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Photo: Neville Wootton/CC BY 2.0/Flickr
Photo: Neville Wootton/CC BY 2.0/Flickr
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Hong Kong's Youth Watch Porn, but Fail at Sex Ed

Picture of Nadia Elysse
US Editorial Team Lead
Updated: 19 June 2017
Pornography is a lot of things, but “educational” isn’t necessarily one of them.

According to the South China Morning Post, a new study from the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong found that young people in Hong Kong watch porn, but are pretty clueless when it comes to sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy, and unprotected sex.

“Hong Kong remains more conservative than some other places in the world,” Joseph Wan, the 17-year-old founder of Support International Foundation, told the Morning Post.“Talking about sex and sexuality would not be something that is discussed over the dinner table. That is definitely an issue, because it means that young people might look elsewhere, like online, for information.”

The Family Planning Association polled over 5,000 young people in Hong Kong last year. The survey asked about first sexual experiences, STIs, and pornography consumption. While the average age of first sexual experience, 15, remained pretty consistent from the last iteration of the survey five years ago, the young people polled were more inaccurate than the generation ahead of them when it came to the ins and outs of sexual health.

Of the young people surveyed, 59 percent of boys and 33 percent of girls said they’d viewed adult images or films. Most said they’d seen the explicit content on their mobile phones.

“Pornography is so widely prevalent on the internet nowadays that we cannot simply put up barriers and ban young people from looking at it,” Dr. Susan Fan Yun-sun told the Morning Post. “We need to address the topics raised in pornography when we talk about sexual education, such as the degradation of women, violent sex and so on.”

These findings are aligned with a report just last year that found sexual education is a real problem in Hong Kong, which researchers have attributed to a rise in the STI rate in the bustling city.