Shanxi Women's Federation Holds Sex Ed Class in N China

November 20, 2013
By Jiang LifangEditor: Yao Yao & Liu Yunting

Shanxi Women's Federation Holds Sex Ed Class in N China
Volunteers attend a sex education class at the Second Experimental Primary School of Bolin District in Taiyuan, capital city of northern China's Shanxi Province, on November 17, 2013. [Shanxi Women's Federation / Wei Wei]
A sex education class aiming to improve students' knowledge of sexual health and help them protect themselves was held at the Second Experimental Primary School of Bolin District in Taiyuan, capital city of northern China's Shanxi Province, on November 17, 2013.

During the two-hour class, Du Xiaoli, a lecturer at the online parenting school of the Shanxi Women's Federation, explained the process of fertilization, gestation and childbirth in a light-hearted way. She also gave the students self-protection tips, including telling them about private areas on their bodies which other people are not allowed to touch.

The students said the class satisfied their curiosity about the topic, and made receiving sex education interesting rather than awkward.

The class was part of the Spring Bud Project: Healthy Growth of 'Left-behind' and Migrant Girls, a charity program advocated and initiated by the China Children and Teenagers' Foundation (CCTF). It is conducted by all levels of women's federations. Shanxi Province is the only pilot area of the project and it is currently implemented in the cities of Taiyuan, Linfen and Yangquan.

The project aims to improve the position of 'left-behind' and migrant girls in their families and society and promote the healthy development of girls aged between 10 and 19 in impoverished areas by raising awareness of empowerment and community support for girls. It commits to creating a charity platform for them and will provide equal, democratic, open, interactive and participatory trainings to effectively improve girls' qualities in all aspects.

The project adopts the operation model of international projects, advocates participatory education, and promotes study and growth in games and discussion. It focuses on training sessions on healthy development, self- confidence, gender and rights awareness, self-protection, healthcare, physical, reproductive and psychological health, and abilities and knowledge to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Many children in China do not have basic knowledge of sex because their parents or teachers are reluctant to talk about it. According to gynecology and obstetrics doctors at several major hospitals in Taiyuan, cases of accidental pregnancies, either as a result of sexual assault or romantic relationships, happen frequently, with the number of young girls undergoing abortions increasing year on year. Cases such as these occur more frequently in the migrant population and with younger and younger girls.

In recent years, all levels of party committees, governments and agencies have attached great importance to the issue. However, at the grassroots level, there is a severe lack of teachers and coaches, as well as guidance in schools and communities. Faced with these relatively new challenges, these schools and communities are unable to provide adequate guidance to children and teenagers.

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