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Innovative sex education wins acclaim

Updated: 2015-06-08 07:46
By Xinhua in Wuhan (China Daily)

A nurse's frank approach to teaching her 11-year-old son about sex has led to her being invited to his school to teach sex education, a move which has won acclaim across the country.

Zhou Li, a nurse at Wuhan Third Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, conducted the classes earlier this week after her son, Niu Niu, boasted to classmates about the knowledge his mother had imparted at home through PowerPoint presentations.

Now she has given the talk to more than 300 fifth-and sixth-graders at the school in Wuchang district.

"Some of their parents told them they were born from a rock, just like the Monkey King," Zhou said, adding that some were even told that they were freebies given away by telecom operators.

Sex talk is still taboo in China, where thousands of years of feudal values cast a shadow over people's attitudes. Chinese parents are often embarrassed to teach their offspring, resulting in low levels of sex education among the young, many of whom are susceptible to sexual abuse.

Last week, a former schoolteacher was executed for the rape and sexual abuse of 26 children in Gansu province.

Zhou felt it was urgent to teach Niu Niu as he entered puberty. Last week for Children's Day, she gave him a special gift: a sex lesson packaged in PowerPoint slides.

"I gave him three science books about sex when he tried to hide his underwear after his first wet dream two months ago," Zhou laughed. "He called me sleazy."

To get Niu Niu to accept that sex education is normal rather than shameful, Zhou came up with an idea. She bought a number of well-known sex education books, including "Where Willy Went" - the story of a sperm cell who lives inside "Mr Browne" with 300 million friends, training for the "great swimming race" - and turned important parts of them into PowerPoint slides after she overheard Niu Niu saying he had been interested by PowerPoint presentations at school.

The slides, coupled with Zhou's descriptions, eased Niu Niu's mind, and made him confident enough to talk to his friends about the lesson.

The story has caused quite a splash on the Internet.

"Sex education should be regarded as a scientific subject instead of obscenity," wrote one netizen. "Zhou did a good job."

"Sex education is not evil and scary," Zhou said. "Only when you view it scientifically can you help your children grow healthily and prevent sexual abuse that can happen because of a lack of knowledge."

(China Daily 06/08/2015 page5)

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