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March 7, 2011

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TV virginity advice 'borrowed'

POPULAR Shanghai TV show mediator "Auntie Bai" has claimed her comment urging young women to remains virgins until they marry was borrowed from an American a relative met.

Auntie Bai, or Bai Wanqing, said on her television show on Oriental Television on February 27 that "Virginity is a bride's best dowry to her husband's family."

This provoked heated debate, with many people saying that Bai was out of touch with modern society, but others supporting the tough-talking mediator who is a deputy to the Shanghai People's Congress.

On her microblog, Bai explained she only meant to show her concern for a young girl in Sichuan Province who quit school because she was obsessed with a man with movie star looks.

Bai said she never thought a comment showing her pity toward the girl would prove so controversial.

She said the sentence was borrowed from an American a relative spoke to - who she could not name - and was not her own invention.

Bai told Shanghai Daily that she picked up the phrase after chatting with a relative who had just returned from the United States, and used it in her TV show without thinking about the consequences.

Whatever their origins, Bai's comments captured the public's interest with hundreds of people forwarding her post. Some advised Bai to learn from the incident and be careful when choosing her words on TV.

A poll on Shanghai Daily's website found 49 percent of participants believed that people have a right to live the way they like, and that it's neither right nor wrong to value virginity.

About 26 percent believed virginity was an obsolete notion and went against human nature, while some 24 percent of voters said people should adhere to traditional values.


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