Sex education was formally introduced in China in 1985 and push forward by a government directive in 2011. In 1985, fourth graders were shown anatomically correct bodies and told about sexual reproduction and middle school students attended classes in "adolescent studies." The result was that children were often better informed about sex than their parents. One 12-year-old boy who was taken to a clinic by his mother after she discovered stains on his sheets told his mother, “Wet dreams are normal. They told us that at school."

In 2020, the China Family Planning Association, Tsinghua University’s Research Center for Public Health, and China Youth Network conducted a sex survey involved 54,580 students from 1,764 universities nationwide. Zhang Wanqing wrote in Sixth Tone: Only half of the surveyed students said they received sex education in school, and less than 15% said they felt “very satisfied” with what they were taught. Inadequate sex education in Chinese schools has led to a limited understanding of reproduction and sexual health, often prompting parents to send children to special classes to learn about the birds and the bees. The report suggested students didn’t have a healthy understanding of sex-related issues, including contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and abortion: On these topics, students answered just four out of the nine questions correctly, on average.[Source: Zhang Wanqing, Sixth Tone, May 15, 2020]

“Sex education in China is unsatisfactory,” Guo Yueping, a researcher from China Youth Network who specializes in adolescent sexual and reproductive health, told Sixth Tone. “We need to pay more attention to sex education and broaden the learning channels through online mediums, as well as social media.” More than half of the respondents also said they had searched for pornography online, despite such content being illegal in China.

According to “Growing Up Sexually: “ In 1984, Shek and Mak argued that 1) sex education has never been a formal subject, 2) few other subjects have components related to sex education, and 3) subjects which might include sex education are not offered at all schools. Until recently, “open public discussion of sexuality topics was taboo in China”. Yang (1945) stated that no sex instruction was given, but also that things “have recently begun to change”. The subject of sex in jokes is taboo even among adolescents, although boys, unlike girls, may go naked until age ten in summer. Fang-fu Ruan and Lau (1997) stated that “sexual play and sex rehearsal play, both alone and with peers, are punished when discovered. Such behavior is seldom if ever reported or commented on in public”. [Source: “Growing Up Sexually, Volume” I by D. F. Janssen, World Reference Atlas, 2004]

Sex education in the schools is still in the developing stages. Different districts have different texts. A typical sex education film shows some sperm uniting with an egg and some clips of animals having sex. Xu Zhenlei, an official with the China Sexology Association told the Washington Post: “Generally speaking, most parents are against sex education. If you are talking about the sex education they say, “Don’t date and focus on your studies.”

A United Nations-funded survey of 22,288 Chinese aged 15-24 by the Peking University Population Research Institute in 2009 found that two-thirds were accepting of premarital sex but that most "had very limited levels of sexual reproductive health knowledge." The survey found 22 per cent had had sex before; of those, more than 50 per cent used no contraception during their first sexual encounter.

Websites and Sources: USA Today piece ; Sex Incidents in China ; Sex Industry ; Chinese sex toy maker lacyshaki.en ; Books: “Sexual Life of Ancient China”, written by Robert van Gulik in the 1920s; “The Illustrated Handbook of Chinese Sex History” by Professor Liu Dalin and “Sex China Studies in Sexology in Chinese Culture” by Fang-ju Juan, The Sexology Research Institute of China is at People's University in Beijing. Sex History and Literature Ancient Sex Culture ; Chinese Sex Literature ; Sex in Ancient China Book Review Prostitution in China : Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Shanghaiist blog ; Homosexuality in China History of Gay life in China

Sex Education Controversy in 2020

The State Council, China’s Cabinet, urged all schools to make sexual and reproductive health education part of their compulsory curriculums in 2011. But as of 2020 lessons covering sex-related topics were still limited and not offered at all in many Chinese schools. Plus, sex education advocates had to push back after Chinese parent denounced reproductive anatomy lesson in primary school [Source: Jiayun Feng, SupChina, September 22, 2020]

Jiayun Feng wrote in SupChina: “A Chinese mother of a nine-year-old girl recently shared her indignation over how her child was taught about human anatomy and reproduction at school, accusing her daughter’s teacher of providing sex education too early. Her complaint, however, was swiftly dismissed as prudish and backward by an overwhelming number of people on social media, who leveraged the situation to call for more candid conversations about sex in Chinese classrooms.

“According to a series of screenshots of WeChat messages shared by the parent, she decided to reach out to the teacher after her daughter came home from school one day, telling her what she learned about “pregnancy” and “anatomical differences between men and women.” “My daughter is clearly below the age when she can listen to this kind of stuff. Also, there are both boys and girls in the class. It never crossed your mind that this conversation should be held without the presence of boys?” she wrote. The teacher explained that because one of the girl’s instructors was pregnant and the students were asking questions about it, she thought it was a “good opportunity” to teach them about issues relating to human sexuality. The exchange ended with the parent stating that she would take the issue to the school’s principal.

“When the post made its way to Weibo, it quickly went viral. As of today, the main hashtag associated with the issue, “Teacher faces complaints from a parent after teaching kids about pregnancy” (# #), has accumulated over 900 million views and roughly 44,000 comments, most of which were in favor of the teacher’s approach to sex education. “Pedophiles never think a child is too young to assault, ” wrote (in Chinese) one person. Another response read, “This is beyond stupid and ignorant. Everything said by the teacher is age appropriate. Actually, schools need more teachers like this one, who understands the importance of sex education for young children and is good at answering sex-related questions in a responsible way.”

The lack of sex education teaching is caused by a variety of factors, predominantly the reluctance of many teachers to mention sex in classrooms and regular backlash from conservative parents. For example, in 2017, a primary school in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, stopped using a sex education textbook after receiving complaints from concerned parents, who regarded the book’s explicit illustrations of reproductive organs as inappropriate.

Lack of Sex Education in China

In the Mao era, with taboos on the discussion of sex and a lack of sex education, many Chinese grew up ignorant about sex. One Chinese doctor told the New York Times, "particularly in the small cities and towns, sheer ignorance of sex is a big, big problem There are so many wrong ideas, even among doctors, that people don't know what to believe." To make his point he showed an article in army magazine by an "expert" on premature ejaculation who warned that masturbation led to impotence. Free sex education workshops are held in some places for adults. Many of those who attend are adults who are planning to get married in the near future. One man attending one of these classes told the New York Times, "I need to learn some things: when is the best time to get pregnant, what kinds of contraceptives are available? Both men and women should be informed."

In rural areas there is still a lot of ignorance. In 2016, CNN reported: “Thirteen and just married, Jie looks at her wedding picture framed in white. Next to it, incongruously, are stickers from the Pixar movie "Cars." Jie married her 16-year-old husband three days after they met during the Lunar New Year in 2014. Not long after, she was pregnant. It sounds like a scene from China's feudal past, when early marriage was customary, especially for girls, but teenage brides and grooms aren't uncommon in some poor and rural parts of the country's hinterland. [Source: CNN, April 14, 2016]

“Jie didn't want to fall pregnant so soon after getting married but didn't know about birth control. Xiao, who traveled in the region for 18 days, said the marriages didn't appear to be the result of parental pressure, nor a kneejerk response to an unexpected pregnancy. "I didn't see any forced marriage. The kids are happy, they say they fell in love."

“Xiao blames a lack of sex education and that many children in villages grow up without the supervision of one or both their parents — part of China's "left behind" generation whose parents go off to work in factory towns and richer cities. "They watch a lot of romantic dramas but they don't have much sex education. No one told them that having sex isn't the right thing to do." But Xiao's warm-hearted images don't pass judgment. They show couples that, for the moment at least, look very much in love.

Sexual Knowledge in China

According to “Growing Up Sexually: “ A study by Shu et al. (1997) was to investigate sexual knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of fifth and sixth grade students in aboriginal elementary schools in the Ping-Tung area. The results as summarised by the authors: “1) The sexual knowledge score was low but sexual attitudes showed a positive trend. 2) 64.7 percent and 67.4 percent of students had at some time seen pictures of male or female sexual organs. 3) About 61 percent of students had seen sexual magazines or videotapes. 4) 66.2 percent of male and 88.1 percent of female students had heard about wet dreams or menstruation before their first experience; more than half of the students thought that wet dreams need treatment. 5) 17.8 percent of students had masturbation experience, and after that 59.3 percent of students had fear or guilt feeling. 6) Female students had significantly higher knowledge and attitude scores than male students, demographic variables produced no significant difference in the above scores. 7) 42.4 percent of students most desired to know what phenomena indicate sexual maturity. 8) Sex knowledge had significantly positive correlation with sex attitude”. [Source: “Growing Up Sexually, Volume” I by D. F. Janssen, World Reference Atlas, 2004]

Evans argues that “the explosion of sexually explicit material since the 1980s and the transformation of sexual practices among urban young people suggest the emergence of a new sexual culture in China’s urban centers”. Zhang et al. argued that “Since the one-child family and open door policies in the 1970s and the economic reforms of the 1980s, attitudes toward sexuality in the People’s Republic of China have changed. Premarital sex has become widely accepted among young people”. Data from 1988 indicated that teenagers in China do not find premarital sex to be acceptable, yet they seem to be tolerant of those who engage in sexual activity. Compared to Western societies, the rates of masturbation and homosexual experience were much lower than those of the Western youths in the same age range.

In a senior high school in the Weicheng District of Weifang City, 47.9 percent of male students and 63.8 percent of female students did not have previous knowledge about puberty, 39.9 percent of boys and 52.2 percent of girls felt puzzled and disgusted with the onset of puberty (Guang-Ren, 1997). About 18 percent of boys and about 2 percent of girls reported masturbation. The average frequency of masturbation was 3.5 times a month in the boys and two times monthly in girls. Adolescents acquired sexual knowledge and information predominantly from magazines (25.8 percent of boys and 28.0 percent of girls). About 64 percent of boys and 44 percent of girls wanted to be given educational programs on sex.

Early Sex Education in China

Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham wrote in the “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”: “Modern China was marked by the introduction of new emerging disciplines such as psychology. In the early 1920s, sex education and sex instruction, sexual advice, and lifestyle choices were widely discussed and covered by newspapers, magazines, and other media as a part of the urban culture; however these advances in thinking never reached rural and other remote areas. Early proponents of sex education include famous writers and social activists such as Lu Xun, Hu Shi, Zhou Zhuoren, and others. In 1909 Lu Xun, who received his medical education in Japan, introduced sexual anatomy to biology students. In 1919 Hu Shi advocated for women's rights, and Dr. Zhang Yaoxiang, a U.S.-trained psychologist, conducted the first survey on sex and translated a comprehensive lecture series on sex education, complete with a curriculum.[Source: Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham, “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”, Thomson Gale, 2007]

“In 1921 Dr. Zhang Jingshen, a scholar educated in France, taught the history of psychology, esthetics and contraception, birth control, eugenics, sex education, sex research, and marriage at Beijing University. He established campus-wide clubs and societies so that he could systematically introduce sexology. Later Zhang Jingshen wrote for a popular newspaper, asking the public to send him their sex histories. Using these submissions, he published, in 1926, the first issues of a periodical called Sex History. Later in Shanghai, he published a sex education series, as well as the Chinese translation of English psychologist Havelock Ellis's (1859-1939) works. In 1936 medical doctor Din Zhan opened a psychological counseling service in Beijing. In 1949 sociologist Fei Xiaotong published a book called The Reproductive System, which discussed the roles of both genders in human reproduction.

“During the 1920s and 1930s, visitors from Europe and North America spoke to Chinese audiences. These included birth-control leader Margaret Sanger (1883-1966), who spoke at Beijing University, and German physician Magnus Hirschfield (1868-1935), who visited Shanghai and lectured at the Shanghai Women's Club. Another well-known writer, Zhou Zhuoren, introduced Ellis's sex studies and called for better sex education and a new, modern morality. Pan Guangdan completed translating Ellis's Psychology of Sex (1933) in 1948.

Sex Education in the Mao Era

According to “Growing Up Sexually: ““In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, not only was there a complete lack of systematic sex education, but only a few booklets on sexuality had been published”, so that eight to nine hundred million people for more than twenty years had to do with only a few pages discussing aspects of sexual relationships such as arousal, sexual responses, and frequency of intercourse”. [Source: “Growing Up Sexually, Volume” I by D. F. Janssen, World Reference Atlas, 2004]

In line with its general policy of suppressing any discussion of sexuality, the Chinese government neglected the development of sex education courses for the general curriculum. It was not until the early 1980s that model programs were developed, and even then, discussion was usually limited to the necessity of using contraception to limit population growth. In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, not only was there a complete lack of systematic sex education, but only a few booklets on sexuality had been published. The most popular one, Knowledge of Sex (Xing-di-zhi-shi), was published in 1957. Most of these booklets are devoted to social topics, such as love and marriage, and medical topics, such as sexual dysfunctions. Only a few pages discuss aspects of sexual relationships such as arousal, sexual responses, and frequency of intercourse. Yet, for more than twenty years, Knowledge of Sex was virtually the only sex booklet available to a population of eight to nine hundred million people. (See also Sections 14B and 14C.) [Source: Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo, Fang-fu Ruan, M.D., Ph.D., and M.P. Lau, M.D. Encyclopedia of Sexuality =]

Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham wrote in the “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”: “ After 1949 the establishment of the communist regime remapped sex education. A number of political figures including Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Zhou Enlai expressed the importance of sex education. Deng Xiaoping backed the Chinese Women's Federation on the absolute necessity and benefit of using contraceptives. Mao Zedong stated that sex education should start at the junior high school level. [Source: Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham, “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”, Thomson Gale, 2007]

Zhou Enlai believed that students should be educated about contraception and that understanding issues related to sexual health was important to adolescents. He also pointed out that the most appropriate time for sex education was very early in the development of both boys and girls. A number of pamphlets discussing sex appeared, mostly written by doctors. One, called Sex Knowledge (1956), had a first printing of more than 800,000 copies and sold more than 1, 400,000 copies in its second year. This progress was hindered by the Cultural Revolution, when sex education was suppressed since it had no role in the political platform. Not surprisingly, a population boom occurred during those years as well.

Sex Education in the Post-Mao Era

Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham wrote in the “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”: ““In 1979 economic reform and open door policies sponsored by the CCP made sex education possible once again. In 1980 China Family Planning Association was officially established. The government's department of education offered population education to high school students as a way of introducing contraception and population control. Also in the early 1980s, symposiums focusing on marriage, family, population control, and sex education were held in many cities. Wu Janping, a U.S.-trained urologist and influential political figure, edited and published the journal Sexual Medicine (1983). In southern China, from 1985 to 1994, some local governments sponsored the first lecture series on sex psychology and sexually transmitted disease (STD) control and prevention. [Source: Liana Zhou and Joshua Wickerham, “Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History”, Thomson Gale, 2007]

In 1980, heartened by the end of the Cultural Revolution, a few authors and publishers began to produce new materials. The first effort was a new edition of Knowledge of Sex published by People’s Medical Publishing House. The first printing of 2.5 million copies, released in June 1980, was sold out almost immediately, and some people resold their copies at nearly double the original price. Between 1980 and 1984, more than ten new sex booklets were published. Two of them became bestsellers. The first. Required Readings in Wedding Hygiene was originally published in September 1980, and by November 1981 had already been reprinted eight times, for a total of more than 7.5 million copies. The second, Questions and Answers about Wedding Hygiene, was published in July 1984 with a printing of 4.2 million copies. =

Finally, in the mid-1980s, four major types of pressure led national and local officials to acknowledge the need for sex education programs. First, the population growth continued to be a very serious problem. A birth control program had been instituted in January 1973, but it became unavoidably clear that to implement the program effectively, young people would have to be given sexual information essential to understanding and using contraception. Second, rates of teenage pregnancy, juvenile sex crime, and sexually transmitted diseases seemed to be increasing. It was stated that sex education offered the best hope for diminishing these problems. Third, medical professionals felt that the numbers of patients they were treating for sexual dysfunction demonstrated a need for improved education. And finally, as a result of the new “open-door” policy of receptiveness to Western cultural influence, and a simultaneous increase in personal freedoms, the Chinese people were expressing a desire to improve their lives, including their sexual lives. =

The first high school sex education courses were introduced in 1981 in Shanghai. In early 1986, forty Shanghai middle schools, about 10 percent of the city’s total, introduced an experimental sex education course for coed classes in the 12- to 13-year age group. In addition to helping students understand the physiological and psychological changes they were undergoing, the Course was designed to teach hygiene and sexual morality. By June 1986, nearly a hundred Shanghai middle schools gave sex education courses. And, by February 1988, 6,000 middle schools all over China had instituted sex education courses. Thirteen of the twenty-eight provinces, including Shanghai, Jiangsu, Tianjin, and Helongjiang, had made sex education courses part of the standard middle school curriculum. In February 1988, the State Council announced that sex education courses would be established in middle schools nationwide. =

“From January to October 1985, a special series of columns entitled “Essays on Sex Education” by the author of this chapter was published in Required Readings for Parents, the leading national monthly magazine on child and adolescent education. The series consisted of ten rather long articles on various aspects of sexuality and sex education. It was the first systematic treatment of such topics to be published since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The “First National Workshop on Sex Education” was held in Shanghai on July 22 to August 7, 1985. This was the first such conference convened in mainland China since 1949. It was an interdisciplinary workshop, attended by more than eighty professionals from eighteen provinces, most them of in the fields of birth control, sociology, urology, and high school and college education. The author was the major instructor. Also in 1985, the author served as chief editor, and as a major contributor, for a large updated volume of the Handbook of Sex Knowledge, published by the Scientific and Technological Literature Publishing House in Beijing in October. Although it was intended to be the most up-to-date text of its kind, the book could not include any descriptions of sexual positions, or any nude illustrations (except anatomical drawings). Despite these self-imposed restrictions, the first printing was limited to 500,000 copies by the government. After the author left China for the United States at the end of 1985, he was asked to prepare a new version to include the knowledge of the prevention of AIDS. In 1988, the revised edition was jointly published by the Scientific and Technological Literature Publishing House and the People’s Medical Publishing House, one of the two publishers officially permitted to publish books on sex. Yet in 1988, the government allowed the showing of a film that explicitly referred to the Handbook. The movie, entitled Mandarin Duck Apartments (to the Chinese, a pair of mandarin ducks symbolizes an affectionate couple), includes a scene in which an old woman counsels a young newlywed who feels that sex is dirty and shameful. The old woman shows her the Handbook, explaining that findings in sexual science show that women have as much right as men to enjoy sex. =

Sex Education in the1990s

After the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, the government fell into its old habit of including sexual restrictions in a wave of political repression. But, because of the huge pressure from population control, STDs, and the prevention of teenager pregnancy, the government cannot inhibit and stop sex education any more. The sex education classes, exhibitions, meetings, and publications are still continued and developing in China today. Given the government’s authoritarian control described in the section above, it is obvious that informal sources of sexual information, such as television talk shows, radio phone-in programs, and popular magazines commonly found in more democratic and open countries are very limited in China because they are illegal and severely punished. Underground sources continued to flourish, and official control has been relaxing as more emphasis has been shifted from ideology to economy. =

Findings of the 1989-1990 Chinese Sex Survey in regard to high school students: Our survey found that the sex education materials in China were not well balanced. They contain too much sexual physiology and hygiene, with little attention paid to sexual ethics. Sex education is also not well developed in the more outlying districts and rural regions. They also had some misunderstanding and disagreement on the planning and purpose of sex education. Adolescent sex education still has no fixed place in the Chinese school curriculum. Although many schools have set up a course, teaching hours are not fixed or secure enough to be effective. [Source: Archive for Sexology, D. Liu, M.L. Ng, L. P. Zhou and E. J. Haeberle,, Sexual Behavior in Modern China: Report on the Nation-wide Survey of 20,000 Men and Women, conducted in 1989 and 1990, New York: Continuum 1997]

There is still no national policy, curriculum, or teaching aid for sex education in China: 33.1 percent of the schools had difficulties with offering sex education because of a lack of support and materials. The "Government Committee" instruction was that "the National Teachers Committee should set up a standard teaching guide and curriculum of adolescent sex education as soon as possible, " and "a good set of teaching materials should be made available soon."

There is a need for more sex education courses for teachers: 64.06 percent of teachers had difficulty in teaching sex because of their own inadequate sexual knowledge. Currently, except for a few experienced pioneers in adolescent sex education, most teachers still lack the basic knowledge and training for the job. In some pilot schools, the job is mostly taken on by teachers of biology, physiology, political education, or the school clinic doctor. There are no teachers specifically trained for sex education. China currently has about 15,000 high schools with about 45,000,000 students overall. In order to provide sex education for all of them, the need for a qualified teaching staff must be met. There is still not enough support from the students' families and society in general. In our survey, the students' parents were not helpful in giving sex education.

Sex Education in the 2000s

According to the “International Encyclopedia of Sexuality” Several mid-2002 reports in the Beijing Star Daily and the People’s Daily described important developments in sex education in China at that time.While it has been widely acknowledged that sex and sex education have long been a sensitive issue in China and many people are too embarrassed to talk openly about the subject, Rong Hua, vice-chair woman of the Beijing Municipal Women’s Federation, described the results of a survey of 1,500 Beijing families as “astonishing.” Most parents, Rong pointed out, try to avoid answering their children’s questions and do not know what to do when they find their children are making opposite-sex friends. [Source: Fang-fu Ruan, M.D., Ph.D., and M. P. Lau, M.D.,”International Encyclopedia of Sexuality”, edited by Robert T. Francoeur, Ph.d., and Raymond J. Noonan, PhD., Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, online at the Kinsey Institute \^/]

“Seventy-four percent of the parents surveyed admitted they did not give their children any sex education at all; about 50 percent admitted they were too embarrassed to do so. While 28 percent of parents gave their children simple explanations when they asked about sex, only 3 percent gave detailed explanations. Some parents offered appropriate books to their children and some take them to educational exhibitions on the topic. According to Rong and other experts, the survey underlined the need for parents to give truthful answers to their children’s questions on sex and for more sex education to be included in family education programs.\^/

“Meanwhile, the Beijing Star Daily announced publication of new sex education text books for middle-school students that open up discussion of sex, drugs, and contraception. The Haidian district in Beijing, home to several prestigious universities, will take the lead in introducing the text books, the first of their kind in Beijing, to its middle schools in September 2002. The books break new ground in teaching youngsters how to deal with sexual harassment, take emergency contraception measures, and keep away from drugs. They also cover AIDS, venereal diseases, “online love, ” and premarital sex. Publication of the pilot series was a major step for ward within the educational system, but teachers and parents were playing a more crucial role in guiding teenagers towards healthy ideas on sex-related is sues, experts noted. At the same time, adults are being urged to over come their embarrassment and openly talk about sex for the healthy physical and psychological growth of the younger generation.\^/

“In June 2002, South China’s Hainan province began distribution of a television series, Sex Education for Children in Primary and High Schools, on video compact disc. Jointly produced by the Central China University of science and Technology and the Hainan Yongyu Filming and Cultural communication limited Company, the series is China’s first sex-related popular-science television program targeting young people. The 10-lecture program teaches youngsters about basic sex knowledge, self-protection, sex hygiene, and how to deal with their developing sexuality. The series comes in three versions, a primary, junior high, and senior high school edition. Initially, only the primary school edition will be available on video compact disc. because the series is specially made for children’s psychology and is easy to understand, analysts said it will spare parents and school teachers the awkwardness that usually accompanies sex education.\^/

Benjamin Morgan of AFP wrote in 2003: "Sex researcher Liu Dalin agrees that sexual attitudes have changed over the last several years, but says people still have much to learn. "Chinese attitudes toward sex are becoming more and more open. But it's like half an opening — conservative minds have not been completely liberalised, while certain new and open things are leading sexual culture in an unhealthy direction, " he says. [Source:Benjamin Morgan, AFP, October 13, 2003]

"How to lead people towards a natural, scientific and healthy attitude toward sex becomes an important task." Slogan-stilted as Liu's language may sound it belies a more fundamental truth about sex education in China. "Sex education in middle school is not valuable at all. Both the teachers and students are trying to avoid it, " says Janet Yang, a 22-year-old university student.

"I was so conservative when I was in high school, I almost knew nothing about sex then, " says Kitty Sha, a 22-year-old university student, who admits there is plenty of sex going on in Chinese universities. "But sex education is inadequate due to old-fashioned thinking, " Sha adds. Websites, books and movies are their main sources of information about sex, a luxury that only a few years ago they too would not have had, let alone a museum such as Liu's.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated October 2021

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