A new survey indicates that Chinese society is growing more permissive about premarital sex.
In the survey in March, 71.4 percent of respondents said they had sex before getting married, 43.1 percent said they approve of premarital sex, and only 24.6 percent voiced disapproval.
The findings stand in stark contrast with a 1989 survey in which only 15 percent of respondents said they had premarital sex.
The recent survey was created by Insight China, a magazine affiliated with Qiushi, the Party theory magazine, and conducted by Tsinghua Media Survey Lab at Tsinghua University.
There were 1,013 respondents, 56 percent of them men and 44 percent women, from 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.
Almost 70 percent of respondents were from 20 to 39 years old. Sixty-four percent have received a college education. Their careers varied from professional manager, private company owner to civil servant and student.
In addition to the 71.4 percent who said they had sex before marriage, 43.1 percent said they approved of premarital sex. Only 24.6 percent voiced disapproval.
Also, 33.7 percent said that "sex is a basic need and has nothing to do with morality," and 27.7 percent believed "two people can have sex with each other as long as they are truly in love, even before marriage."
The survey pointed to a disparity between the thinking of men and women, with 33.5 percent of the female respondents disapproving of premarital sex, compared with only 17.8 percent of males.
The survey was simultaneously conducted on Sina, a leading micro blog site. There, 19,578 netizens took participated, 79.4 percent of whom identified themselves as male.