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A teenager who went online to auction her virginity and a netizen who made an offer of HK$60,000 could both end up in jail. That was the warning from police officers yesterday in their response to a December 9 advertisement that appeared on hkmensa.net, a social-networking site that targets secondary school students. The ad appeared under a making friends section.
The girl said she was desperately in need of money before December 17, so her virginity would go to the highest bidder with a starting price of HK$10,000.
She did not give her age but said she is in her teens, 162-centimeters tall and weighs 49 kilograms.
About 100 people responded to the ad, some making cursory offers, but there was a high bid of HK$60,000 from a person signed Hysteric. Others asked the girl to upload pictures of herself so they could make offers.
Alerted to the ad, police immediately posted a warning against the sale of virginity on the same site.
The warning read: Don't sell your body for money. Compensated dating will bring an end to your future. One should highly value morals and respect self-esteem.
Police also warned it is a crime to solicit unethical conduct or to have sex with an underage person, and the Commercial Crime Bureau launched an investigation into the case. In addition, police went on a force-run website to call for people to report all sexual offenses. The offer, meanwhile, was removed from the site yesterday.
Barrister Steve Chui Fook-leung, who specializes in criminal cases, has noticed an increase in sex being offered online over the past two years. Most involve syndicates selling the services of young women and teenagers.
This increased the workload of police, Chui noted, with some officers having to monitor websites daily for such ads and offers. Another difficulty is to identify the offenders as everyone has access to websites, and netizens can use fake names or data, he added.
Many teenagers these days look more mature than their actual ages and it is hard to tell who is underaged.
The president of the Hong Kong Social Workers General Union, Cheung Kwok-che, said it was becoming a trend for teenage girls to offer their virginity to the highest bidder.
It is a distortion of values, Cheung said. Young people nowadays don't feel ashamed of selling their bodies. Instead, they make it public online, like any business transaction. The trend is worrying.
In September this year, a 22-year- old woman in the United States sparked a heated online debate about sex and morality when she auctioned her virginity to pay for her college education. Her offer reportedly attracted more than 10,000 bids.
And in March, Romanian Alina Percea, 18, auctioned her virginity on a website, also to pay for her education. It finally sold for the equivalent of HK$110,800 to a 45-year-old Italian businessman, and the girl said she had no qualms about going through with the deal.
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Last updated: October 08, 2010