Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 189–199 | Cite as

Male homosexuality in contemporary mainland China

  • Fang-fu Ruan
  • Yung-mei Tsai


Through a unique circumstance described in the text we have 60 letters (of which 56 were from a gay population) concerning homosexuality in contemporary China. Though the sample is not randomly selected it is the first of its kind. An analysis of these letters shows some interesting results and patterns. Among these are (i) a widespread distribution of gay people in China in terms of their geographic locations, ages, and occupations; (ii) the pain and mental anguish they suffer from being unable to openly and legally seek homosexual partners and the contradiction experienced from living in two worlds; (iii) their wishes and demands for a better and more reasonable treatment, and (iv) their hope that they will be provided a place or some mechanism so that they can converse and interact freely. To better reflect what they think and feel about themselves, their problems, and their hopes we have used quotations from these letters extensively. It is our belief that at this initial exploratory stage of the study on Chinese homosexuality, it is best to let the respondents speak for themselves.

Key words

male homosexuality homosexuality China contemporary China sociology of sex 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bullough, V. L. (1976).Sexual Variance in Society and History Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Chou, E. (1971).The Dragon and Phoenix Arbor House, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Hua, J. M. (1985). Homosexuality: An unsolved puzzle.Zhu Nin Jiankang (To Your Good Health) 3: 14–15.Google Scholar
  4. Liu, Z. R. (1984).Two Years in the Melting Pot China Books and Periodicals, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  5. Pan, G. D. (1947). Translator's Notes and Appendix to Psychology of Sex by H. Ellis. InPsychology of Sex Chinese ed., G. D. Pan (trans.), Commercial Press, Shanghai, pp. 249–255, 380–406.Google Scholar
  6. Parker, W. (1971).Homosexuality: A Selective Bibliography of 3,000 Items Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, NJ.Google Scholar
  7. Parker, W. (1977).Homosexuality Bibliography: Supplement, 1970–1975 Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, NJ.Google Scholar
  8. Parker, W. (1985).Homosexuality Bibliography: Second Supplement, 1976–1982 Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, NJ.Google Scholar
  9. Ruan, F. F. (Ed.). (1985).Handbook of Sex Knowledge Scientific and technological Literature Publishing House, Beijing, China.Google Scholar
  10. Ruan, F. F., and Tsai, Y. M. (1987). Male homosexuality in the traditional Chinese literature.J. Homosex. 14, 21–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Van Gulik, R. H. (1961).Sexual Life in Ancient China. E. J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  12. Weinberg, M. S., and Bell, A. P. (1972).Homosexuality: An Annotated Bibliography Harper and Row, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fang-fu Ruan
    • 1
  • Yung-mei Tsai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

Personalised recommendations