New York, June 14: The Chinese government has urged its male citizens aged between 20 and 45 to donate sperm for the "sake of" their country, a New York Times (NYT) report said.
Sperm banks in China are facing acute shortages owing to a number of reasons. While the number of people willing to donate is low, another study has also found that half of those who come forward fail the test, the report said.
China, which has now reversed its one-child policy to tackle the problem of an ageing population, is concerned over the fact that shortage of sperms would get worse and they would do everything to get new recruits.
Young men are being enticed on the social media to volunteer and they are given incentives raging from money (up to $1,000 in some cases) to even an iPhone.
Some sperm banks have played the patriotic card to encourage the men. An article on a state news site ran an article "Show your compassion" to reach out to potential donors, said the NYT article.
But cultural reasons have emerged as the biggest road block for the authorities. While some men feel reluctant to give away sperm since China's traditional medical expertise has associated high levels of semen with vitality, there are also families that are reluctant to use an unknown person's sperm to give birth to their successors, saying it is against the Confucian tradition, the article said.
The authorities have, however, not given up. They have equated donating sperm with that of blood to make the mission successful.