China’s call to young men: Your nation needs your sperm

China’s sperm banks are facing severe shortages.Young men are being promised cash and even rose-gold iPhone to donate sperm.

BEIJING: If you’re a man in China between 20 and 45, the government has a message for you: For the sake of your country, please donate sperm.

China’s sperm banks are facing severe shortages, for a variety of political and cultural reasons. Comparatively few Chinese men offer to donate, and a study found that almost half of those who do volunteer are screened out.

Now that government policy allows more Chinese couples, including older couples, to have a second child, officials are concerned that the sperm shortages will get much worse — and they are doing everything they can to find new recruits.

On social media, young men are bombarded with endorsements from video-game characters and promises of cash (up to $1,000 in some cases) and, even better, a coveted rose-gold iPhone.

Some sperm banks have tried to appeal to feelings of patriotism, as China grapples with an aging population and a diminishing workforce. “Show your compassion,” an article on a state-run news site urged men this year. “Help mitigate the country’s aging problem.”

Still, it’s a tough sell. For one thing, Chinese traditional medicine has long associated high levels of semen with vitality, making some men reluctant to give any away. In addition, despite rising rates of infertility, many families are uncomfortable with using an unrelated man’s sperm to father children, arguing that it goes against Confucian values.

Recent ads have tried to counter those deep-seated attitudes. “Donating sperm and donating blood are the same thing,” said one message from a Beijing sperm bank. “It’s all about giving back to society.”

Credit Times of India

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