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Over 80 Percent of Chinese Adults Misunderstand Contraception
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2017-11-3-
Title: Over 80 Percent of Chinese Adults Misunderstand Contraception
Source: China Daily
Release Date: November 3, 2017
Keyword: adults, misunderstandings,contraception

More than 80 percent of adults in China have misunderstandings about contraception, according to a survey released by the All-China Women's Federation on Sept 27, the day after World Contraception Day.

Based on answers to questionnaires from 2,378 males and females ages 20 to 40 nationwide, 36 percent said they used withdrawal as a means of contraception, a notoriously ineffective method.

About 80 percent of Chinese adults are clueless about contraception. Nearly half of the respondents said women cannot become pregnant while they are menstruating, while 5.5 percent believed that pregnancy cannot occur if the male does not ejaculate during intercourse.

Statistics from the global sex survey 2016 conducted by Durex, one of the best-known makers of condoms, show that unplanned pregnancies in China fell to 14 percent last year from 30 percent in 2011.

Condoms remain the number one choice of contraceptive for the Chinese. Among non-virgins, 70 percent had used a condom, while for first-time intercourse, the number was 50 percent.

"It cannot be denied that there is a lack of knowledge about sex, and misunderstandings or unscientific methods of contraception such as the withdrawal and calendar (rhythm) methods still persist," said Vincent Wong, marketing director of RB and Manon Business, the exclusive agent for Durex in China.

Even among those who use condoms, only 49 percent of them wore a sheath during the entire act of intercourse, he added. For World Contraception Day this year, Durex promoted the slogan "Be brave and say no" to warn of the risks inherent in unprotected sex.

"Many people still lack knowledge about safe, effective contraception. The slogan is an initiative from the female perspective to encourage women to refuse unscientific contraception concepts and methods and enjoy the pleasures of sex, but with protection," Wong said.

According to Liu Liqing, founding country director of Marie Stopes China, one of the world's largest reproductive health charities, government-supported contraceptive initiatives have been well promoted among married couples in China, but more attention must be paid to unmarried people.

"Young people have limited access to contraceptives. And at present, sex education, which mainly focuses on physical knowledge, does not meet the practical need," she said.

Apart from traditional male condoms, many young people still lack knowledge about other safe and effective contraceptives, including female condoms and long-acting reversible contraception, including intrauterine devices and birth control implants, she added.

To better promote this knowledge among the younger generation, Marie Stopes China has produced several online video courses, which can be viewed on computers and smartphones. The videos target sex education workers and people ages 6 to 18.

After being posted online late last year, the videos have received more than 2 million views. Meanwhile, the organization's WeChat account, which regularly publishes information related to sexuality, has more than 30,000 subscribers.

"Social media is popular among young people. Some have even started their own public accounts to popularize sex-related information, which is encouraging. Contraception should be an equal choice for both men and women. It can protect us from unwanted pregnancy and possible physical and mental damage. It should be understood by more people," Liu said. 

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