2019 年 2019 巻 10 号 p. 134-148
Youjyo is a term only used in sexual offenses under penal code of China, meaning female who is under 14 years old. Recently until 2015, a heated dispute about Youjyo, whether Youjyo should be interpreted as ‘Prostitute’ or ‘Child’, was risen even though two categories’ connotations were opposite. This study starts with a question why Youjyo is being explained in terms of both ‘prostitute’ and ‘child’. Attempting to give an answer to the coexistence of ideal of sex equality and child protection in the term Youjyo, the analysis on this paper introduced historical perspective.
By exploring prostitution-abolition movement of China, this paper shows that two narratives of females under 14 coexisted temporarily. One is ‘prostitute’ based on ideal of sex equality. In this narrative, females under 14 were seen as ‘socially unfortunate women’ and should be relieved from feudal imperialistic inequality. In contrast, as ideal of child protection grows, the term ‘Youjyo’ was created. In this narrative, females under 14 were protected as ‘national next generation’. But after a while, prostitution-abolition movement was regarded successful and ‘prostitute’, or even prostitution itself, was regarded to be rooted out. Therefore, females under 14 were recognized as ‘Youjyo’ since ‘prostitute’ that represented ‘social unfortunate woman’ were no longer usable.
Previous researches show that in China, there is a distance between researches on prostitution and child prostitution. One is focusing on woman while another is focusing on child. However, issues such as Enjyokousai, young people engaging in sexual intercourse deliberately is emerging as a social problem. Thus, the distance between prostitution and child prostitution can no longer be maintained, and the distinction of child/adult would no longer sufficient while narrating young people, so perspective of gender should be added. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the interspace between sexual equality and child protection.