Behavior: The Sexual Revolution Hits China

Reform has brought a permissiveness that unsettles many

For the Chinese, the promise of Deng Xiaoping's far-reaching reforms has often meant unexpected social strains. They range from huge student demonstrations for more political freedom to cases of spectacular corruption and a tolerance for economic inequality. But few have been as deeply unsettling as a new aura of sexual permissiveness that has sprung up with the reforms. For years officials in Beijing tried to ward off the threat by warning unwary citizens about the evils of sex. Their efforts were ignored. These days the government permits public lectures and seminars for government workers on such previously forbidden subjects as masturbation,...

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