Sexual Assertiveness of Chinese Female College Students: A Qualitative Study

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Fengling Dai
Warunee Fongkaew
Nongkran Viseskul
Nonglak Chaloumsuk
Sumalee Lirtmunlikaporn


           In the context of Chinese culture, women’s sexual autonomy is essential but frequently overlooked. This study used a qualitative descriptive approach with a feminist lens to explore the sexual assertiveness of Chinese female college students. Data were collected from July 2020 to December 2020 through in-depth interviews with 20 female college students aged 18-24 years from 3 colleges in the southwest of China. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Four categories emerged from data analysis.
           Category 1: Being sexually assertive (Sub-categories: Able to express sexual desire, Able to refuse unwanted sex, Able to inquire partner’s sexual history, Able to negotiate condom use). Category 2: Experiences of being sexually assertive (Sub-categories: Ambivalence towards sexual expression, Harmless compromise on unwanted sex, Reassurance of fidelity, Consensus using condoms). Category 3: Supports for enabling sexually assertive (Sub-categories: Having sexual knowledge, Receiving parental sexual protection messages, Gaining lessons from unpleasant experience, Media exposure). Category 4: Constraints of being sexually assertive (Sub-categories: Endorsement of the sexual double standard, Concerns about partner’s thoughts, Excessive alcohol drinking).
           The findings are helpful for healthcare providers, including nurses, to understand the situation of sexual assertiveness among Chinese female college students. Findings also contribute to promoting sexual health interventions to enhance sexual assertiveness, including promoting comprehensive sexuality education, sexual protection messages communication with parents, decreasing anticipated partner’s negative thoughts and reaction, coping with excessive alcohol drinking, and transformation of the sexual double standard.

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Dai F, Fongkaew W, Viseskul N, Chaloumsuk N, Lirtmunlikaporn S. Sexual Assertiveness of Chinese Female College Students: A Qualitative Study. PRIJNR [Internet]. 2022 Mar. 5 [cited 2022 Dec. 9];26(2):212-27. Available from:
Original paper


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