The contest aims to find both the man with the highest sperm count and the most vigorous sperm.
A sperm bank in China is holding a unique contest for university students to find who has the best quality of semen, amid the country's falling birth rates. According to a report by South China Morning Post., students will also be offered cash to donate their semen.
The contest organised by Henan Provincial Human Sperm Bank aims to find both the man with the highest sperm count and the most vigorous sperm.
As per The Straits Times, participants will also have 50 days to make up to 20 donations and will be paid up to 6,100 yuan (69,357) each for their efforts. They will also be compensated for expenses incurred, including transport costs and the number of donations made.
Participants need to be in the age group of 20-45 and be at least 1.65m tall. In addition, they must not be smokers, alcoholics, habitual drug users, or have same-sex or promiscuous sexual histories. Semen samples will be evaluated on at least four criteria-- sperm concentration, volume, structure, and motility, or how fast their sperm move.
The contest, announced on September 10, comes as the country grapples with reports of declining sperm counts among men, contributing to a low birth rate.
''Due to environmental pollution and work pressure, the overall sperm quality has deteriorated. This has led to infertility in a number of married couples, bringing disharmony to their families and society. Like blood, sperm donation is a humanitarian activity. It can bring good news to infertile couples. Therefore, we call on university students to donate sperm to make a contribution to society,'' the Henan sperm bank said on Weibo.
Notably, China scrapped its decades-long one-child policy in 2015, allowing all couples to have two children. Authorities raised the limit to three in 2021, but even during stay-at-home COVID times, couples were reluctant to have babies. China is now desperately trying to boost its declining number of new births after the country's fertility rate dropped to a record low of 1.09 in 2022.
Concerned about this and its rapidly ageing population, Beijing is trying a slew of measures to lift the birth rate. However, young people cite high childcare and education costs, low incomes, a feeble social safety net, and gender inequalities as discouraging factors.