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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

CHINA: Talking About Sex with Kids




 

Xinhua News Agency (10.04.11) - Friday, October 07, 2011

Some primary schools in Beijing are trying to improve sex education, responding to the lack of such courses in Chinese public schools. High school "physical hygiene" courses cover reproductive organs, but most teachers let students read the textbooks on their own.

"We showed videos about physiological changes in adolescence to our boys and girls separately," said Liu Yajun, who teaches 11-year-olds at a school affiliated with Beijing Medical University. "When we were showing the girls' movie, the boys were curious and watched through a window. Children really want to know about it." A game in Hepingli No. 1 Primary School teaches boys and girls how sperm meets and fertilizes an ovum. Nine-year-olds in Anhuili Central Primary School are led to opposite-sex bathrooms to learn differences between boys and girls.

Of young people calling the Beijing Youth Law and Psychology Consultancy Center on sexual health matters, "Their questions used to concern mundane things, like masturbation," said Zong Chunshan, the center's director and council member of the Beijing Sex Education Association. "But in recent years there have been more questions about sexual relations, pregnancy, and abortion." "There are no specialized teaching disciplines, no appropriate textbooks, and no curricula for sex education in primary and middle schools," said Zhang Meimei, director of Capital Normal University's Sex Education Research Center. "Only when there are some accidents or problems happening, maybe a lecture or consultation would be held in schools. But there is no regular class for sex education." Zhang's center worked with the Beijing Municipal Education Commission to improve sex education, piloting a program in 10 primary and 20 middle schools in 2009. This year, 48 schools are in the program.

"The teachers participating in the program come from a variety of disciplines, such as biology, psychology, and mathematics," Zhang said.



 


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Information in this article was accurate in October 7, 2011. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.