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Chinese Parents Need Help with Sex Education

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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.

"I need professional help for my 6-year-old boy as the teachers in kindergarten have no idea about sex education," said a 30-year-old mother, who refused to be named.

"The teachers called me to the kindergarten when my boy said he loved a girl in his class, and my son refused to go to kindergarten after his teacher yelled at him for saying that," she said.

"I try to find information on sex education for children online. Not all of this information, however, is accurate," she said.

The mother is planning to pay for a four-hour course from Hu Ping, a sexologist who has given lectures on sex education in about 50 Chinese cities.

Every class is open to 10 children, and every child is asked to be accompanied by a parent, according to an online advertisement for the sex education class.

Hu runs her office in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, providing sex education classes to children between 6 and 13 years old, with different content according to their age.

"Young Chinese parents are more open to sex, but their method of imparting sex education sometimes leads the children astray," Hu told China Daily.

"The problem of sex education in China is not about a dearth of knowledge, but a lack of proper methods to spread the knowledge. Professional sex educationists in China are not up to the mark," she said.

"Sexual education should begin when your baby is born. The first class should teach them to respect their body," Hu said.

For example, children younger than 4 should learn the body's differences visually, which could satisfy their sexual psychological development, she said.

However, she also pointed out that sex education at the wrong age could provoke in young minds unbridled interest in sexual matters, resulting in increased and experimental sexual activity.

A recent China Youth News survey found that sexual issues often perturbed almost 73 percent of the respondents, and nearly 80 percent turned to the Internet for answers. Other favorite sources were books, friends and the media.

(China Daily August 18, 2010)

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