The Shanghai Hongkou District Population and Family Planning Commission has finished putting together the nation's first sex education teaching materials which will be used by students in middle and high schools and mental retarded students as well as their parents.
The textbook for senior primary school students, which uses cartoons to explain human reproduction, will be completed later this year.
"Because young people are reaching puberty earlier and have access to information about sex through the Internet and other media, their knowledge about sex and education requirements are different now," said Fan Lingjun, vice director of the commission. "Some youngsters' questions about sex are far different from what we expected. For instance, a boy asked an expert giving a course about the safe frequency of masturbation."
He said that current sex education in school is so boring and basic that students can't receive useful information and guidance.
In Shanghai, schools are required to offer sex education classes, but many teachers only offer a simple explanation of the male and female reproductive systems and warn students about the harm of having sex too early.
To provide effective sex education, the commission edited the books to ensure they provided information about the physical and psychological changes brought about by puberty and cover issues young people really care about, by asking students in different grades what they want to learn from the courses.
"I am very worried about my daughter, who is at a middle school," said Chen Jian, a mother.
"But, I don't know how to discuss the issues with her by myself."
(Shanghai Daily News November 3,2004)