Moral outrage and hand-wringing over teaching kids about sex? Staying up nights worrying over the thought of innocent children learning the function and geography naughty bits? An unnamed kindergarten in the Henan capital of Zhengzhou has managed to transcend traditionally retrograde attitudes on sex education, having reportedly taught 4 and 5-year-old children sex-ed since 2008.
A recent typical exchange at the school included a new student asking if babies fell from the sky and then grew in the earth, only for another girl to raise her hand and tell the class the truth: “Daddy’s sperm finds mommy’s egg, and then a baby grows inside mommy’s stomach!”
The teacher, surnamed Hou (侯), then asked the class how sperm swims to find the egg, with her students replying by clasping their hands together and moving them in a side-to-side tadpole-like swimming motion. Other facts of life are also explained as part of the class, including the names and functions of male and female genitalia, and the inevitability of pubic hair.
Honestly though, the only significant thing about this particular case is the youth of the students learning about sex, topping what we thought was the previous youngest possible age allowable for sex-ed.
Then again, Chinese education generally has a different attitude towards the notion of childhood, allowing kids to be exposed to things other parents would stall for later years. Children as young as five and six are often expected to study long hours and participate in self-rounding extra-curricular activities (if their parents can afford it), when kids in other countries are still spending their free time brushing Barbie’s hair, or building and destroying cities made of Lego. Just like the Gloved One, Chinese kids in general have to forfeit much of their childhood. And we all know how that turned out.
So are Chinese schools shining exemplars of an enlightened approach to sex-ed in schools, or just completely off their trolley? Hey, it’s not like kindergarteners can actually act on anything they’re learning in class, right?
Photos from Tencent News