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Rethink Sex Education

Sex education in middle and primary schools in some regions has strayed from the right track, says an article on www.eastdaily.com. An excerpt follows:

Recently, the education authorities in China's Hunan Province promulgated a document demanding knowledge about contraception and prevention of AIDS become a health education course for its middle and primary school students. This is a correct move.

However, a move taken recently by a middle school in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was puzzling.

In an "image contest" organized by the school, 13 students won a pack of condoms as an award for their good performance.

It is a last resort for related departments - distributing condoms at hotels, beauty salons or massage parlours to prevent the spread of AIDS caused by promiscuous sexual activities. But it is unusual for condoms to be given to non-adult students as prizes.

What are the school authorities thinking? Are they trying to encourage minors to have sex?

It is true that, with the pluralistic development of society, the Chinese people have become more open about sex. But openess about sex has negatively affected middle and even primary schools to some degree.

It is reported that in France, the United States and other developed countries where people have a more open attitude towards sex, distributing condoms among middle and primary school students has also provoked strong opposition from society.

The middle school's move reflects its dilemma about how to carry out sexual health education for its youngsters.

It is a sane practice for some middle and primary school authorities to promote sex health knowledge and education among students. But it is also important for them to attach importance to sexual ethics education as well.

(China Daily November 9, 2005)

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