Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Birds and the Bees with Chinese Characteristics

Lots of kids in China think their parents picked them up in a garbage bin, when asked how they came into the world.

A special report from China Central Television asked this question on the street and got many absurd answers.

One middle-aged woman said her mother told her she had been found on a pile of stones, adding," I don't believe a word of that." She later told her own son he was found on the side of the road.

Two others replied their parents told them they'd sprung from holes in the ground. Another said his mother told him he had jumped from under a rock while she was herding goats.

A university student said she spent years believing that she'd come from her mother's armpit. "I knew nothing about sex until college," she said. "It has taken me a long time to overcome the embarrassment and fear to embrace the idea of sex."

Is it so bad to explain the birds and the bees in China?

While educators say it's good for children to have sex education in the classroom, either the parents don't want it to be taught in the classrooms or the school administrators think it's wasting valuable class time for other subjects.

And some experts are now calling for children in kindergarten to have classes on sex education so that they know the signs of sexual abuse, teen pregnancies and the perils of experimentation.

Liu Wenli, a professor with Beijing Normal University's National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, explained that there have been cases of children touching their classmates' genitals or masterbating in class. There was also a case of a girl who inserted a battery in her vagina.

Sex education is a must, especially today with societal attitudes changing so quickly in one generation in China. Many young people think abortion is the only form of birth control, and that kissing doesn't make one pregnant.

Hopefully this CCTV report will spark national discussion about sex education in China with the premise that arming children with more education is the best thing to do for the next generation.

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