Exhibition: Sexual Education – A Matter of Public Health and Concern
From April to May, 2017
At the moment, the Danish Cultural Center in Beijing exhibits the story of how official Denmark has dealt with sexual education as a matter of public health and concern over the past 137 years. Through textbooks and other kinds of teaching material from five key periods, the exhibition describes some of the steps that have helped Danish society to gradually become better at addressing sexuality as a matter of both universal importance and of great impact on the individual quality of life and health.
During the exhibition period, several events are held in cooperation with different Chinese professors and professionals.
Event on May 14th with Guo Yagi from Renmin University of China, Pan Suiming, former director of Sexual Sociology at Renmin University and Professor Zang mei Mei.
On May 16th, Professor Fang Gang from Beijing Forest University gave a lecture on sexual education and gender today which was attended by 60 guests and watched by 150.000 people via live streaming on Tendent. You can watch it here (in Chinese): https://view.inews.qq.com/a/ZLV2017051603831502?openid=o04IBANscHokRazwOcSQx8-eaGKc&key=&version=16050720&devicetype=iOS10.0.2&isShare=1&from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0
May 20th, a fun event for girls only to learn more about the female body in a safe and open environment. Read mores about the event here (in Chinese): http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/wKsA6etsoajAEn9HcppPgw
Instead of telling it as it is, many Chinese parents resort to different versions of “the flower and the bees” to explain the mystery of life to children when asked the question “Mom and dad, where do I come from?”: “You have been picked off a tree like a piece of fruit”, “You were born out of your father’s armpit” or “you were picked up from a trashcan”. In schools, sexual education is almost non-existing and as a result, information for young people about sex, contraceptives and sexually transmitted deceases is lacking.
This has led to many young people in China being insecure and uninformed when it comes to sexual issues.
Yes, it is difficult to talk about sex. Yet, it is important that we use the right vocabulary when addressing the issue to children. But the question is not whether they should be given sexual education or not, rather who should be giving them this initial and important information.
In order to give children a life that is slightly healthier than the previous generation’s, there is no better start than to answer them truthfully about sexual issues. One should bear in mind that if you bypass the truth, it is likely to impact a child’s future love life and could lead to the perception of sexuality as something dirty and unnatural. For the sake of children’s lives as mature adults and for the sake of their confidence in their parents, it is important to provide them with real answers to their real questions.
Some of the material displayed in the exhibition is explicit in terms of illustrations and language since we have chosen to stay as loyal to the original Danish texts as possible so as to give a true representation of the way the books communicate the origin of life. In relation to the exhibition, we apologize if some of the content appears too offensive.