Sunday, July 31, 2011

China sex crackdown

Chinese Crack Down on Sexual 'Licentiousness'

AOL News

TAIPEI, Taiwan (June 11) -- Chinese authorities have brought a charge of "group licentiousness" against a 17-year-old girl accused of participating in sex parties with multiple male students, according to a report in the English-language China Daily.

The case marks the second time in recent weeks that the offense, a relic of China's Cultural Revolution, has been invoked in court, after a "swingers" case drew media attention in late May.

Before that the charge, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail, hadn't been used for some 20 years, reports said.

Sexuality experts say the dusted-off offense is a leap backward for China's modernization drive, reflecting Beijing's effort to maintain social order amid the dizzying social changes brought by a sexual revolution and the Internet explosion in China.

A woman steps out of the Boutique De L'Amour sex shop in Beijing
Frederic J. Brown, AFP / Getty Images

A woman steps out of the Boutique De L'Amour sex shop in Beijing. Stores selling sex paraphernalia are on seemingly every block in many parts of Beijing, catering to what experts say is a swelling sexual revolution led by a growing middle class.

"On certain well-publicized cases, the government is using an iron-fisted reaction to show that it's still in control," said Josephine Ho, coordinator of the Center for the Study of Sexualities at Taiwan's National Central University.

"China has undergone a lot of changes, and the people as well as authorities all feel a certain uneasiness -- people aren't sure which way and how far it will go."

China Daily reported that a female sophomore at a vocational school in southern China has been put on trial in the city of Guangzhou for allegedly participating in orgies on several occasions. A video of one of the sex parties was posted on the Internet in February, leading school authorities to ask the student to quit or transfer to another school.

The girl's lawyer says she was not a willing participant in the orgies, China Daily reported. The girl's father said his daughter was forced to take the drug ketamine, filmed without her consent and then blackmailed into participating in more sex parties.

The father sought help from police in early March, only to see his daughter detained on March 15 for organizing sex parties and held for 25 days. Hearings on the case opened Monday, the paper reported.

The case follows a guilty judgment and a 3 1/2-year jail sentence on May 20 on the same charge against a professor who organized "swingers' parties." The professor and 21 other people were charged in a court in the eastern city of Nanjing, which handed out lesser jail terms for 18 of them and exempted the other three from punishment because they turned themselves in, according to China Daily.

In a commentary translated at, one of China's top sexologists, Li Yinhe from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote that "group licentiousness" was "the last draconian law" left over from the Cultural Revolution and should be abolished.

The charge was originally a sub-clause under the broader crime of "hooliganism" and carried the death penalty for the orgy organizer and jail terms of 15 years to life for other participants, she wrote. "Hooliganism" once include any extramarital sexual relations, but that broader charge was scrapped in 1997, leaving only the group sex crime on the books.

Li said the group sex crime was "absurd and out-dated," characterizing it as one of several victimless sex crimes.

"No matter how much it offends social customs, the private, voluntary, victimless behavior of citizens should not suffer the control or punishment of the state -- such is the public consensus," Li wrote. "In our country that's rushing down the road of modernization, it's so obvious how primitive, backwards and barbaric this law is!"

Ho, of Taiwan's Center for the Study of Sexualities, said a "sexual revolution is taking place in China," with Chinese exposed to more sexual material than ever, especially through the Internet.

"The age of the Internet is both a blessing and something very bad," Ho said. "You get to know you are not unusual, a lot of people are doing all kinds of stuff. But on the other hand, once stuff gets on the Internet, you don't know how widely it's going to be spread and how it's going to be taken by authorities."

Ho said group sex was criminalized in China during the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution as a "counter-force" to preserve the institution of marriage at a time when people were torn from families, moved around, and the family structure was crumbling. "Most people carrying out [Mao Zedong's] orders were young -- it was very important to forbid group licentiousness," she said.

But now, the Chinese state has resurrected the law to show that it's in charge, said Ho -- especially when a case has sparked public outrage. "The media plays a crucial role in calling attention to something and then making it necessary for the state to respond," Ho said.

Controversial sex stories have spread like wildfire on the Chinese Internet in recent years, many relating to the supposed promiscuity of the new "post-90" generation -- referring to Chinese youths born after 1990.

Original site

No comments: