Sexology and the making of sexual subjects in contemporary China


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10 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the role of sociology in the newly emerged interdisciplinary field of sexology in China, the purpose of which is to produce the ideal citizen. Two strands of Chinese sexology are identified, the biomedical and subjective constructionist models. The former promotes sex for pleasure to enhance marital harmony and thus social stability. Through the establishment of new norms of behavior and relations to the self, individuals are called on to be modern subjects who master sexual knowledge and enjoy a quality sex life with a proper frequency of sex. Those who fail are subject to the control of the medical regime. The latter model emphasizes the recognition of subjective interpretation and divergent sexual practices, and has the potential to serve as a corrective to the biomedical model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-82
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese sociology
  • governmentality
  • medical discourse
  • sexology
  • sexual revolution


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