First sex education to primary students
China first introduced sex education to primary students in August 2011, featuring a textbook called “The Footsteps of Growing Up.” Long a taboo subject, especially for children who are considered too young to digest the information, the rising number of teenage pregnancy has forced sexually conservative China to address the issue.
But many parents still remain nervous about the courses, while many see the textbook as too vulgar and explicit in its descriptions and illustrations. For example, the mechanics of sex is explained thusly: “To allow the sperm to find the ovum as soon as possible, Dad inserts his penis into Mom’s vagina at full tilt.”
Parents have questioned the necessity of using such language in a book geared toward young children.
“Children need to know sex is clean, beautiful, sacred, private and normal human psychological behavior when they are very young,” said Xiao Ji, a member of Scientific Squirrels, a popular science writing club. “We need more elegant words instead of ‘ejaculate at full tilt into mom’s vagina.’”
Another mom with the surname Liu asked, “Is it simply porn for children?”
The negative feedback has left some education bureaus backpedaling. The Beijing Education Bureau said that the book is still in its trial stage and that it had no plans to promote the book in schools.
But the book’s authors defended their work, saying, “If we don’t provide a proper and systematic way for children to get access to sexual knowledge, they would look for pornographic books and websites to satisfy their curiosity. Those would mislead them very much.”
Parents’ shyness in talking about sex misguides their children when they need to develop sexual morality, said Xiong Bingqi, a critic at Pearl River Evening News. “That is why there are so many pregnant teenagers or young victims of sexual harassments and sexual diseases,” he said.