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International News

Chinese TV Series to Promote Sex Education

March 3, 2003

In a move to break the country's ancient taboo on discussing sex, China has created its first TV series focusing on sex education for young people. Entitled "How Can I Tell You This?", the series is centered around a group of junior high school students. Liu Zhixian, director of the series, hopes it will provoke a more open dialogue for discussing sexual health with children. The show garnered widespread attention from the conservative, self-conscious Chinese shortly after it began shooting in the east China province of Jiangxi.

In traditional Chinese culture, "sex" has long been considered a disgraceful word that few discuss openly. Children who asked about differences between men and women would be scolded. As a result, "many youngsters are ignorant even of some very basic facts about their body. It's not their fault -- their parents should enlighten them," said a man surnamed Li with a media organization in Nanchang.

Such evasiveness has caused most of the 20 million children reaching puberty each year to lack basic sex information. "Most of my classmates are sensitive to our physical changes ... which we can only discuss in private," said Liu Dewei, a leading actor in the new series and a third-year junior high student. As teenagers have more access to sex information in today's world, experts warn that parents and teachers should inform them properly to safeguard their mental and physical health. "Many youngsters have tried to get information from adult Web sites and porn videos. And juvenile pregnancies, drug abuse and STDs have risen among teenage students in recent years," said a teacher with the No.1 Secondary School in Nanchang.

China's education authority has offered young people more access to information about sex in recent years, and middle schools in major cities have included in their curriculum comprehensive sex education courses.

Back to other CDC news for March 3, 2003

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Adapted from:
Xinhua News Agency
02.24.03



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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