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Sex Education: Avoid It or Embrace It?

Peking University, April 17, 2015: Dubbed as “the three treasures” (referring to the three important parts of the course: human health, reproduction and sex) by the students at Peking University, the sex education course Human Health and Sex taught at Peking University has become not a good-to-take but a must-take course among students, with more than 1500 students signing up each semester. Recently, Human Health and Sex even made its way to Tsinghua University, drawing huge attention.

Tsinghua University, one of the best universities in China, is known to be open-minded. But when it comes to sex, shyness is still the general feeling. It was on April 12th, that the very first public lecture about sex was finally held at Tsinghua University by Professor Yao Jinxian, who lectures Human Health and Sex at Peking University.

"'The culture of sex’ is a very important human attainment." said Professor Chen Shouliang, the pioneer of sex education at PKU, “Throughout history, nobody should or can avoid sex.” In order to reduce the general ignorance of this subject and lead the students out of that grey area, Professor Chen started the course Human Health and Sex in 1996. He was really a brave and tough-minded man back then since he was strongly questioned by his peers and his students. It turned out that he was right about students’ eagerness to learn about the mystery of sex. The classroom designed for 100-150 people was thronged with students on the stairs and aisles. And the students who took the course became its ambassadors as they shared what they had learned with their friends, roommates, and even their families.

Today, the taboo is gone, but the enthusiasm remains. The course has been expanded to accommodate nearly 800 students each semester, and it is still profoundly loved by thousands of students. The textbook for Human Health and Sex has been updated and enriched recently with the help of many ardent students. Professor Yao Jingxian is the third lecturer of the course after Professor Chen Shouliang and Professor Chen Hong. The great success we see today is largely thanks to generations of dedicated teachers and it will surely pass along to benefit more.


Reported by: Lai Huan

Edited by: Xu Liangdi