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“It Started with a Kiss”: The Initiation of Sexual Intimacy Among Young Adults in China

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Abstract

Within traditional Chinese culture, topics concerning sexuality and the associated practices of physical intimacy have been regarded as taboo. In recent years, these perspectives have changed, and researchers have begun to examine the sexual behaviors of Chinese individuals. Using a sample of young adult women and men, this study examines attitudes concerning the initiation of sexual intimacy and how the combination of familial and individual characteristics affect such attitudes. Males are shown to be significantly more physically intimate and to have such preferences earlier in a dating relationship, as compared to females. Family characteristics, such as parental educational attainment, appear to have a more salient impact upon females’ attitudes concerning sexual intimacy, whereas males’ attitudes are primarily affected by their own individual traits. The desire for dating, as compared to the desire for marriage, is shown to affect females and males in quite distinct manners. The results are discussed within the developmental paradigm and in consideration of demographic change.

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Correspondence to Sampson Lee Blair.

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Blair, S.L., Scott, C.L. “It Started with a Kiss”: The Initiation of Sexual Intimacy Among Young Adults in China. Sexuality & Culture 23, 1147–1166 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-019-09608-4

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