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Sex Education Needs More Attention

Most Chinese parents are likely to divert sex education subject to other areas or even scold children for asking such questions.

And it is not just parents that find it hard to face sex questions. Even teachers shy away from students eager to learn about the subject.

Complaints are on the rise among middle school students that they are not getting enough sex education from their teachers, who either skip over the section in textbooks or ask students to read the books by themselves.

“When it comes to the class for sex and puberty, the teacher always asks us to review the book without any guidance. When some classmates want to raise questions, the teacher’s face turns red,” said Yao Liang, a middle school student.

Sex education experts are worried that this method of teaching is not good enough.

“Sex education in China is not a problem of sex knowledge, but a lack of proper education. Students should be taught about family values, morals and other values related to sex,” said Geng Wenxiu, a distinguished professor from East China Normal University, who studies sex education.

Poor sex education teaching has generated a backlash as students, eager to learn, are turning to other sources, such as newspapers, videos and even the Internet.

Exposure to pornography has implanted a misperception of sex into students’ minds, giving rise to a growing level of sex crimes in China, experts said.

Official statistics show that the number of crimes committed by young people in China accounts for 70 percent of total, and 30 percent of these are related to sex.

Meanwhile, teenagers in China are entering puberty earlier than before thanks to an improved diet, leading to more sexual activity before marriage among teenagers.

“Sex education in China should make adjustments to meet the changing situation. It should expand from middle schools to elementary schools,” said Liu Dalin, vice-president of the Asia Federation for Sexology, a leading sex education expert.

Liu said sex education teachers should be trained to be more professional and use different teaching methods for different ages. “Sex education teachers in China are not up to scratch right now.”

(China Daily 04/18/2001)

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