Hong Kong students just can’t wait to date

By Ben Pang

A youth group says better education is needed as a report shows that students start dating at as young as 10

By Ben Pang |

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One quarter of primary and secondary school students already have dating experience, a report has shown.  The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) interviewed 7,059 people between Primary Five and Secondary Six from April to May. They found that 23.9 per cent had relationship experience, with 62 per cent of those starting to date as early as Primary Five.

The survey found that around 78.2 per cent of young people thought the best time to start dating was between Form Four and Six. Asked what criteria should be considered most important when choosing a partner, about 50.8 per cent said mutual understanding, followed by caring for each other (40.5 per cent), a good personality (40.4 per cent), and loyalty (29.9 per cent). Only 3.2 per cent of students said they wanted a partner who always paid for dates. 

The survey also revealed that young people didn’t need much time to get to know their potential partners, with around 38.3 per cent having begun dating after knowing their partner for less than three months. As for the best place to meet someone, 75.3 per cent said school, followed by social clubs (43.4 per cent), social media (19 per cent) and the internet (13.6 per cent).

HKFYP supervisor Hsu Siu-man believes a positive education programme is essential to instil the right attitude towards relationships. 

“Only a few schools talk about relationship issues,” she said at a press conference last Thursday.

“It’s very important to take pre-emptive measures to teach students how to manage relationships. Parents and educators should also be open-minded instead of blaming [the children],” she added.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge