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International News

China Tightens Restrictions for Web Sites on Sexual Health

June 30, 2009

Starting July 1, China will enforce new rules that will allow only government-sanctioned medical institutions to provide sexual health-related content on Web sites, with all such sites requiring approval by provincial-level health authorities.

The Ministry of Health said the guidelines are designed to improve the accuracy and scientific basis of medical health information on the Internet. The new rules, adopted in March but only recently made public, apply to topics including "sexual psychology, sexual ethics, sex medicine, and sex treatments." They are also understood to be the latest step in a widening campaign against online pornography.

Deng Haihua, head of the ministry's information office, was quoted by the state-run Xinhua News Agency as saying the guidelines will strengthen the government's "management and supervision of sex health Web sites in the country to guarantee scientific and accurate information and prevent lewd content in disguise."

Sex is a taboo topic in China, though interest in sexual health and reproductive education has risen along with income levels and changing social attitudes.

Liang Peiding, who runs a Web site that offers information on sexual health, said the ministry should not have jurisdiction to monitor online content. "Currently in China, parents never talk about sex with their kids, who instead gain sexual content through pornographic films. We use the Internet to guide them properly," he said.

Pan Suiming, director of the Institute of Sexuality and Gender at Beijing's Renmin University, called the new guidelines "mistaken."

Back to other news for June 2009

Adapted from:
Wall Street Journal
06.26.2009; Jeremy Chan

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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.
See Also
Chinese HIV/AIDS Organizations
More News on HIV/AIDS in China