Clinic to provide sex education for teens closes

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A community clinic opened five years ago in Shanghai to provide sex education and counseling services to teenagers was ordered closed this week because there were not enough clients visiting.

Family planning authorities said the government-supported clinic failed to attract enough visitors and some said it was because young people are too shy to talk to strangers about sex.

Hu Xiaoyu, deputy director of Shanghai Institute of Family Planning Technical Instruction, said authorities closed the Qinqing Clinic, the Shanghai Evening Post reported Wednesday.

The Qinqing Clinic, which offered free services and condoms to those between 10 and 19, often gets just a handful of phone calls each day.

Most teenagers prefer to learn about sex from the Internet rather than from teachers and only 10 percent want to talk about it in person with teachers, Hu said. A report about sex education in Shanghai's secondary vocational-technical schools showed 32.4 percent of students reported having a sexual experience and 46.3 percent of them had no access to sex education, the report said.

During a sex education class in Shanghai Second Light Industry School, many students refused to participate in the interactive games involving sexual knowledge since they felt embarrassed, the report said.

"The knowledge will make us bad boys and girls," a student was quoted as saying during the sex education class.

Shen Zhifei, the director of the psychology division at the Shanghai Academy of Educational Science, told the Shanghai Evening Post that sex education class was not only resisted by the students, but also by their parents.

When local authorities published and distributed sex education booklets, including contraceptives and details about menstrual cycles, many parents opposed the measure, said Shen.

A poll conducted by Shanghai Press and Publications Vocational-Technical School showed that 33 percent of parents did not know how to talk about sex with their children.

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