Peking University Cancer Hospital is conducting studies of possible antibodies. The hospital said it would need 100 healthy female virgin college students from 18 to 24 years old as blood donors for the studies.
Some netizens denounced the request as promoting virginity worship, which they said is demeaning to women.
But hospital spokeswoman Guan Jiuping defended the request, saying the blood of virgins is medically necessary for the studies.
"It's in line with international practice to collect female virgins' blood samples, which serve as negative control substances in HPV research, given that the risk of contracting HPV is low among women who have never had sex," Guan said.