More than one in three students at Chinese universities has been sexually harassed or experienced sexual violence, according to a new survey, suggesting that the problem could be as serious as on some campuses in the West.
The most common form was verbal sexual harassment, followed by “being forced to kiss or touch private parts”. Around 7 per cent of students said they had been forced to undress or expose themselves.
And 726 out of nearly 18,000 respondents said they had been forced to have sexual intercourse, according to the Sixth Tone website.
According to female respondents, the most common perpetrators were boyfriends or girlfriends, while for male students, friends or classmates were most likely to be to blame.
The results are based on questionnaires from the China Family Planning Association. About 60 per cent of respondents were female, although the Sixth Tone report did not break down the proportion of students who had been sexual harassed by gender.
Around 5 per cent of students said they were bisexual, and 2.5 per cent identified as homosexual, the survey found.
The issue of campus harassment and rape has come to the fore in the UK and US in recent years – last year saw the release of a film called The Hunting Ground, which claimed that US universities were ignoring allegations of sexual assault on campus.
Meanwhile in the UK, the National Union of Students has campaigned against what it claims is a “lad culture” on campus that encourages sexual and verbal abuse of women.
An online NUS survey released in 2014 found that one in four students in the UK has suffered “unwelcome sexual advances” defined as “inappropriate touching and groping”.