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68.5% find homosexuality ‘unacceptable’

Two out of three adults in China find homosexuality unacceptable, mainly because it is inconsistent with traditional Chinese values, according to a survey by Shanghai Jiao Tong University released yesterday.

The university asked nearly 3,500 residents in 34 cities across the country what they thought of controversial topics such as homosexuality, suicide, euthanasia, domestic violence and abortion.

Respondents were asked to grade their acceptance of each topic from one to five points. One point meant the behavior was unacceptable while five points meant it was totally compatible with everyday life.

The survey showed that 58 percent of respondents gave one point on the topic of homosexuality while 8.3 percent gave it five.  About 10.5 percent graded it two, also in the unacceptable range, while 18.3 percent gave it three points, meaning they were neutral on the subject.

Up to 86.5 percent of respondents deemed committing suicide unacceptable.

As for domestic violence, 94.3 percent of respondents said such behavior was unacceptable with 87.3 percent of the total giving it just one point.

However, the acceptance of divorce was high with 71.5 percent of respondents saying there was nothing wrong with it, a reversal of the traditional view that marriage is for ever.

More than two-thirds of respondents said they could accept mercy killing but almost 60 percent were against abortion.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said children should be the main support for their parents when they got old while just 19 percent thought the country should be responsible, an indication that filial duty is still mainstream in Chinese society.

However, the survey showed that respondents with a higher level of education and higher incomes tended to agree with the view that the country should be responsible for taking care of the elderly, while older respondents also tended to support that view.

When the survey asked if respondents agreed that the value of a person could be judged by how much they earned, more than 75.4 percent said no.

On the heated topic of people being more indifferent to the plight of others these days, and less warmhearted, the survey found that 64.8 percent of respondents felt they could trust other people. The older the respondent, the less trusting. However, 78.4 percent said they were willing to help strangers.

The survey concluded that while the personal values of Chinese people had changed a lot over the past 30 years, traditional values still played a dominant role.

It called for people to be more tolerant of different opinions on controversial topics.



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