Friday, November 6, 2009

Sex Ed (or lack thereof) in China

Slate has an entertaining/disturbing piece up about sex education in China:

The first time Hu Jing tried to have sex with her college boyfriend, there was a technical difficulty. "We knew we had to use a condom," she said. "But we didn't know how."

Faced with this conundrum, Hu and her boyfriend went looking for answers—he from his more experienced friends, she from the university library, where she combed through Dream of the Red Chamber, a literary classic from the Qing Dynasty.

The following week, they reconvened for a second try. This time, they managed to roll on the condom but then … well, where was the penis supposed to go? It took another week of research before they succeeded in doing the deed.

* * *

Even though Chinese culture has become increasingly liberal, traditional values endure. As a result, there's a gap between how open people are about sex and how informed they are, and stories like Hu's are more common than you might expect.


Wendy said...

I will give them one thing, they didn't give up looking for the information!

When we were in Guiping, the room had a great assortment of condoms, edible underwear, and gels in case the mood should happen to strike! And this was the "really good" hotel. What a difference a country makes--here we get that in the sleazy ones. lol

In all seriousness, you can't just provide the condoms, pills, etc. you have to teach about them--we can take lesson on that too. I have never understood the fear of sex, it is a part of being human--the less education, the more apt you are to get it wrong (getting disease, unwanted pregnancy) or just listen to the word on the street--namely other young, uninformed teens who merely figured out how to put the key in the hole. With the stakes as high as they are in terms of consequences, I should think those that know would be more than happy to educate and pass on all of the safety information we have.

malinda said...

Oh, yes, we were in the same hotel in Guiping -- loved trying to duck my kids' "what's that?" questions about those "accessories!"

I don't think we do much better about teaching sex ed in schools in the U.S. -- but kids here are much more sexually knowledgeable, for good or ill, than young people in China. They still won't know what they need to know about contraceptives and avoidance of STDs if we leave it to the schools here.

Wendy said...

I agree Malinda. As I was reading I wondered how many of the uninformed in the US would consult the sources listed :-) I think access to the web makes it much easier in that respect, although a bit worrisome of some the odd advice out there.
Glad I started with M at age three.