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UN calls for more sex ed in country

Updated: 2014-11-25 07:42
By Wang Xiaodong (China Daily)

China needs to provide more sex education to youth to ensure the health of the young people, who are critical to the country's future, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

"Many young people (in China) do have sex before they get married, but we don't have a health policy that actually responds to that, so there are millions of abortions every year, and almost half of them are from adolescents," Arie Hoekman, UNFPA's representative in China, said on Monday.

"It could have been so easier if we could just acknowledge that and have more sex education among young people, and have contraceptives so young people can protect themselves," he said at an event to mark the release of the report State of World Population 2014.

China has nearly 278 million young people 10 to 24 years old, the largest group in that range in the history of the country, according to UNFPA. There are about 10 million abortions in China every year, and a major reason is the lack of sex education and contraception knowledge among young people, experts say.

Lian Si, a professor in population studies at the University of International Business and Economics, said students in China in general lack enough sex education.

"Sex education classes are scarce, and many students have never had physiology classes even after they become college students," he said.

The large young migrant population in big cities is more in need of basic public services such as medical care and contraception, he said.

Zou Bo, a columnist who made a one-minute sex education video that has been seen by nearly 60 million viewers, said: "Sexual and reproductive health is at the heart of young people's transition into adulthood.

"With inadequate provision of comprehensive sex education in schools, alternative innovations play a critical role in filing the gaps," Zou said.

"Making sex education fun is the key to success."


(China Daily 11/25/2014 page3)

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