Beijing: Allowing boys and girls to peep
into each other`s bathroom to understand gender roles seems to
be the new Chinese way to teach sex education in school.
Third graders at the Chaoyang district school in
Beijing received their first lesson in sex education in the
form of a toilet tour on Monday.
Giving children an opportunity to peek into the other
gender`s bathroom is a way to help boys and girls understand
gender roles under the new initiative, educators said.
"Children tend to be curious about the bathrooms of
the opposite sex," sex lecturer Hou Wenjun at Anhuili Central
Primary School told Beijing News.
Hou believes that education starts with curiosity.
"A tour to the bathroom lets children see what
behavioural differences there are between the two sexes."
Now an official part of the school`s curriculum for
grades one to 6 (ages 6 to 11), sex education begins with the
fundamental subject of fertilisation, a report in the state
run Global Times said.
Students first viewed a PowerPoint presentation
illustrating how sperm fertilise eggs.
When asked how gender is determined, the students came
with guesses such as "it depends on what Mom wants" and
"bigger eggs grow into boys while smaller ones make girls."
Visiting the bathroom can be a good technique in
teaching gender codes to students, Zhang Meimei, sex education
expert at Capital Normal University said.
"The bathroom of the opposite sex can be a mysterious
place. I have known a lot of third- and fourth-grade boys who
would sneak into the lady`s room just to see what it is like,"
"Sex educators can take this curiosity and turn it
into knowledge of social norms regarding sex.
Kids are going to learn why society expects men and
women to behave differently and not just in the bathroom," she
Zhang is leading a pilot research program on sex
education practices in Beijing, and Anhuili Central Primary
School is now cooperating in research.