August 3, , 9: The students Yao talks to through Rodoko are mainly from her hometown of Beijing, but ignorance about sexual matters is widespread throughout the country. Chao remembers a school friend from Jinan in Shandong province who, when she was 17, kissed her boyfriend at the time and was worried that she would get pregnant. The national curriculum only requires that students are taught basic anatomy, and even then these lessons are often sidelined to make space for more exam-focused studies.
What exists of sex education is normally delivered to early teenage students, before more complicated questions about sex might arise, and even then the classes can be loaded with moralizing. Sex is very rarely depicted on television and at the cinema; foreign movies will have any sex scenes cut before being released in China. Abstinence outside of marriage is honored as a cultural ideal mostly in the breach. A study found that the average age people first have sex in China is 22, which is before most get married the legal age of marriage in China being 22 for men and 20 for women.
There are no national statistics for abortion, but estimates hover at anywhere between 13 million and 40 million per year, out of a population of around million women of childbearing age. A study in The Lancet , a British medical journal, found that 37 percent of surveyed women who terminated pregnancies in were doing so for the second time; 29 percent for the third time or more. If women can gain more control over their bodies, it will happen less. Confucianism was traditionally moderately anti-abortion and Buddhism weakly so.
There has recently been a small but significant public shift toward better sex education in China. The Chinese Olympic swimmer Fu Yuanhui drew widespread applause on Chinese social media last year for talking frankly about her period.
The book, aimed at 6 to 12 year olds, details with diagrams male and female sexual organs, menstruation, and penetrative sex and also discusses topics such as sexuality and sexual harassment. Today, she cites the viral video star Papi Jiang , one of the most popular social media figures in China, as a heroine.
Yao says the feedback to Rodoko has generally been positive, particularly to her straightforward, educational posts. Anything that ventures more into the political arena, however, is trickier. They called our school and told us to stop it. So they were actually censoring our WeChats.
Some of the most common questions she gets are about virginity, an evolving and complex topic in Chinese society. The popular Chinese soap opera Ode to Joy recently attracted controversy for a storyline in which a young man breaks up with his girlfriend after discovering that she had previously had sex. Chinese netizens have been divided over whether or not they think this is reasonable of the boyfriend, with some suggesting that virginity is a fair requirement in a relationship as long as it is required of both parties and others arguing that virginity is just a personal preference: A group of women known as the Feminist Five were arrested and detained for 37 days in for planning a protest against sexual harassment on public transport.
Leta Hong Fincher, the author of Leftover Women: