Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sex Ed Issues in China

China's dangerous sexual ignorance

In one cafe in southern China, pictures of naked women hang on the walls - a rare sight in this country.
But that is what this cafe is all about. It was set up by the City Government Reproductive Health Centre, and is an attempt to bring sex education into the open.

The centre's director, Tao Lin, showed me the services on offer - free condoms, and books and information about sex.

This drop-in sex education cafe is a pioneering concept, the first of its kind in China. Yet, it is almost completely empty.

Tao Lin admitted the hardest thing was breaking the taboo surrounding sex.

"Our challenge is that people are still too shy to talk about sex. It is difficult to know the right approach. People use tabloids or websites to find out information about sex, but it is often incorrect or unreliable," he said.

Out of sight

One survey has suggested that 75% of young Chinese learn about sex through pornography or porn websites, and computers certainly offer young people the chance to find out about sex in private.

In the back of the cafe, three young women are tapping away at keyboards.

"I want to find out about contraception, what choice there is, and how to use it," said 22-year-old pharmacology student Wu Dinliang, blushing.

She said she had never been taught about contraception.

Counsellor Tang Weiyao confirmed that even the most highly educated Chinese could be ignorant about sex.

"I had two university students who had been married for two years and hadn't managed to have children. They went to the hospital for a check-up and it emerged that they didn't even know the first thing about sex. They thought simply sleeping in the same bed would get her pregnant," she said.

Yikes! Honestly, I am not making fun of anyone here. I've had this blog for a few years and there has been little, if any, sex talk here, and I can guarantee that they might even be less going forward. Adam and Eve were hiding for a reason. But, how is it that you sleep with your spouse and . . . you know . . . expect to get pregnant BVM style. Is it that . . . unobvious?

This is an interesting case for the natural law folks. I've always argued that things we take for granted as being natural are really cultural conditioning. We simply aren't aware how much information we absorb from the culture around us. And, by the way, I'm not talking about a west-east, etc, thing. I'm just talking about a case, this case like many other cultural situations, in which sex is such a taboo that one can go into a marriage and not understand how things work.


Blogger Ambrose said...

so much for relying on the proverbial gutter

10:41 PM  
Blogger Ono said...

Yup! I suppose those gutters are cleaner than we all think. Or it could be that these young people think they are complete perverts for having such untoward urges towards their spouses.

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