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Home  /  Picture of the Day  /  Pic of the Day by Category  /  Chinese Society & Education 社会和教育  /  北京发布小学性教育教材引广泛热议 - A sex-education primary-school textbook published in Beijing provokes hot debates
北京发布小学性教育教材引广泛热议 - A sex-education primary-school textbook published in Beijing provokes hot debates print version
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A new sex-education primary school textbook was released in Beijing this week, making some parents and experts believe it is too 'pornographic' (黄色). The book doesn't refer directly to sexual desires, though it does illustrate the procedure of reproduction and the female and male sex body parts.





A diagram of a sperm meeting an egg, taken from the 成长的脚步 sex-education book 

Beijing has published an experimental teaching book, called 'Steps of Growing up'. This is a sex-education book promoted by the Beijing Research Association for Sex-Health Education, targeted at elementary school pupils of age 6-12. This education book has been called by the media an avant-garde education book and "the capital's elementary sex education which breaks outside the traditional scale". It had evoked extensive hot discussions throughout China.

One mother is worried for her 8 years old daughter, saying this book brings about early maturation. In the opinion of this mother, kids of young age cannot distinguish right and wrong. Vice chief-editor of the biomedicine site 'Lilac Garden' (Dingxiang Yuan -, Feng Zhihua, is also a father. He believes this content is suitable elementary school pupils, and should be spread more extensively.

Deputy editor-in-chief of China's famous popular science internet site, Guoke Wang (, Wu Ou, believes that using direct language to describe sex is by no means a mistake, but the language in this textbook is too direct. Children sex education is a realm that must be planned and carefully considered. There is no problem in using illustration pictures, but the details should be considered thoroughly.

One of the compiling editors of this textbook, Lu Weihong, says that concerning the issue of children and teenager sex education, China's former conduct was rather conservative. In school education in particularly, this responsibility was lost and given to families and society. The various types of education textbooks that involved sex-education in past, have only made middle and elementary school pupils more confused. Director of the Sex-Education Research Center of Beijing Normal University, Zhang Meimei, says that in the long period of elementary and middle school, sex education suffers from deficiencies. Children don't understand one's own development and when reaching puberty this creates many psychological problems. She believes that this education textbook absorbs the quintessence of foreign sex-education, integrated with Chinese traditional culture, and could provide relevant sex-education knowledge, value judgment and behavior guide,  to pupils, teachers and parents.

Original article published by Xinhua News Agency 新华

[1] 《成长的脚步》chéngzhǎng de jiǎobù - 'Growing up steps'; the controversial textbook tested within the Beijing education domain

[2] 试点 shì diǎn - Experimental

[3]教材jiàocái - Education textbook

[4] 北京性健康教育研究会běijīng xìng jiànkāng jiàoyù yánjiū huì - Beijing Sex-Health Education Research Association; a Beijing governmental education-research center

[5] 性教材 xìng jiàocái - Sex-education textbook

[6] 前卫 qián wèi - Avant-garde

[7] 早熟zǎo shú - Early-maturing

[8] 分辨是非 fēnbiàn shìfēi - Distinguish between right and wrong

[9] 生物医药 shēngwù yīyào - Biomedicine

[10] 副主编 fù zhǔbiān - Vice chief-editor

[11] 科普 kēpǔ - Popular science

[12] 副总编 fù zǒng biān - Deputy editor-in-chief

[13] 图示 tú shì - Illustrating pictures

[14] 青少年 qīngshàonián - Children and teenagers

[15] 北京师范大学性教育研究中心 běijīng shīfàndàxué xìng jiàoyù yánjiūzhōngxīn - Sex Education Research Center of Beijing Normal University (a large-scale university focusing on education studies and teacher training

[16] 主任 zhǔrèn - Director

[17] 青春期 qīngchūnqī - Puberty

[18] 精华 jīnghuá - Quintessence, example

[19] 价值判断 jiàzhí pànduàn - Value judgement

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