The eighth issue of The Chinese Journal of Human
Sexuality in 2007 published a report on the sex lives of
farmer workers in southeast China's Zhejiang Province, the first of its kind in
Zhang Wenwei, Vice Director of the Shaoxing Health Bureau in
Zhejiang and also an expert on reproductive medicine, designed the
The survey interviewed 776 farmer workers in Zhejiang, with 481
of them married -- 307 males and 174 females.
According to the survey, 83.93 percent of the farmer workers
meet their spouses yearly, while 16.07 percent haven't met for over
a year. Some workers haven't gone home for more than two years. The
farmer workers say that they miss their spouses the most, then
their children and finally their parents. Additionally, 5.59
percent stated that they don't miss anyone.
Of the 533 migrant workers from other provinces and regions,
41.84 percent of them want a sexual life outside of marriage. Of
this category 12.01 percent have that thought often, among which
24.50 percent not only have the intention, but also carry through.
These men have relations with mistresses, colleagues and
prostitutes. Mistresses are the most common among migrant men,
accounting for 67.05 percent.
Of all the 776 farmer workers, 139 claimed that they had
encountered sexual harassment -- 20 from superiors, 25 from
companions, the remainder from other sources. How do they react to
sexual harassment? They answered as follows: 22 accepted it; 27
tolerated it; 90 refused it.
Moreover, 54 claimed that they had committed sexual harassment
and 23.9 percent of the migrant workers claim to suffer from sexual
depression. In that population 26.18 of them do other things to
distract themselves, while 16.18 percent masturbate, and 11.62
percent live on sexual fantasies. Additionally, some feel very bad
tempered and/or use masturbation tools, while others seek a sexual
life beyond marriage and/or go whoring.
Of the 500 migrant workers who answered questions about
prostitutes, 51.2 percent said that they had encountered temptation
from prostitutes, 22.95 percent wanted to find a prostitute and
15.82 percent had received sexual services from the
"The migrant workers suffer from sexual dysfunctions and
diseases, but they seldom go to hospitals for treatment. The
majority of them just tolerate their malady by consuming tonics or
buying medicines on their own. In this way, we can see how these
people view sex in general," Zhang Wenwei said in conclusion after
reviewing the survey.
According to the Zhejiang provincial statistics bureau, in 2006,
there were 17.83 million farmer workers in Zhejiang, with 12.60
million local farmer workers and 5.23 million non-local migrant
workers. These people play an important role in enhancing the
development of Zhejiang's economy.
"This survey is unique in China; it has greatly assisted the
public in learning about real life situation of our farmer
workers," Zhang said.
"We didn't conduct this survey just out of prurient curiosity.
Actually, we want to provide humanistic care," Zhang explained.
(China.org.cn by Li Xiaohua, November 16, 2007)