Most people who have been around a Chinese university campus for any length of time will be familiar with the scene of couples hugging, kissing and sometimes all but fully making out behind the nearest hedge in the college gardens.
Far from being the innocent blushing virgins that many (especially Westerners) assume Chinese college students to be, lots of these young men and women are expressing their love (and lust) for one another on a regular basis.
Young Chinese bloggers have been showing their disgust and sometimes their approval at recent notices posted around the campus of Nanjing Xianlin University this week strongly discouraging sexual intercourse between university students – the notice outlines the moral virtues of celibacy and has caused somewhat of a stir.
The notice was posted in response to the growing number of flats available for rent for the day, much like a hotel room. According to authorities, around 75% of these rooms are rented by horny young university students looking for some special time together.
Bloggers reported that the head of the campus housing authority, Zhang Qingjie, posted the notice in response to growing online and flyer advertising nicknaming the Xiangtan estate near campus as ‘Lover’s Gardens’.
Photo: Made Underground
The notice stated that:
For one moment’s pleasure you disregard your parent’s instructions, the role you play in society, the influence you have on your daily life and the expectations your teachers have of you, kissing passionately on the streets and engaging in acts of intercourse together in local apartments. For those of you I give the following warning:
Young college students should maintain moral virtues, remain strong, respect themselves while at the same time doing only things that a college student ought to, they need to think ahead and not ruin their future through immature acts….
The notice goes onto to state that students should respect each other and continues in a very similar moralistic vein, promoting sexual abstinence. Zhang ends on a note to the landlords, saying “Please love these children, imagine they were your own sons and daughters, would you put up with them renting these flats for the day? Don’t simply let them foolishly jump into bed together just for the sake of a small profit for yourself.”
Photo: Matthew J. Stinson
The following blog responses have been strong on both sides. Those who argue against Zhang have said:
I support students renting flats for the day. [Mencius said] ‘Food and sex are the great pleasures of mankind’, so how can we put up with this insult? Kids start puberty at 11, so for 18 year old university students, who in the West might even be parents by that age, what’s so wrong with having a bf/gf? For a guy who’s not as young as he once was, I say to those students: enjoy your love lives.
“Adults have the right to take responsibility for their sexual acts”: Nowadays all college students are adults and there is nothing wrong with them having sex. Every adult does something that is potentially harmful to their health. Maybe the person (Zhang) who wrote this notice smokes, or gambles into the night, or abuses alcohol. Whatever it is that is his business, just as being able to have sex is the business of those college students, why shouldn’t they do it?
Those in favor of the moralizing approach taken by Zhang had this to say on blogs yesterday:
This is great, older generations looking out for the younger. They just have the best in mind for the students.
Love among university students is just a game. If you get too caught up in it then it will end up costing you not only time and tuition fees but also your studies.
I’m a student at a decent school doing and not exactly doing a trashy major either and I see this type of thing happen all the time. I think it’s terrible and no matter whether you’re a guy or a girl, when you’ve graduated and can’t find a job, who are you going to blame then?
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