Sex ideologies in China:examining interprovince differences

Hu, Yang (2016) Sex ideologies in China:examining interprovince differences. Journal of Sex Research, 53 (9). pp. 1118-1130. ISSN 0022-4499

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In recent decades, premarital sex, extramarital sex, and homosexuality have become increasingly visible in China, leading scholars to claim that a national "sex revolution" is under way. However, China's internal sociocultural diversity calls this nation-level generalization into question. How do sex ideologies vary across China's distinct provinces? To what extent are interprovince variations in sex ideologies associated with distinct macrolevel social factors in China? In this research, data from the 2010 China General Social Survey and the 2011 Chinese Statistics Yearbook were analyzed using multilevel models to test four contending theories of interprovince differences in sex ideologies in China: modernization, Westernization, deindustrialization, and the "rice theory." The modernization theory was unsupported by the results, as socioeconomic development is not significantly associated with sex ideologies. Higher levels of deindustrialization and Westernization were associated with less traditional sex ideologies, but the strength of association varied across the domains of premarital sex, extramarital sex, and homosexuality. The rice theory was consistently supported, as the distinction between rice and wheat agriculture explained up to 30% of the province-level variance in sex ideologies. The findings underline the roles of both long-standing geographic differences and recent social changes in shaping China's ideational landscape of sex.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Sex Research
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22 Nov 2016 14:00
Last Modified:
22 Sep 2023 00:30