BEIJING (AP) _ China's communist leaders are easing their official prudishness about sexuality, and carrying out the first nationwide survey on women's sex lives.
The 2004 China Female Sex Survey will ask respondents how often they have sex, whether they've had extramarital affairs and other questions, the official Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday.
The survey will be carried out among women who visit a popular Chinese Web site, Sina.com, the report said, adding that participants must be over age 21.
The survey by the government's Institute of Sexology and the Chinese Medical Association reflects growing openness about sex _ and concern about potential problems from widespread ignorance about sexually transmitted diseases and other issues.
``The aim of the survey is to find out the status of Chinese women's sex life, analyze their sexual behaviors and psychology and provide sexual knowledge and advice for them,'' Xinhua said, citing Ma Xiaonian, a researcher at the institute.
China suppressed public discussion of sexuality in the first decades after its 1949 communist revolution.
But the country has undergone a limited sexual revolution as social controls have been relaxed over the past two decades, with a rise in prostitution, extramarital sex and teenage sexuality.
The government has begun to talk openly about the spread of AIDS through China's thriving sex trade, and state media express concern about teenage pregnancy and other problems.
Chinese researchers have carried out more limited studies on sexuality since the 1980s. In one study a decade ago, Ma found that 50 percent of Chinese women don't have orgasms during sex, Xinhua said.