“Most Chinese women don’t know how to use contraceptives”

The front of the City Lady (都市女报), a national newspaper focused on women’s issues, today makes the startling claim that most Chinese women don’t really know how to use contraception. Based on what it describes as the findings of a new investigation (the details of which are sadly lacking), the 1.3 million annual abortions in China could be substantially reduced if women had better knowledge of contraceptives and used them consistently.

City Lady laments that although yesterday was world contraception day, the findings of a new study have shown that public knowledge of contraception in China is low. In particular, the following are some of the most startling findings:

  • Only 12% of young Chinese people have high knowledge of contraception (非常了解避孕知识)
  • Oral contraceptives with effectiveness of short duration are used by only 1.2% of women
  • 68.3% of Chinese women believe that oral contraceptives are “emergency contraceptives”
  • 68.4% of Chinese women overestimate the rate of effectiveness of emergency contraceptives


The study also found that of the around 1.3 million abortions in China every year, about 50% are repeat abortions. The main reason for this, the study concludes, is that most women in China simply don’t know how to use contraceptives. Yet why is this still the case in China? The reasons that the study puts forth is that young people today still face certain barriers in accessing reliable information on contraceptives, notably a reluctance and shame to talk about such topics, or a fear of coming across as stupid.

According to Wu Shangchun (吴尚纯) of the National Population and Family Planning Commission of the Science and Technology Institute (国家人口计生委科学技术研究所), most of the women make two common mistakes with contraceptives: they push their luck and they want to keep things too simple. The basic reason why half of the women get abortions is because they simply did not use contraception; the other half did apply some form of contraception but were unable to persist in using it correctly or adequately. Only about 10% of people persisted in using condoms every time they have intercourse.

Just underneath the top headline, City Lady has placed a provocative picture of a beauty contest for buttocks that was held in Brazil recently – and there they are all in a row for your viewing pleasure (or see the web page dedicated to the photo and story). Apparently in this beauty pageant, the contestants’ faces did not matter at all; all that counted in this contest were firm, tight and nicely rounded buttocks that don’t sway too violently during walking.

Other headlines that make up today’s very insightful front page of the City Lady:


Links and sources
City Lady (大多数女性不知如何避孕)
City Lady (看谁的屁股)

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