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New Chinese Sex-ed Textbook for Female Students in Shanghai Stirs Controversy
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2017-10-18-
Title: New Chinese Sex-ed Textbook for Female Students in Shanghai Stirs Controversy
Source: Global Times
Release Date: October 18, 2017
Keyword: Radiant Girls,sex-ed textbook,Shanghai,education,elementary school
"Take a look at the history of the human race, women are documented to suffer from discrimination and suppression both in Oriental civilizations and in Western countries. Women have much more difficulty than men in defending their rights in life and marriage."
This is the very first sentence from Radiant Girls, a new sex-ed textbook published by Shanghai Educational Publishing House especially for girls in the fourth or fifth grade of elementary school.
Zhang Zhiyun, editor of Shanghai Educational Publishing House, said they published Little Brave Men last August, according to Xinmin Evening News. Shanghai is a pioneer for textbooks for girls and boys, Zhang noted.
"As the national model school for mental health education, our school is dedicated to providing sex education. We have focused on mental health of the students, but this new textbook is dealing with the problem in a new thematic way," said Xu Jing, the chief editor and principal of Shanghai Jing'an Zhabei No.1 Central Primary School, according to the report.
The new book has six chapters, "I am a girl," "Pursuit of beauty," "Protecting yourself," "The treasure of interpersonal relations," "Kind-hearted angel" and "Embracing the future." But instead of trying to impart traditional ethics, it guides girls to be esthetic and pursue beauty.
The second chapter, "Pursuit of beauty," teaches girls how to take care of their face: no dirty hands on the skin, washing with warm water, using mild cleansing foam, avoiding too much makeup. It also encourages girls to dress properly for different occasions.
The chapter "Protecting yourself" deals with three issues: which part of her body must be protected, how to protect herself, and how to seek other's help when facing harassment. The textbook also devises various scenarios to make girls more aware of the desires of older men.
For example, when someone is standing behind or very close to her; or when a male teacher asks her to stay alone with him after class; or when the old man living next door touches her.
With the new textbook, boys and girls can attend some sex-ed lessons together, which is different from China's stereotypical way of strictly separating boys and girls.

"For example, when teaching interpersonal relationships or gender-based courtesies, teachers are supposed to include both boys and girls in the lesson. However, when it comes to girls' personal hygiene or ways to make friends, it would be more comfortable to have only girls in the class," Xu said. 

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