A new elective sex education class has become the hottest course on campus at one Hubei university, once again underscoring the need to reform China’s abysmal sex ed system.
Seats for the course, called “Sexual Health and Culture” were snapped up in seconds by eager students at the Wuhan University of Technology Huaxia College. Those who weren’t lucky enough to get in were left pressing their ears against the classroom wall to try to hear what was being discussed inside.
A Wuhan Evening News reporter sat in on one class, describing how a pair of professors began by giving a lecture on the subject of human sexuality before turning things over to a special guest who talked about his own experiences struggling with HIV/AIDS.
While at first, the students were a bit embarrassed about the subject material, they gradually became more comfortable and started asking questions and engaging in discussion. “Many questions I would feel very awkward asking my parents, but here in class, I don’t feel any pressure,” said one student.
The professor who organized the class said that often she had noticed that students were curious about questions concerning their body and sex, but were too shy to ask. Therefore, the purpose of the course is to give them an accurate and objective base of knowledge about these subjects.
The tremendous success of the course has given Chinese netizens yet another opportunity to criticize China’s notoriously awful sex education system, arguing that this kind of class should be available to students long before they reach university.
Earlier this year, a surprisingly progressive sex education curriculum for kids stirred up controversy across China. While the books quickly sold out online, they were removed from the Hangzhou primary school where they were first introduced with the school suspending sex education classes.
Back in 2014, a group of Beijing Normal University students staged a protest on their campus, demanding better sex education at China’s colleges, holding up 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.”
According to 2016 survey, 76 percent of Chinese college students say they are up for having premarital sex, while, in the same survey, 10% of female college students admitted to having at least one abortion.
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