s Interest in Sado-Masochism
Echo Huang wrote in Quartz: “Li Yinhe is known in particular for her research into BDSM [bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism] , including her book Subculture of Sadomasochism, published in 1998, China’s first book on the subject. Her own personal passion for the practice, which covers a variety of role-playing behaviors around bondage, discipline, and submission, turned into a passion to demystify it for other people. [Source: Echo Huang, : Quartz, September 24, 2017]
Her interest in BDSM was a result of the deep suppression of sex and any talk of it in China in the 1950s, she said. At that time, a movie about love could be considered porn, Li wrote in her book, Sexual Discourse in New China, which analyzes the depiction of sex in the People’s Daily newspaper from 1949 to 2010. “I felt a sense of excitement at 14, when I saw men being tied up in a movie about slaves in Tibet, but I couldn’t quite tell that was a sexual impulse, ” Li said. “But I found it attractive and stimulating.” She would read over and over the parts of books that involved whipping.
“It was only years into her marriage to Wang that Li revealed her interest in BDSM. Back then, they didn’t even dare to have sex before they got married, Li explained. She was typically the submissive party in her relationship with Wang — although this didn’t involve being tied up. She tried it, she says, but didn’t really like it. “Li’s openness about BDSM — which practitioners say involves trust and communication, and that books and movies have brought closer to the mainstream globally in recent years — sometimes attracts harsh criticism. On a post Li wrote last year (link in Chinese), one commenter compared her to a “witch” who is “contaminating people’s eyes” with her writing, while others said she disrespects traditional culture. Li is unfazed by the attacks against her. “We need tolerance instead of discrimination toward people and things which we are not familiar with.”
Li Yinhe’s Sex Advice App
Echo Huang wrote in Quartz: Li, a trained sociologist, has been using Weibo Q&A, a function similar to Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything, ” to communicate with her fans since March this year. It’s been an invaluable resource for sex-shy Chinese people who have few places to turn to with their questions. The service, however, doesn’t come free — Li charges 100 yuan ($15) for each question asked, and users pay 1 yuan to read her responses. Li said she receives more questions from women than men because women are “more anxious about sex compared to men.” [Source: Echo Huang, : Quartz, September 24, 2017]
BDSM is a common topic, she added. “As the whole institution of marriage becomes increasingly less secure, do you think BDSM, like homosexuality, could eventually be recognized by the public or even become mainstream one day?” asked one of (link in Chinese) Li’s followers, explaining that he has been practicing BDSM for more than five years (link in Chinese). Li answered that she was “very, very optimistic” about the future of BDSM in China because many more people are experimenting with it.
“Other questions reflect more common concerns in China. “Amanda Yao, a 20-year-old student based in Liaoning province in the north who self-identifies as asexual, asked Li via Weibo in July: “I don’t have any desire to kiss or have sex. But I am worried about the pressure to get married from my family… what can I do as a single female, and is it tragic to age alone?” Li responded, “You should try to figure out if you are just not ready for love, or if you are really asexual. I would suggest you to try achieving an orgasm by following a sex manual.” The question has seen more than 400 paid views.
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. “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.” /=/
Li's relationship with Zhang led to accusations that she was gay. In response, Li wrote on her blog: “I am heterosexual, not homosexual, that is why I married Wang Xiaobo in the first place — unlike the 70 percent of homosexuals in China who get married out of social pressure, my marriage to Wang wasn’t done under any pressure, it was consensual.” [Source: Echo Huang, : Quartz, September 24, 2017]
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.
Ren Zhi Chu, a nation wide monthly sexuality education journal, is the most popular and only journal of its kind in China. This journal, which was started in 1990 by the Guangdong committee of Family Planning in Guangzhou, has had phenomenal growth. Circulation was been one million to 1.2 million copies in 2002. In 1999, its circulation was ranked 28th among social-cultural journals in the world. [Source: Fang-fu Ruan, M.D., Ph.D., and M. P. Lau, M.D.,”International Encyclopedia of Sexuality”, edited by Robert T. Francoeur, Ph.d., and Raymond J. Noonan, PhD., Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, online at the Kinsey Institute ]
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.
Sex Research Organizations in China
Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham wrote in the “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”: ““Influential, government-endorsed organizations include the Chinese Sex Education Research Society, founded in 1985 in Shanghai; the Sex Education and Research Society, founded in 1986 in Shanghai; the Sexology of China Association, the Institute for Research in Sexuality and Gender, and the China Family Planning Association, all founded in Beijing in 1990; and the Shanghai Family Planning Association and Shanghai International Center for Population Communication in China, both founded in the 1990s. These organizations function as major research and information centers. [Source: Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham, “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”, Thomson Gale, 2007]
In 1984 the Beijing Society for Studies on Marriage and Family conducted one of the first surveys of sex, love, marriage, and family conflict. The Shanghai Sex Sociological Research Center, established and led by Liu Dalin during the 1980s, conducted a survey and published a report called National Sex Civilization Survey (1990). The report, which included information from subjects in twenty-seven provinces in China, analyzed 19,559 individual responses to 239 questions concerning sexual and reproductive history. Interestingly the government did not interfere with the report or take any credit for it since the study was financed entirely by private individuals and organizations.
“Sex research organizations train sex educators and the general public through workshops and conferences. The First National Workshop on Sex Education was held in Shanghai in 1985. The Handbook of Sex Knowledge was published by the Scientific and Technological Publishing House in 1985. In 1988 the first college-level sexology course was taught in China's Peoples University in Beijing. The course was titled Training Workshop on Sex Science and included twenty topics. By 1993 about one quarter of all universities and colleges offered courses on human sexuality or sex education. Nationwide conferences on sexology included the annual conference of the Congress of Science of Sex. The first International Conference of Sexology was held in Shanghai, also in 1992. Sex research or education publications included Sexology (1992; formerly known as Sexology of China, Journal of Chinese Sexology) and Apollo and Selene, a bilingual (Chinese/English) magazine that was published by the Asian Federation for Sexology in the same year.
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 October 2021