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China Issues First Sex Education VCD Series
China's first VCD series on sex education for primary and middle school students was recently issued in the southernmost Province of Hainan.

The VCDs, showing a series of TV lectures on sex education for youngsters, have different editions targeted at students of primary schools, junior middle schools and high schools, and focusing on self protection, AIDS prevention and sexual psychology.

The series provides sexual knowledge in a progressive way for the different age groups, covering physiology, impregnation, procreation, puberty, communication between the sexes, sexual hygiene and family.

In the traditional Chinese culture, "sex" has long been considered a disgraceful, even dirty, word that few would discuss openly. A child would be scolded by his parents for questions about how he was brought into this world or what the differences are between males and females.

Statistics show most Chinese children enter puberty between 12 and 13 years old, nearly one year earlier than the early 1990s. But most of the 20 million children reaching puberty each year lack information on sex, due to evasive replies to their questions.

It is believed that the VCD series answers in a scientific and complete fashion those questions children and young people want toask.

At the series' premiere held recently in a middle school of Haikou, the capital of Hainan Province, initially most girls lowered their heads and kept reading, daring not to watch the VCDs. Yet as the program continued, it gradually aroused their interest.

"After watching the VCDs, I'm not afraid anymore to let somebody know about my wet dreams," a boy at the premiere said.

Education authorities in China have made a string of efforts to break the nation's ancient taboo on discussing sex and enlighten teenagers properly to safeguard their physical and metal health.

In addition to the VCD series, earlier this year China's first book series on sex education for children, edited by French psychologists, was published in Shanghai. The first TV drama on sex education entitled "How Can I Tell You This?" was recently shot in east China. And the first cartoon-style series of textbooks on sexual health for teenagers will be released in the near future.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2003)

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