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China blames Internet for rise in teen pregnancies

Nearly half of the pregnant teens in China's financial hub met their partners on the Internet, state media reports.
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Written by Reuters on
BEIJING--Nearly half of the pregnant teens in China's financial hub, Shanghai, met their partners on the Internet, state media said on Tuesday.

Zhang Zhengrong, a doctor who oversees the city's first-aid hotline for pregnant teens, said 46 percent of the more than 20,000 teenage girls who called the hotline over the past two years said they had had sex with boys they met on the Internet.

"Most of the fathers disappeared after learning about the pregnancy, and some of the mothers did not even know the fathers' names," the China Daily said.

Zhang blamed the situation on adult Web sites, videos and books and appealed to parents, teachers and society at large to pay more attention to sex education.

A survey by Zhang's hospital found that only 7.9 percent of the parents queried talked to their children about sex, and 79 percent of high school and university students said they got their ideas about sex from the Internet.

Chinese attitudes towards sex have relaxed in recent decades, triggering a boom in extramarital relationships which the ruling Communist Party blames on bourgeois mores imported from the West.

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