Adult video bridges the chasm between Japan and China – on porn and sex ed in China (Final Part)

November 25, 2010Jing Gao2 Comments, , , , , , ,

Part One of the Series

A mentor

Chinese netizens half-jokingly called Sora Aoi “An enlightening teacher to the youth.” In a sense, many Japanese porn stars do play an important role in sex education where China lags far behind.

China has a sexually suppressive culture. Even today, many people consider talking about sex risque. Older generation Chinese feel teaching kids sex unnecessary, inappropriate and extremely awkward.

Chinese schools are obliged to provide sex education to students starting from the fifth grade. But to avoid the concept of sex, such a class is often instead called “health education.” The textbook adopted nationwide has detailed explanation of sexual characteristics, for example, growth of body hair, adam’s apple, enlargement of breasts and menstruation. It also states adolescents might have a crush on the opposite sex. But no text remotely touches upon sexual intercourse. Even as for puppy love, the textbook says “It’s an impulse that teachers and parents should give correct instruction and guidance to.” More often than not, “correct instruction and guidance” translates to strong discouragement and pressure.

I clearly remember back then my teacher, feeling uncomfortable about having to teach us the facts of life, resorted to reading the textbook word for word, nonstop, flat as a dial tone, without further ado. Mischievous boys snickered or murmured at the mere mention of “breasts” and “vagina,” while girls blushed or simply remained silent and buried their heads in the textbook. The teacher turned a deaf ear to the noises, raised her voice, and read even faster, hoping to end the episode as soon as possible.

Sometimes the class was turned into self-study sessions. The teacher would spare herself the awkwardness by asking the students to read the textbook for half of the session and testing them on the knowledge for the other half.

Chinese parents find it even more difficult to bring the matter up. They think their kids would be ingenuous and immaculate until the day they start the conversation about sex, so they want to postpone it until as late as possible, or write that off completely from their agenda.Years later, when my college friends and I talked about how our parents dealt with our curiosity, we found that interestingly, most parents’ oblique answers to the question “Where did I come from?” were “You were taken home from the street,” “You were spit out from the mouth,” or simply “You will know when you grow up.”

But libido and curiosity certainly cannot wait, and the information age came to their rescue. With 85 million computers wired in, until 2010, 420 million Chinese have access to the Internet. According to a survey, half of the 24,000 respondents under 25 said they have visited porn sites. This is no doubt an understatement, considering respondents may not have been honest with their answers faced with the blunt question. Besides, there is always the alternative way to come by porn: buying bootleg video disks. Unscrupulous vendors that sell porn close a deal without asking for I.D, even if some of the customers are wearing school uniforms. In fact, I heard from one close male friend that as early as back in high school (equivalent of tenth to twelfth grade), all boys he knew had watched porn, many of them on a regular basis. The quest for online porn satisfies the itch of puberty, and Japanese porn stars like Sora Aoi let many Chinese teenage boys get to know women.

However, porn never teaches one how to protect against sexually transmitted diseases or avoid pregnancy. Ignorance of such knowledge is flabbergastingly disproportionate to the number of  young people sexually active. A recent report co-authored by United Nations Population Fund, Office of the State Council Working Committee for Women and Children, and Peking University reveals that 20% of Chinese women who have had premarital sex got pregnant unprepared, and 91% of these pregnant women resorted to abortion. Rising incidences of sexually transmitted diseases is another warning sign that China’s sex education system needs a revolution to keep pace with changes in sexual behavior.

Hopefully, popularity of Sora Aoi these days can give Chinese parents and educators an alarm that China is no longer the reclusive country they once lived in that was impervious to outside information and influences.

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2 comments to “Adult video bridges the chasm between Japan and China – on porn and sex ed in China (Final Part)”

  1. [...] Alas, so tragic~”(Read how Japanese porn complements sex education in China.) [...]

  2. Jordon Maeder | March 21, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Ils parlent de l’arbalète à plusieurs articles !! c’est ça le pire! Comme si s’était commun, souvent utilisé comme arme lol

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