Sex education for children

Updated: 2014-03-28 13:24

Editor's note

How to answer when their kids ask, "Where do I come from? " - Whether to reply directly or to avoid saying, that is a question for many parents. Sex education has always been a concern for teachers and parents. Sexual assault cases against children make this kind of education necessary and urgent. This special coverage sheds light on sex education in China and how other countries' experiences might be helpful to China's practice.

Sex education for children

Sexual assaults against children

Sex education for children

Gymnastics school heads accused of sexual assault

The head of the school, Liu Zhiqiang, 48, and deputy head Zeng Rong, 52, of the Hunan Provincial Gymnastics School in Changsha were detained in November 2013 under suspicion of molesting six students on several occasions.

Sex education for children

School girl rapists sentenced in Hainan

A former school principal and government clerk who raped primary school girls in hotels in May were respectively sentenced to 13 and half and 11 and half years in jail on June, 20, 2013. The trials were held behind closed doors.

The No 1 Intermediate People's Court of Hainan province said it heard the cases of Chen Zaipeng, the former principal of Wanning No 2 Primary School.

Sex education for children

School teacher nabbed for molesting students

Yang Shifu, the 56-year-old teacher, has been arrested on charges of sexual assault, said police in Tongbo county on May 26, 2013.

It was discovered that Yang had been molesting his students for many years, which is what local villagers first reported to dahe.cn, an affiliated website of the Henan Daily Newspaper Group.

In August, 2013, Guo Yuchi, an official from Daguan, Yunnan province, was arrested on suspicion of raping a 4-year-old girl. Guo was convicted of the crime and was sentenced to five years in prison. Parents of the victim refused to accept the verdict and lodged an appeal in October. In June, 2013, Yang Qifa, 59, principal of a primary school in Qianshan, Anhui province, was convicted of sexually assaulting nine students from the first to fourth grades, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
In June, 2013, Li Xingong, an official from Yongcheng, Henan province, was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting 11 girls, the youngest of whom was 9 years old. Li was sentenced to death and was executed on June 18. In June, 2013, Ji Songgang, a security guard in Wuhu, Anhui province, was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting more than 10 primary school students, aged from 7 to 10 years. The case is still under investigation.

Lack of sex education

How many parents teach children sex knowledge? How many times do teacher give sex education? How many kids know the idea of sex education?

Sex education for children

Source of the graphs: China Social Assistance Foundation

Sex education for children

Sex education for children

Sex education is urgent Parents need help with sex education
The headmaster of a school in the recent assault case said a lack of sex education for children contributed to the problem as the youngsters did not know how to protect themselves when assaulted. Some of the victims did not know they were sexually assaulted. When is the right time to talk to your children about sex? An increasing number of Chinese parents, most of whom belong to the post-80s generation, choose to pay for a professional answer.
Sex education needs to be improved Code highlights 'extreme' lack of sex education
We cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore. It's time we provided better sex education to both pre-teens and teenagers in Hong Kong and on the mainland. The lack of sex education, especially concerning how to prevent abuse of young children, is in the spotlight following the release of a code of conduct at a primary school in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province.

Stages of sex education suggested by experts

Misconceptions about sex education

Sex education for children

I Sex education will lead to early sexual activity

Truth: Reports say that sex education will contribute to deferred, more responsible sexual activities rather than early sex.

II Parents avoid the questions about sex

Truth: Parents should be honest and blunt when children bring up questions about sex, letting them understand that all the body parts are important, especially private parts requiring more protection.

Don't be harsh by saying "it's a sin" or "it's filthy" when children play with their body parts, including their private parts. Otherwise children will believe sexual activity is something negative.

III Children will know it by themselves when they grow up

Truth: Without any official channels to know truthful information about sex, teenagers might acquire incorrect information from their peers, the media or other sources, which could lead them astray.

IV Sex education is included in schools' classes, such as biology or life skills

Truth: There are no systematic classes taught about sex in other disciplines. Even if there is any, the information is out of date, which can’t help with practical problems.

How other countries teach sex education

Sex education for children


Sex education for children

The Netherlands

Since 1942, Swedish schools have taught sexual education to children aged 7 and older. Usually, primary schools teach about pregnancy and childbirth, middle schools cover physical knowledge and education for college students focuses on love, marriage and contraception.

In 1966, Sweden tried to teach sexual education through education TV programs.

Students start sexual education instruction when they enter primary school at about age 6. Family plays an important role in sex education in the Netherlands. Dutch parents explain sex-related information in casual ways. They don't treat it as a serious topic or pick out a special moment to speak up, but will talk about it during casual chats. Then children know sex is not something bad or mysterious.

Sex education for children


Sex education for children


According to the British law, 5-year-olds must begin mandatory sexual education. Students in public schools are divided into four age groups, and each of them receives different sexual education information in line with their ages.

Schools also encourage students to form groups to discuss what they've learned.

Japanese primary schools offer one or two-hour lectures each year on the physical differences between men and women, menstruation and pregnancy. Primary and middle schools also offer short lectures on contraception and sexually transmitted diseases. In high schools' sports and health courses, and family life courses, information about contraception, abortion and sexual morality are included.

Video: Progress of sex education in China


Sex education for children

What's your answer if your young child asks you, "Where do I come from?"
  • Answer directly - the combination of sperm and ovum.
  • Answer indirectly - from mother's belly.
  • Picked out of a river or from a garbage heap.
  • Jumped out of an egg.
  • Other answers.

Sex education for children

Photo gallery

Sex education for children

Sex education for children Sex education for children
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