|New sex education textbooks were introduced to pupils in Shanghai on October 24, 2011 after numerous debates on early-age sex education in China.
|"We have forbidden zones on our bodies. The parts of a boy or girl that are covered by swimsuits are the private parts," teacher Hou Ping told some 30 third-graders at a primary school affiliated with the Shanghai University of Science and Technology.
|Hou teaches a class called "Traffic Lights for Our Bodies," in which children are taught about their private parts, as well as how to protect themselves in accordance with rules described in the sex education book "Boys and Girls."
|"Sex has always been taboo in Chinese parents' eyes. We find it hard to talk about sex with our children, but the students have not been as shy as I imagined. On the contrary, it was quite natural for the kids," a mother named Chen Ying said after the class which was open to parents, education officials and journalists on October 24.
|The August introduction of sex education textbooks in Beijing triggered a furious debate among parents and educators, as the books described sex in a direct fashion. Another debate was triggered in September in central Henan Province, when a kindergarten used toys with reproductive organs to teach children about sex.
|Students in Hou's class are taught to recognize reproductive organs and sensitive areas. They held up "red lights" or "green lights" when they see offensive or friendly gestures in pictures displayed by the teacher.
|The children also played a game in which they covered the private parts of a cartoon depiction of a human body with pieces of paper. Two girls giggled while discussing whether the breasts should be covered by two pieces of paper to make it look like a bikini.
|"Children see sex in a different way from adults. It is simple, pure and natural for them," Chen said.
|"We designed the program to teach kids about gender. The program includes self-awareness, gender knowledge and ethics, as well as sexual harassment knowledge," said Ding Limin, headmaster of the primary school.