Learning at home
A joint survey of students between the ages of 12 and 16 conducted by Chinese University's social work department and Yang Memorial Methodist Social Service in 2009 showed how averse parents were to talking to their children about sex.
Of the 714 youngsters polled, only a quarter said their parents taught them about the birds and bees; more than half felt uneasy discussing the subject with teachers.
The vast majority (nearly 70 per cent) said their main source of information about sex was from the internet, friends and classmates. However, most counsellors say parents should be the primary sex educators for children.
'Students are precocious now,' says Mother's Choice co-ordinator Wendy Chan. 'Parents are wrong to fear that teaching children about sex from an early age will encourage them to experiment. It's also wrong for parents to instil a sense of guilt when their children are found fondling themselves. Curiosity about sex and their own bodies is natural. Such attitudes will only push their children away from them.'