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ERIC Number: EJ870327
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0218-8791
Sexuality Education in China: The Conflict between Reality and Ideology
Li, Ling; King, Mark E.; Winter, Sam
Asia Pacific Journal of Education, v29 n4 p469-480 Dec 2009
The December 2008 release of China's new "Guidelines for health education in primary and secondary schools" by the Ministry of Education addressed many of the concerns arising from the academic and popular discourse on Chinese adolescent sexuality and sexuality education. The focus of this reform, common with similar reforms elsewhere in Asia and the West, aims at promoting adolescent sexual health and countering the associated social and public health problems. However, unlike adolescents in other countries, Chinese adolescents are constructing their sexuality in a unique socio-economic context with strong influences from deeply rooted puritan Confucian norms and values. Situating adolescent sexuality construction and the new guidelines within such multiple discourses, this article examines the changes in the new guidelines, with particular attention to the distinctive Chinese characteristics of sexuality construction. Based on a large sample empirical study, the paper concurrently explores how Chinese adolescents negotiate the development of their sexuality by investigating sexuality-related attitudes, behaviours, and sources of sexuality-related information. It reveals that though the incidence of Chinese adolescents engaging in sexual behaviours is low compared to their Western counterparts, their attitudes toward sexuality are becoming increasingly liberal. It also indicates that this abstinence-based policy may be deemed justifiable according to the low incidence of sexual intercourse at the moment, but may be viewed as problematic if it has the potential to disempower adolescents from protecting themselves from other health-compromising risks. Thus, for future policy development, the authorities should consider ways they could empower adolescents to address these challenges. (Contains 4 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 11; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China