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Chastity pledge triggers heated dispute among Chinese netizens

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A college in north-west China has come under fire for asking female students to sign a chastity pledge as part of a course.

中国西北的一所大学在课堂上要求女大学生签贞洁承诺卡被炮轰。

The college, in the city of Xi'an in Shaanxi province, uses the "commitment card" during a course called No Regrets Youth class, according to the China Economic Daily website. A photo of the card has been widely shared on Chinese social media. "I promise to myself, my family, my friends and my future spouse and children that I will refuse all kinds of premarital intercourse before I step into a lifelong monogamous marriage," it reads, with space underneath for students to sign their names. It also includes a pledge to avoid infidelity once married. While abstinence pledges have existed in US colleges since the mid-1990s, they're very rare in China.

据中国经济日报网站报道,中国陕西省西安市某高校在一门“青春无悔课”上要求女生填写“承诺卡”。这张卡片的照片已经在中国各大媒体广泛流传。这张卡片上写着“我向我自己、家人、朋友,以及我未来的配偶、子女承诺:在我迈入有终身承诺的、一夫一妻的婚姻关系之前,拒绝任何形式的婚前性行为。”卡片最下方有学生签名的地方。卡片还包括宣誓在结婚之后拒绝婚外的性行为。尽管在20世纪90年代中期美国大学有过禁欲的宣誓行为,但在中国是很少见的。

While there have been complaints from students at the college itself – which isn't named in the report – there has been a huge online response, with many social media users criticising the college for using an "outdated" approach. "It's hard to imagine that this would brazenly appear at a college in the 21st Century," writes one person on the Sina Weibo microblog site.

该学校的学生已经怨声载道,虽然在报道中没有提到他们的名字,但是在网上已经有很多回复,很多社会媒体用“封建”这个词来批判学校的做法。有人在新浪微博上写道:“很难相信在21世纪的今天,这种做法竟然如此大胆的出现在大学课堂上。”

"Whether or not to have premarital sex is for adults to choose as they please," says another user. "Why should anybody promise? For a university to do this is really unsettling."

另一位网友说,“是否有婚前性行为是成年人自主的选择,为什么要向别人保证?一所大学做出这样的举动真是令人担忧。”

Others seem to have no problem with the pledge itself, but object to the fact that male students aren't required to sign it. "This is a simply wonderful provision, but why does it not include boys?" asks one person. Another says: "Men should sign – isn't this sexist?"

另一些人似乎对宣誓本身没有什么意见,但反对只要求女学生宣誓,没包括男大学生。一人质疑,“这个做法很好,但是为什么没有包括男生?”还有人说:“男学生应该宣誓——难道这不是性别歧视吗?”

A teacher at the college tells the paper that he didn't expect such strong online backlash, and says that the card was introduced with students' best interests in mind.

该大学的一名老师告诉报社,他没有想到网上的反应如此激烈,并说这张卡的初衷是为了最好地保护学生的利益。

2016-06-23

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