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Chinese Teen Pregnancies Blamed on Internet

Chinese Teen Pregnancies Blamed on Internet

The state-run newspaper China Daily reports that Zhang Zhengrong, a Chinese doctor who oversees Shanghai’s hotline for pregnant teens, says that 46 percent of the 20,000 teenage girls who have called the hotline over the last two years have had sex with boys they’ve met via the Internet. The China Daily said, "Most of the fathers disappeared after learning about the pregnancy, and some of the mothers did not even know the fathers’ names."

The China Daily goes on to report on a survey conducted by Zhang’s hospital which found that less than 8 percent of parents spoke to their children about sex, and almost 80 percent of high school and university students got their ideas about sex from the Internet.

Zhang apparently blames adult-oriented Web sites, books, and videos for the situation, and she says that society needs to devote more resources to sex education. According to Zhang, many of the girls who contacted the center did not understand sex and often considered abortions to be harmless—as many as 10 percent of them had had three or more abortions.

The rapidly-growing city of Shanghai has become the center of China’s financial network, and has witnessed rapid shifts in technology and culture, including shifting attitudes towards sex. The communist Chinese government has blamed an increase in marital infidelity and pre-marital sex on lax bourgeois Western morals.

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