Chinese Sex Education Textbook Triggered Controversy

By Yetta Yao, March 23, 2017 01:03 AM

An illustration in the sex education book for fourth grade students(GospelTimes.cn)

Recently, several controversies have risen regarding a series of sex education textbooks entitled "Cherish Life" for its bold discussion of sex and endorsement of homosexuality among Chinese Christians, parents, netizens and LGBT groups.

A report from ifeng.com, published on March 3, claims that a mother from Hangzhou posted pictures from the books on the Chinese social media platform Weibo on February 28. The article has been forwarded by many WeChat public groups.

An LGBT group commented, "It is hard to believe that a large amount of content in our college textbooks criticizes homosexuality as abnormal, inferior to elementary textbooks!"

However, a Christian WeChat account appeals, "Parents, look at what kind of sex education your children receive at schools. But, the reality is that homosexuality is exploding among young student colonies even without these sex education textbooks."

"How could we talk about education if there were homosexuals all around and no children?"

The textbooks are said to have twelve volumes, each book allotted for a semester for primary school. The material for the fourth grade to the sixth contain chapters on sexual fantasies, love and marriage, showing heterosexuality and homosexuality.

A special chapter in the book for the sixth grade stresses that people with different sexual orientations are entitled to equal rights and should not be the subject of discrimination. It also demonstrates that the causes of sexual orientation is still unknown, and cited the distinction between sexual orientation and sexual behavior and the concept of coming out. Gay marriage and the reproductive right of homosexuals are also covered.

An article written by a Christian slams the material as "brazen books", saying, "I'm wondering who wrote the material. Is it a homosexual? More importantly, how did it pass audits? Why would it be approved? Also passed by homosexuals? " The post adds, "It is inappropriate to only live our lives and enjoy ourselves without responsibility and mercy for the lost souls!"

Another WeChat account named "CCF Loves" questions, "The book mentions that homosexuals should not suffer discrimination, which is correct. For homosexuality, we show complete understanding; but, it doesn't mean full support. Will it influence the sexual orientations of pupils? "

An LGBT article states, "As the book says, 'Regarding homosexuality and bisexuality, it is just like some people prefer sweet things while others love spicy food. This should not be surprising.'  I feel gratitude for the progressive era and don't ruin the students' correct cognition because of your false claim."

A parent wonders if it is a good idea to teach sex education for students in the second grade and declares that schools should provide right guidance, according to ifeng.com. 

Translated by Karen Luo

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