Sichuan's first sex-education teacher-training program officially started this week at Chengdu University's College of Education.
The program will include 11 required courses in sexual physiology and anatomy, sexual norms, sexual aesthetics. Students will be issued a certificate of completion upon successfully finishing the program. The objective of the program is to increase the level of sexuality knowledge among young people and their families.
"Our emphasis is on sex education for middle-school students," explained Chengdu University law professor Deng Sha'anxia. "During the time when middle-school students are entering puberty, they need to learn about all aspects, from the practical means to language."
The first run of the course has 30 students, much to the surprise of school administrators, who feared that not enough people would register.
Well-known CCTV personality and AIDS spokesperson Bai Yansong made an appearance, pushing for the use of "love" to guard against "AIDS"—the character for "love" and that for "AIDS" are homophones—(用"爱"防"艾"). His reasoning is that "Kids might refuse to talk about AIDS, but who would not agree to receive love education?"
Bai proposes a four-prong approach of basic knowledge, safety, psychology, and the value of love, with safety and psychology being the most important components.
Wan Wei, a mathematics student in the class, said, "Taking this course is not only good for our understanding of our bodies and minds, but also later it will also help me teach my students."
But most of the students said they enrolled in the course because they believe it will increase their job prospects after graduation.
In December 2008, a nationwide law was implemented that mandates sexual education for all students from first grade through high school. In actuality, however, apart from the Internet and mass media, there are not many channels of the youth to learn about sex from.
A QQ poll showed that 19297 readers think that the sex-education course is "very necessary" while 1404 thought it was "totally pointless." (as of September 15, 1:10 a.m.)