China Sex Ed Should Be Essential Course at Universities: Scholar

May 12, 2015
By Yang Zilong & Qiu ChenhuiEditor: Kate Wu

Courses on sex education should be at the same status of English and politics as mandatory ones for university students, said Chinese scholar Li Yinhe recently in an interview with China Youth Daily.

In view of the fact that China has just kicked off sex education lessons in primary and middle schools, the current generation of university students and university graduates have missed out, she said.

If they don't study the subject now, "it would be too late," she added.

In her opinion, university students have an increasingly strong desire for knowledge about sex as most of them have become adults and are maturing in both sexual physiology and psychology.

Lack of sex knowledge and contraceptive tools has caused the enormous number of cases of pregnancy out of wedlock, unwanted pregnancies and abortions in China.

Many young people acquire knowledge related to sex from online sources, which can have mixed information and will always fall short of regular sex education.

"There should be standard schools, standard textbooks and standard, well trained teachers to conduct sex education. Only then can students acquire the correct, instead of wrong and unscientific knowledge about sex," she said.

Currently, Chinese universities are lacking in standard teaching materials on sex education and they are often confronted with obstacles in compiling such resources.

Earlier, a textbook complied by a team from Beijing Normal University aroused controversy due to some of the cartoon pictures which were regarded as obscene by opponents.

In Li's view, these cartoons are a hard-won progress. "It is appropriate to have such specialized sex education at school," said Li. "As long as the content is complied to a syllabus and is correct after experts' reviews," she added. 
Sex education is at an awkward situation in China in terms of public support, said Li, citing the case of the suspension of sex education courses for teachers in east China's Shandong Province due to opposition.

Despite that, Li has a positive attitude and believes that sooner or later sex education will be popularized nationwide.

(Source: China Youth Daily/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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