Sexual knowledge, attitudes and values among Chinese migrant adolescents in Hong Kong


Internal migration in China has introduced critical challenges to the education and health of migrant adolescents. The aim of this study was to explore the differences in sexual knowledge and attitudes among migrate and local adolescents. Survey research with a total of 616 adolescents in grades equivalent to US 10th and 11th grades including 113 migrants completed a selfadministered questionnaire. Misconceptions of adolescent physical development, sexual activity, marriage, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and the probability of pregnancy were found in most of the migrant adolescents. Significantly lower attitudinal scores were found for the sub-scales of clarity of personal sexual values, understanding of emotional needs, social behavior, sexual responses; attitudes towards gender role, birth control, premarital intercourse, use of force in sexual activity, the importance of family and satisfaction with social relationship in migrant adolescents. Migrant adolescents have a low level of knowledge of sexual activities. The content of education programs should include engagement in sexual behavior to equip adolescents with unbiased and factual knowledge. The adolescents have a high demand for family support. School based sex education programs should involve the participation of parents to address these issues.


Share and Cite:

Wong, M. and Lam, T. (2013) Sexual knowledge, attitudes and values among Chinese migrant adolescents in Hong Kong. Health, 5, 2210-2217. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.512300.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Tang, J., Gao, X., Yu, Y., Ahmed, N.A., Zhu, H., Wang, J. and Du, Y.(2011) Sexual knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among unmarried migrant female workers in China: A comparative analysis. BMC Public Health, 11, 1-7.
[2] Chen, H., Zhang, L., Han, Y., Lin, T., Song, X., Chen, G. and Zheng, X. (2012) HIV/AIDS knowledge, contraceptive knowledge, and condom use among unmarried youth in China. AIDS Care, 24, 1550-1558.
[3] Sun, X., Liu, X., Shi, Y., Wang, Y., Wang, P. and Chang, C. (2013) Determinants of risky sexual behavior and condom use among college students in China. AIDS Care, 25, 775-783.
[4] Zhang, L., Li, X. and Shah, I.H. (2007) Where do Chinese adolescents obtain knowledge of sex education in China? Health Education, 107, 351-363.
[5] Peking University (2010) Final report on the 2009 national youth reproductive health survey. Institute of Population Research, Peking University, Beijing.
[6] Ma, K.Y. (2010) Health newsletter 5. Education in sexuality: DOH tackles sensitive issue of sex among teens. Department of Health, Taiwan.
[7] Qian, X., Tang, S.L. and Garner, P. (2004) Unintended pregnancy and induced abortion among unmarried women in China: A systematic review. BMC Health Services Research, 4, 1-4.
[8] National Bureau of Statistics of China (2012) China’s total population and structural changes in 2011. National Bureau of Statistics of China, China.
[9] Wang, W., Wei, C., Buchholz, M., Martin, M.C., Smith, B.D., Huang, Z.J. and Wong, F.Y. (2010) Prevalence and risks for sexually transmitted infections among a national sample of migrants versus non-migrants in China. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 21, 410-415.
[10] Li, S.H., Huang, Y., Cai, G., Xu, F.H. and Shen, X. (2009) Characteristics and determinants of sexual behavior among adolescents of migrant workers in Shanghai (China). BMC Public Health, 9, 195-205.
[11] Tang, L., Chen, R., Huang, D., Wu, H., Yan, H., Li, S. and Braun, K.L. (2013) Prevalence of condom use and associated factors among Chinese female undergraduate students in Wuhan, China. AIDS Care, 25, 515-523.
[12] Sudhinaraset, M., Astone, N. and Blum, R.M. (2012) Migration and unprotected sex in Shanghai, China: Correlates of condom use and contraceptive consistency across migrant and non-migrant youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50, S68-S74.
[13] Yu, J. (2010) An overview of the sexual behaviour of adolescents and young people in contemporary China. Australasian Medical Journal, 3, 397-403.
[14] Reijneveld, S.J., van Nieuwenhuijzen, M., Velderman, M.K., Paulussen, T.W. and Junger, M. (2012) Clustering of health and risk behaviour in immigrant and indigenous Dutch residents aged 19-40 years. International Journal of Public Health, 57, 351-361.
[15] Ip, W.Y., Chau, J.P.C., Chang, A.M. and Lui, M.H.L. (2001) Knowledge of and attitudes toward sex among chinese adolescents. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 23, 211-222.
[16] The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (2007) Youth sexuality study 2006. The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
[17] Kirby, D. (1990) Sexuality questions and scales for adolescents. ETR Associate, Stockton.
[18] Lo, A. (2009) Reform of sex education for the next generation. Improving Hong Kong, 6, 8-10.
[19] Government Information Centre (2006) Sex education in schools press releases.
[20] Education Bureau (2011) Sex education website preface.
[21] Guo, W., Wu, Z., Shimmele, C.M. and Zheng, X. (2012) Condom use at sexual debut among Chinese youth.
[22] World Health Organization (2010) Social determinants of sexual and reproductive health: Informing future research and programme implementation. World Health Organization, Geneva.
[23] Zhuang, X., Wu, Z., Poundstone, K., Yang, C., Zhong, Y. and Jiang, S. (2012) HIV-related high-risk behaviors among Chinese migrant construction laborers in Nantong, Jiangsu. PLoS ONE, 7, 1-6.
[24] Lam, T.H., Stewart, S.M. and Ho, L.M. (2001) Prevalence and correlates of smoking and sexual activity among Hong Kong adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 29, 352-358.
[25] Wong, W.C., Lee, A., Tsang, K.K. and Lynn, H. (2006) The impact of AIDS/sex education by schools or family doctors on Hong Kong Chinese adolescents. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 11, 108-116.
[26] Wang, J., Simoni, P., Wu, Y. and Banvard, C. (2008) Female adolescents’ attitude towards sexually risky behaveiors. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 10, 120-133.
[27] Liu, Z.H., Wei, P.M., Wang, X.S., Huang, M.H., Li, X.N. and Yang, G.P. (2008) Investigation on influencing factors of sexual behaviors among college students in Nanjing. Chinese Journal of Public Health, 24, 1243-1245.
[28] Lee, L.K., Chen, P.C., Lee, K.K. and Kaur, J. (2006) Premarital sexual intercourse among adolescents in Malaysia: A cross-sectional Malaysian school survey. Singapore Medical Journal, 47, 476-481.
[29] Wu, Y. (2009) Incidence of sexual behaviors and the influencing factors among undergraduates in Guangzhou. Modern Preventive Medicine, 36, 282-284.
[30] Wang, J., Simoni, P. and Wu, Y. (2006) Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in rural adolescent females: Knowledge, protective sex, and sexual risk behaviors. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 6, 74-88.
[31] Kunnuji, M.O.N. (2012) Parent-child communicaton on sexuality-related matters in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. Africa Development, 37, 41-58.
[32] Sax, L. (2005) Why gender matters: What parents and teachers need to know about the emerging science of sex differences. Doubleday, New York.
[33] Gao, E., Lou, C. and Liu, Y. (2003) Assessment on accuracy of the data concerning first sexual behavior in Shanghai, China. Reproduction and Contraception, 10, 421-435.
[34] Fok, S.C. (2005) A study of the implementation of sex education in Hong Kong secondary schools. Sex Education, 5, 281-294.
[35] Henderson, M., Wight, D., Raab, G.M., Abraham, C., Parkes, A., Scott, S. and Hart, G. (2007) Impact of a theoretically based sex education programme (SHARE) delivered by teachers on NHS registered conceptions and terminations: Final results of cluster randomised trial. BMJ, 334, 133.
[36] van Geel, M. and Vedder, P. (2011) The role of family obligations and school adjustment in explaining the immigrant paradox. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 187-196.
[37] Sudhinaraset, M., Mmari, K., Go, V. and Blum, R. (2012) Sexual attitudes, behaviours and acculturation among young migrants in Shanghai. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14, 1081-1094.
[38] Markham, C.M., Fleschler Peskin, M., Addy, R.C., Baumler, E.R. and Tortolero, S.R. (2009) Patterns of vaginal, oral, and anal sexual intercourse in an urban seventh-grade population. Journal of School Health, 79, 193-200.
[39] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009) School connectedness: Strategies for increasing protective factors among youth. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta.
[40] Herr, S.W., Telljohann, S.K., Price, J.H., Dake, J.A. and Stone, G.E. (2012) High school health-education teachers’ perceptions and practices related to teaching HIV prevention. Journal of School Health, 82, 514-521.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.