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Expert slams meager sex education
Inadequate sex education is partially to blame for increased psychological problems among pubescent children, a psychological consultant told China Daily.
Boys and girls in China now reach sexual maturity at the age of 12 or 13, one year earlier than 10 years ago.
But the young people's knowledge of sex lags far behind, according to Zhang Chungai, a psychological consultant with the Green Apple Psychological Clinic at Beijing Hospital No 2.
"Psychological problems resulting from masturbation, wet dreams, and dysmenorrhoea often perplex boys and girls but the problems are rooted in sexual ignorance," said Zhang.
According to a survey conducted among children aged between 15 and 17 in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong Province, and Wuhan in Central China's Hubei Province, pornography was the main source of information about sex for nearly 70 per cent of the children.
Only 1.66 per cent of the children surveyed got their main information about sex through school, while just 1.32 per cent got most of their information from their parents.
Zhang said she was worried that most of the sexual pictures or stories that appear on adult websites or videos are sensational and give children wrong ideas about sex.
"So, both schools and families should set up appropriate channels and provide easy access to sex education for pubescent children," said Zhang, adding that such education in China is far from satisfactory.
"Sex and reproduction were taboo topics in China some decades ago, so even teachers were shy about talking about such things to their students," Zhang said.
And books that are used for sex education are not updated on a frequent basis, and students somewhat reject the contents as too vague and outdated, she added.
She appealed to the education authorities to attach more importance to sex education for pubescent students and to take positive action in this regard to ensure children's physiological and psychological health.
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