Too Young? Sex Education For Kids in First Grade

First grade sex education book in China.

Above picture is scanned from the pages of an illustrated sex education guide meant for children. The cartoon-like illustration coupled by the straightforwardness of its content brings to question the suitableness of sex education at such an early age.

Chinese elementary school sex education textbook show private parts.

English translation of the text in book:

No matter if you are at home or in public, you must be conscientious of the private matters of your body. There are parts of the body that can be displayed for others to see, such as your eyes, nose, mouth, hands, etc. Then there are parts that cannot be revealed, such as sexual organs, buttocks, girl’s chest, etc. These parts are considered the private parts of the body, these private parts are not simply meant for others to see and to touch. Therefore, people have to wear clothes to protect their private parts. Boy’s and girl’s private parts are different. The red areas in the picture represent a person’s private parts.

Chinese sex education book in elementary school teaches children to be careful of molesters.

“Come, let uncle feel you.”

First grade students learn about the female reproduction anatomy.

Chinese kids in first grade learn about the male reproduction anatomy.

Primary school sex textbook teaches about testicles.

“We are testicles.”

“Hello!”

Young Chinese kids are taught about sex in first grade.

“Hey, hurry and come down here!”

“Brother, I can’t get down!”

Chinese kids are taught sex education in first grade.

“Hurry and head up, its warm up there.”

“Too cold!”

Young students in China learn about testicles.

“So hot!”

“Head down! It is cool down here.”

Chinese first grade book shows male reproductive anatomy.

Chinese textbook teaches female reproductive anatomy.

First grade textbook shows how boys' bodies grow up.

First grade textbook shows how girls' bodies grow up.

China first grade sex education textbook teaches about condoms.

First grade Chinese sex education books.

Comments from Pop BBS, “My Nephew’s First Grade Sex Ed Guide“:

I learned new knowledge, feels like there are some things I understand less than a elementary students.

Not bad~~ only I don’t Know if kids can handle it~~

Reading broadens the mind, gain many benefits. So that is what females look like, so mysterious.

Such (sexually) happy kids.

This commenter used a clever pun:
幸福, xing4 fu2 = happy, happiness.
性福, xing4 fu2 = sex, sexual.

That thing girls have is drawn so realistically.

Progress, progress. So envious.

Where does your nephew go to school?

So many things even I don’t know!

Sex education is yet to mature in China, always a taboo subject.

Sex education must be taken seriously, today parts of China have 14-15 year old’s giving birth, we can’t address the problem after its already done. Strongly support sex education in China, let kids understand their bodies! Protect their physical and mental well-being! Protect themselves!

This should be done earlier, although learning about condoms is a bit early.

Wow, when I was in middle school my teacher didn’t even describe with this much detail.

Very good, very professional. I learned these things from watching movies.

Very yellow, very violent. When I was in school we skipped this chapter.

I’m afraid kids will become too curious, and try it out themselves~~

Society’s progress and opening up is moving too fast.

I think those two testicles are kinda cute. haha

First grade seem a little too early…

I’m predicting 10 years later, these kids will be worse off than us.

This is my first time seeing female reproductive parts.

Kids today know much more than I did back then, can’t compare, my sex knowledge is basically from watching AV [adult video], I think most of the male members here are all started like this.

I only learned this type of material in high school, in biology class, but the teacher skipped that chapter, let us read it by ourselves. Today’s society is progressing too fucking fast, elementary students, damn!! I’m thinking, if a young female teacher is teaching these kids, and they don’t understand, does she have to take her clothes off for them…

Not bad, soon kids will be giving their parents health classes.

This topic can also be found on Tianya and Mop with more comments (Mop has 22 pages).

If you think the pictures are blurry and wonder why the poster did not take better pictures, do not worry, many other people also made similar comments. – Fauna

Poll

At what time should children be given proper sex ed?

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  • a native chinese-_-

    it is necessary for children to take sex education as soon as possible(first grade is only early) ~~~~~In my experience,when i was 10,i had begun to pay attention to these things……our education ought to make a scientific and suitable method to teach the kids about sex before they see or hear the 18+ from the social media which can mislead our children

    I hope the adult things won’t contact with kids and influence their naive heart,let them grow up happily and healthily

  • Chinamerican

    I think sex education is a good thing and even elementary school might be good. It doesn’t look like this is full on sex education though – more like a lesson on anatomy and understanding our bodies. It’s also a VERY good idea that they’ve brought up that kids should not feel like they have no autonomy over their own boundaries (i.e. telling kids that it is wrong for adults to touch them the wrong way).

    I know for some kids, sex education should start early in the home b/c some kids start masturbating and that they need to be told that while masturbating is fine, that it is not appropriate in public. Certain precocious children may ask where their younger siblings came from and adults should be able to give them a straightforward answer.

  • chinaExperienced

    Since I know there is practically no knowledge about sex life in the group of 18 year old (girls) and older I think it is just right to start with sexual education as early as possible. Other countries, such as Germany start teaching sex education in primary school. Which in my opinion is a good thing. I guess at that age it is more about the anatomy but seriously China has a massive problem with the current non existing sex education. In other countries there might be no public sex education neither but in those countries often parents take over that part and explain their kids about sex. This is not going to happen in China because of traditional and society’s values.

    I can just speak for myself I was/am shocked about the standard of people’s knowledge about sex in general in China. I hope in the next couple years this going to improve. If not the rate of abortion, especially because of one-child-policy but also because of traditional values will increase enormously.

    • Fike2308

      Just don’t wait until they are teenagers to give them sex ed…that’s the WORST time!!

  • Rick in China

    I think sex education is extremely important here too. I am SHOCKED at the number of sexually active women who have NEVER had a test for STDs, and I know for a fact many guys simply do not want to use condoms with their girlfriends – combine all this with the number of prostitutes and people who frequent them, and the “actual” numbers on STDs here is likely much more astounding than the government allows. It’s really quite scary, I used to be a little more liberal and trusting, but now – shit..I wrap it up like Christmas every single time no matter the relationship.

  • krdr

    This is soooooooo cool.
    Some stuffs are exaggerated, some stuffs are to silly, trying to be official and warm in same time.
    Maybe is too early for first graders. 10 or 11 year old is quite good. Sexual education is essential for health.
    Good way to go.

  • William

    Well we started sexed when i was 10.. grade 4. Toronto, Ontario.

  • Ark

    What’s the point of having sex education at such an early age, when it does not include sex abuse? Child molestation cases are on the rise in China, and are committed by people from all rank and file.

  • Kristo

    Chinese first classers can read kanji?

  • http://blogs.glimpse.org/genghiskhan Shaan

    Wow… Chinese seem much more mature about learning sex ed from a young age than most of us Americans.

  • MJ

    @kristo
    Yes. We can read some simple in the first grade. And mostly kids learned kanji at Kindergarten.

  • Rick in China

    @Ark
    I totally agree with you. Sex Ed in US proposal means “age appropriate” sex ed. It doesn’t mean, as media or political campaigns might IMPLY, that it will be teaching about penetration and impregnation and putting on a condom to little kids……glad you brought up molestation – as that, in US’s “really early sex ed” proposal, means teaching appropriateness in order to help curb molestation. I’d imagine the Chinese proposal should follow these ideas and drop the detailed anatomy lesson.

  • http://www.cnreviews.com Kai

    LoL, awesome post, Joe. I’m not sure which is more funny: the book or the comments.

    @ Ark:

    I think it does include sex abuse. Notice the page with the “uncle” trying to molest the little girl.

    @ Rick in China:

    I agree, they should drop the detailed anatomy lesson, maybe just focus on the basics, and emphasize things that are more age-appropriate and practical like the sex abuse stuff and knowing/respecting people’s private parts. China is in danger of the Japanese schoolchildren “kancho” movement.

    • Fike2308

      “China is in danger of the Japanese schoolchildren “kancho” movement.”

      Kancho? What’s that?

  • http://dkwan.com/blog DKwan

    “We are testicles.”

    “Hello!”

    LOLOLOLOL!!~!!!OMG

    • Fike2308

      My testicles never talk to me.

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  • NJ

    Its not kanji damn it. thats japanese craps. we in china call it just simply “words”. yes, and first graders can read them like cakes.

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  • WG

    they should drop the detailed anatomy lesson, maybe just focus on the basics
    The anatomy IS the basics.

  • Rick in China

    @WG
    kindergarten kids don’t need to see testies and squiggly vag lips.

  • Ann

    @Rick in China

    “kindergarten kids don’t need to see testies and squiggly vag lips.”

    Not so, it is age appropriate to discuss because this is the age when children are curious about their bodies, the age of exploration and questions. Parents should answer their children’s questions about anatomy straight forwardly. But sexual behaviors could be left for much later.

    Sex education should be taught in stages or children will get overwhelmed. Areas to cover for older kids and teens can go beyond the anatomy to biological changes and sexual urges, to pregnancy, to prevention of unwanted pregnancy, STD’s, choice – heterosex or homosex, to awareness of sexual predators. It is actually an heavy, awesom education task to undertake.

  • Chinamerican

    @ Rick

    They only need to look down (and for the girls, with the help of a mirror/camera).

  • http://www.cnreviews.com Kai

    When I thought of “detailed anatomy lesson” I was thinking about all the internal stuff and their scientific terms. I’d hate for a first-grader to have to learn a bunch of terms that aren’t necessary for understanding their bodies and being aware of sexual predators. Based upon just the pictures, that’d just rule out the two internal diagrams/sections showing the internal anatomy.

    Everything else looks okay and relevant, especially about what constitutes private parts, being aware of molestation, external anatomy (that’s what children are going to see, share, and be curious about), and how their bodies will change as they grow up. Even the testes not dropping is pretty important for young boys. I’m a bit unsure about the condoms. I think it might be relevant given that children might encounter them and wonder what they’re for but I’m not sure. I hope they don’t go into covering all the various forms of female contraception, especially the implanted ones or IUDs or whatever, at least not at first grade.

  • Rick in China

    @Ann/Chinamerican
    Looking down is different than showing an inflamed adult vagina and a splice view of a nutsack with testies talking to eachother, children that age don’t need to understand insemination and biology, only that boys and girls have different genitalia and maybe a “general” idea of what it looks like. It should also not include what it’s *used for*, talk about inciting curiosity… instead, what it should not be used for. Kids want to “be adults”, saying “only adults do this” is not going to act like a deterrent for kids who love to play house and dress up in their parents clothes. There’s a big difference between that and porn-star flappy vag lips, I’d hope no 5 year old girls have vaginas that look like that anyways….unless maybe they frequent internet bars (cough).

  • Ann

    @ Kai:
    When I said age appropriate, that is exactly what I mean. 5-6 years old will explore (play doctor) each other no matter what. A cartoon like anatomy drawing in no way will harm the kids. And this should be about the extent of explanation until later. Children will ask questions about their bodies as they grow. Parents need to answer specifically to their question and no more. That is what I mean giving them information on sex by stages. However, child predation prevention is an appropriate for children with language skill enough to comprehend. Just eaching young children to let mommy and daddy know if anyone had touched their private parts. For older children information on the subject can be a bit more detail to include teaching children not to let funny uncles touch them in certain places and certain ways with offer of treats. Those who write in generalities on this subject with children of their own should google for additional information on child molestation.

  • Rick in China

    @Ann
    RE: “not to let funny uncles touch them in certain places and certain ways with offer of treats.”

    Your detailed description has many…implications. Something you need to share?

  • Ann

    I am not afraid to share. I don’t understand your question. I think there is a semantic gap here.

  • Jorge

    I dont want my kids to know it in first grade,when they find on their own they will ask me too explain and I will with my wife on my own….

  • Peteryang

    that pussy shot seems to be from japanes hentai.

  • C*inkUnit

    How much you wanna bet Bejingners can pwn Shanghai little bitches??? And Dongbei Ren can pwn them even more??

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  • Joey

    Let’s just hope they don’t decide to test this “knowledge” out.

  • kevin

    Sex education at the age of 15 is right… :) Trust me.. I was happe’d to know about sex at the age of 20.. Jus an year ago.. :) :D

  • http://chinasmack Belle

    interesting that neither of the kids in the book are at all asian.

  • bando

    -I suppose basic sex ed its ok for kindergartener, at least so they know where babies come from save their parents the embarassment of explaining what happens.
    -including social norms is a surprisingly useful and often overlooked thing.
    -more detailed anatomy and functions can be taught when they reach middleschool. Learning the names for the bits and pieces too early only confuses them.
    -concepts of family planning, STDs, sexual preference can be taught last.
    -misc: not labelling the clit on the fem anatomy pic seems abit strange, guess they didn’t want girls touching themselves too early.

  • Simon

    Hmm can’t seem to post..

    To be honest I think it’s a really good idea to introduce sex ed at this age. Without education people almost always turn to rumors, superstitions etc. In South Africa, it’s a big problem now amongst older teens and adults – although we do have lots of sex ed, a lot of the time the teachers themselves don’t even believe what they’re teaching and would rather listen to rumors (ie: having sex with a baby will cure you of HIV, AIDS only affects black people etc). Anyway, I think in this case there could be a few changes – the condoms for example, I don’t think need to be included, nor do the internal diagrams. I mean, what would they be aiming to accomplish by showing 1st graders internal diagrams of the reproductive system? I can see the point of everything else. I think the education regarding molestation is especially important – we learnt this really early too, I think 1st grade.

  • Simon

    @Rick in China – good point about being careful regarding explanations of what sexual organs are used for – considering the conservative nature of much of China, it would be a potential disaster having so many kids trying to grow up too quickly with the assistance of their newly acquired knowledge. Trying to instigate change too quickly often ends up a (partial) failure. Not to harp on about this but in fact, it’s pretty much what’s happening right now with all the teens getting their sexual info from porn (although in this case they really aren’t getting the full picture).

    So yes, well done China. Give it a bit of time and it’ll sort itself out.

  • http://www.alessandracanella.com Alessandra

    Hello everybody! I’m an italian designer and I’m trying to make a deep research about sexuality in China for my final thesis. Where do you think I can find some interesting material? I can’t speak Chinese and that is a big problem… I read some articles here and they are very interesting for me!

    In my brief field research I just understood that even if there is a kind of sex education since you are very young, maybe the tone is not the right one. And I am always so surprised going around Shanghai and noticing how many little healthy sex shops are there! What do you think about them? Would you ever go there to buy something?

  • Sean

    Wow, there might actually be a few people with brains somewhere in the vast Chinese education system wasteland.

    The thing that astounds me the most is the Chinese commenters who think the next generation will be worse off knowing this stuff. Demonstrates the extent of “sex is evil and dirty” nonsense that foolish parents drill into their kids, especially daughters.

  • Grrrl

    noticed on female diagram they do not have a name/key for the clitoris.

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