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Populace lacks basic knowledge about sex

Update: August, 15/2012 - 10:14

HA NOI — A recent survey has found a "serious" lack of knowledge about sexuality among the local population, according to the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), a Vietnamese non-governmental organisation registered under the Viet Nam Science Union.

Speaking at a national conference on sex education held recently in Ha Noi, ISDS Director Khuat Thu Hong said the institute's survey found that many local residents lack knowledge about sexuality.

"Knowledge about the issue will help us understand that sexuality is not limited by people's age but by their own prejudices, which also prevents vulnerable groups like the disabled and people with HIV from having a normal sex life," she said.

The ISDS surveyed more than 5,300 people aged between 18 and 65 in eight provinces and three cities across the country.

The survey showed contradictions and misconceptions among those polled.

Premarital sex was believed to be "wrong" by 75 per cent of males and 85.5 per cent of females polled, while extramarital sex was strongly protested by almost all of those polled (96.2 per cent of males, 99 per cent of females).

However, the younger generation and people with higher education are more tolerant toward the issue, according to survey results.

Virginity is considered "very important" for newlyweds (84 per cent of males and 70 per cent of females).

Ninety-three per cent of both sexes said homosexuality is "wrong", the survey found.

Fifty-three per cent of those polled believed love-making was primarily for reproductive purposes, while 30 per cent of females and 22 per cent of males regarded sexual acts as a way to maintain affection between husband and wife.

Only 11 per cent of males and four per cent of females polled said that having sex was primarily done to satisfy a sexual appetite.

Despite strong public criticism, 22.8 per cent of the population aged between 18 and 34 said they had premarital sex. Males accounted for 26.3 per cent and females 11 per cent.

Seventy-eight per cent of the polled said they had only one sex partner (67 per cent of males, 87.7 per cent of females).

Ten per cent of males and 2 per cent of females admitted they had sex on their first date.

Only 55 per cent of those surveyed said they had a satisfactory sex life, while 31 per cent of males and 54.4 per cent of females said they had little or no interest in sex.

Many of the polled (79.5 per cent of males and 71 per cent of females) said they did not know how to deal with sexual problems and neglected them. — VNS

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