Sex in China – Ian Johnson’s interview with Li Yinghe

Sex in China: An Interview with Li Yinhe

Ian Johnson
Gay couple Lu Zhong, 24, and Liu Wangqiang, 20, during a wedding photo shoot, Fujian province, China, September 2012

Li Yinhe is one of China’s best-known experts on sex and the family. A member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, she has published widely on sexual mores, women, and family issues. Li also runs a popular blog, where she has advocated for same-sex marriage and loosening restrictions on homosexuality, orgies, and sex in literature. In the 1980s, she studied at the University of Pittsburgh, earning a Ph.D. in 1988, but returned to China where she was asked by China’s pioneering sociologist, Fei Xiaotong, to be one of the first post-doctoral students at Peking University. Recently retired, the sixty-two-year-old spends much of her time on the Shandong coast.

I visited Li Yinhe at her country home outside of Beijing, where we discussed some of her work and current projects, including two unpublished volumes of short stories about sado-masochism.

One thought on “Sex in China – Ian Johnson’s interview with Li Yinghe

  1. I think China has come a long way for a developing country. Homosexuality was illegal as recently as in the 90s, and although the gay scene is still underground my gay friends seem to enjoy their lives in China. One of the biggest obstacles is social pressure/family obligations, culture as well as the law.

    Some issues like pornography and prostitution and censorship are handled in very hypocritical and inconsistently, but hopefully with advocates like Li Yinhe the situation will improve…

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