Teach sex education at a young age

Updated: 2014-12-16 09:00

(China Daily)

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The Chinese people and government must work together to spread sex education, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

A woman in Huangshan, Anhui province, took her five-year-old son to a public bath for women infuriating the other women using the facility. But despite their objections, the woman insisted on staying there with her son.

Many people have criticized the woman for taking her son to the public bath. Some decades ago, her behavior might not have stirred such a strong reaction when five-year-olds were not as mature as they are today and people were not as conscious of safeguarding their privacy.

What constitutes proper civil behavior can be gauged from a recent incident in the United States. When a Chinese-American woman took her child wearing "open-seat pants" (pants that are slit in the middle to allow small kids to urinate without wetting their clothes) in Monterey Park in Los Angeles last month, a woman called the police to teach her proper civic behavior.

Chinese people need to pay more attention to privacy matters and children's sex issues. The frequent cases of sexual abuse of children in China show how weak sex education is in the country.

Parents and teachers must impart proper sex education to children from an early age. In fact, experts say sex education for children should start when they are 3 years old.

Now, only big cities in China have separate "restrooms" for children in public lavatories. So the government should provide more support to build infrastructure for children's use, such as special restrooms and changing rooms, where parents can attend to their children's needs in private.