Marriage begins to lose its lustre

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 September, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 September, 1996, 12:00am

Many youngsters believe in living with a partner before marriage and put little value in virginity, a survey has found.

The study commissioned by the Education Department found most youngsters were learning about the facts of life from newspapers and television.

Many of them regarded divorce as inevitable and premarital sex acceptable, while more than half of them approved of the concept of co-habitation and trial marriage.

The study on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of secondary school pupils relating to sex was conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong by means of a questionnaire and a structured interview.

Some 4,600 secondary school students aged between 12 and 20 were approached from April to July last year and quizzed on their attitudes towards sex.

In general, the 1,957 boys and 2,130 girls asked did not believe virginity and chastity were closely tied to happiness in marriage.

Secretary Elaine Kung Yee-lin said she had no plans to marry her boyfriend with whom she lives, even though she had believed in marriage when she was younger.

'I don't feel like getting married yet. I enjoy the present situation in which both of us have a certain level of independence and freedom,' said Miss Kung, 34.