Xinhua News Agency (10.24.11) - Thursday, October 27, 2011
On Monday, the first school received a new sex education
textbook expected to be introduced in 18 schools in Shanghai's
Yangpu district. Monday's class was open to parents, education
officials, and journalists.
Third-graders at a primary school affiliated with the Shanghai
University of Science began learning lessons from the new
"Boys and Girls" textbook, which is offered in three volumes
for children of different ages across six grades.
In "Traffic Lights for Our Bodies," third-graders are taught
about their anatomy and how to protect themselves. The
children learn to recognize reproductive organs and sensitive
areas, and hold up "red lights" or "green lights" when they
see offensive or friendly gestures in pictures displayed by
the teacher. The students also play a game in which they cover
the private parts of cartoon human bodies with pieces of
Parents "find it hard to talk about sex with our children, but
the students have not been as shy as I imagined," said a
mother named Chen Ying. "On the contrary, it was quite natural
for the kids." "We designed the program to teach kids about
gender," said Ding Limin, headmaster. "The program includes
self-awareness, gender knowledge and ethics, as well as sexual
In the first volume of "Boys and Girls," which targets first
and second grades, the question "Where am I from?" is
approached with cartoons and a story about conception. "Daddy
and mommy fall in love and marry. Ova in mom's ovaries and
sperm in dad's testes meet each other and then here you come!"
the book says. For older students, lessons include identifying
sexual assault and how to protect themselves.