Survey Reports a Rise in Number of Unexpected Pregnancies
A new survey suggests that women are losing their virginity at a younger age than before. According to the report, while on average women lost their virginity at age 19.5 years in 2007, 5 years later, it has now fallen to 18.6 years.
The study has been conducted by Shanghai's hotline for women with unexpected pregnancies with the help of data of callers, most of whom are students.
The data also reveals that the number of women risking pregnancy has gone up, consecutively increasing the number of abortions.
The hotline, which was launched 7 years ago, has received more than 50,000 phone calls and offered help to 4,400 pregnant students, said officials from the Shanghai No. 411 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army, which operates the hotline, according to China.org.cn. The hotline offers the callers help with psychological counseling, abortion services and assistance in cases of rape.
According to the report, about 29 percent of the female students lost their virginity at motels, love hotels or daily-rental apartments near their campuses,of which, 31 percent reported not using a condom or taking any such preventive measure.
"The popularity of such daily-rental apartments is a reflection of the rising prevalence of premarital sex among college students," Yu Dongyan, in charge of the hotline service was quoted as saying by the website.
Another survey, which involved more than 80,000 university students in seven cities including Beijing, Chongqing and Chengdu, found that 14.4 percent of them have had sex and among them, about 25 percent reported having an unexpected pregnancy.
"One student has had six abortions in her first two years in college and called the hotline for help," said Dr Cheng Xiaomei, a consultant with the local hotline. "When we told her she may never be able to get pregnant and have her baby due to frequent abortions, she cried."
Doctors suggest sex education in schools though important is inadequate. Women must also be told about risks of having an unexpected pregnancy and the complications involved in abortion.
"Students, especially female students, aren't getting proper reproductive and self-protection knowledge from their parents and schools," said Zhu Weijie, an official of the hospital, which has started to offer regular lectures on campuses.