Shanghai college students may soon have easier access to condoms under a plan to promote safer sex across the city, but some experts worry that the effort might also promote increased sexual activity.
The Shanghai Management Center for Contraceptive Drugs and Devices plans to cooperate with the Shanghai Eduction Commission to install more condom vending machines on campuses throughout the city in the next one to two years.
An exploration of the requirements for each university and possible locations began this month.
Many educational and medical experts said they were in favor of making condoms more available on campus, but they said the effort needs to be tied to increased sex education.
So far 13 of the city's 61 universities and colleges have installed a total of 26 condom vending machines, which are usually placed in a clinic, near dormitory gates or in bathrooms.
Most machines have high sales. As such, the installation plan calls for at least five machines in larger universities.
Health officials said some universities allow the vending machines on campus under the belief that they will help students learn to protect themselves and practise safe sex.
But others are hesitant, thinking the widespread availability of condoms might promote sexual activity among young unmarried people.
Research has indicted that many students like the vending machines because they allow them to avoid the embarrassment of buying condoms at a pharmacy or convenience store, officials said.
"Providing condom vending machines does not equal the promotion of sexual behavior," said Tang Wenjuan, director of the Shanghai Management Center for Contraceptive Drugs and Devices. "It's all about setting up the correct idea and a sense of responsibility about sex."
Editor: canton fair