A group of 11 students at Beijing Normal University held a demonstration this week demanding better sex education at China’s colleges.
The students were seen holding signs that read “Adult videos can’t be our sex education; universities must say yes to sex education” and “We want to enjoy safe sex lives”.
“My own sex education was practically nothing,” one protestor at the scene, identified as Dada, told iCrossChina.
She added that some students’ lack of knowledge surrounding sex was “ridiculous”, citing the case of her own boyfriend who actually thought menstrual blood was blue, as shown in sanitary pad advertisements.
The abysmal state of sex education in China has long been noted and discussed, and while even the majority of Chinese parents have called for better sex education for their kids, it’s made little progress as sex remains a taboo topic in schools.
A survey from September 2013 showed that over 50 percent of sexually active, student-age respondents didn’t use contraception the first time they and sex, and the year before, the National Health and Family Planning Commission reported that 13 million Chinese women, half of them university students, underwent abortion procedures each year.
Even more alarming, as Xinhua reported last year, an estimated 7,000 people in the country of student age are HIV-positive.
Recent reports have indicated that HIV cases attributed to unsafe sex continue to rise in China, as sexual contact now accounts for almost 90 percent of the country’s new HIV infections.
The student demonstrators believe that better sex education across the country could address some of these staggering statistics.
“College is the last chance to get a systematic education. After graduation, most students marry and need to educate their own children,” Xiao Ying, a protestor from Beijing Forestry University, told iCrossChina.
“In China, most men pick up sex knowledge from adult videos, but these contain unfiltered information leading to misunderstandings about relationships,” Lu Peiwen, the only male demonstrator from Xi’an International University, was quoted as saying. “Bridging the gap between genders can remove those misunderstandings.”