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Poll: Women Not Fully Aware of Contraception
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Despite being increasingly open-minded about sex, Hong Kong women are still not fully informed about contraception, according to the results of a survey by the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

Of the 502 single women aged between 18 and 40 surveyed, about half said it was acceptable to start having sex at the age of 18, while only 3 percent said they thought they would wait for marriage before having sex.

More than half said they expected to have an eventful sex life. Fifty-four percent said they believed a woman could have multiple sex partners throughout her life, while 28 percent held onto the traditional belief that a woman should have only one.

With better education, job prospects and generally higher expectations of life, the majority of these women (73 percent) placed heavy emphasis on sexual satisfaction, said Connie Pang, program manager for the public opinion program at HKU.

"They expect to have quality sex as they take the time from their busy schedule to do it," said Pang. "Most of them (60 percent) embrace the idea of having sex more than once a week, which shows their openness about the subject."

However, this increasing openness to sex is not always accompanied by informed choices about protection. Asked about their preferred methods of contraception, 25 percent said they used external ejaculation, 15 percent said they planned their intercourse to coincide with the period and 3 percent said they used no contraception at all.

They also displayed little knowledge of the pros and cons of different contraception methods. Thirty percent did not know that condoms could prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and 58 percent were unaware of any of the benefits of oral contraceptives other than birth control pills.

Many of the women shy away from certain contraception methods because of pressure from their partners or misconception of the methods, said obstetric-gynecologic specialist Dominic Li. "For example, some still believed oral contraceptives can lead to weight increase".

(China Daily August 24, 2007)

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