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Shenzhen Rejects Sex Education Textbook
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A textbook on sex education, the first of its kind in Shenzhen, has been rejected by schools in the city, the Guangzhou Daily reported recently.

Centering on sensitive topics such as masturbation, sexual harassment and homosexuality, the textbook attracted a great deal of attention since its debut in 2003.

However, after being tried out in 24 local schools in 2004, the book received little feedback. Most of the textbooks in the initial print run of 20,000 copies remain unsold four years since publication.

The content is not suitable for being taught in classes, a Yantian school medical officer surnamed Xie was quoted as saying.

Several parents have even sued publishers of the textbook for its color illustrations of genitals, the report said.

The textbook has three separate versions for elementary school, junior high school and senior high school students.

Simple explanations for contraception and precautions against sexual harassment are included in the textbook for 10-year-old elementary students, while the textbook for students between 12 to 15 years of age talk about sexual development.

In face of public rejection, Zhang Ling, one of the chief editors of the textbook, said that the lack of professional sex educators was a major problem.

"We do not have established authorities in this field in China, nor do we have guidelines for composing such books." Zhang said.

"We are expecting new pushing polices to improve the current situation." she added.

(Shenzhen Daily September 18, 2007)

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