Babies do not come from rubbish dumps, Chinese sex education video says
A new series of short online cartoons is helping Chinese youngsters understand sex
A series of animated sex education videos have impressed Chinese audiences with their quirky methods of communicating the facts of life.
The three videos were funded by Guokr.com, a popular science news website, and are each a little over a minute long. They are part of a series created by animation company Nutcracker Studio, and were released on Chinese social media and video sharing websites one week ago.
Featuring a mixture of hand-drawn images combined with a playful, brotherly voiceover, the shorts offer educational tips on the sexual aspects of life that parents may be unable to smoothly explain to their children - including where babies come from, how males and females are different, and how to avoid sexual harassment.
Watch: Where do babies come from?
Along the way, the videos debunk several myths, including the saying that babies are “picked up from rubbish dumps,” which has been known to emerge from some startled Chinese parents when they find themselves suddenly confronted with awkward questions.
The videos also compare male and female genitalia to electric plugs and electric sockets, say that the act of sex is similar to getting an "injection" in the hospital, and point out that girls shouldn’t be jealous of boys for having penises – because “having a penis just means it’s easier to pee standing up.”
Watch: Why are boys and girls different?
Zhao Yilong, who directed the videos under Nutcracker Studio, told Xinhua that lack of sexual education in China had inspired him to create the series.
“Children are curious about sex, so we wanted to explain it clearly in a cartoon,” Zhao said, adding that the videos would hopefully help adults explain sexual matters to their children in a natural but instructive manner.
Reaction to the series has been positive, with the three shorts drawing well over one million views on Youku, China’s version of Youtube. Most have called the videos creative, imaginatively designed and innovative, while others have lamented the state of sexual health classes in the Chinese school system.
Watch: How can minors prevent sexual harassment?
“This is the best sex education material I’ve ever seen,” one Youku commentator wrote. “And they all just take one minute to say the whole truth. The usage of a cartoony style really helps to introduce the topic, and they state things plainly enough. Please pay attention to this series, teachers!”
“Isn’t it sad that as a country, we need to resort to these sorts of things to educate our youth?” another more sceptical netizen wrote.
Sex education is lacking in China, and the topic is rarely included in class curriculums. A September Xinhua report indicated that out of China’s 180,000 primary and 500,000 secondary schools, only about 500 to 600 were providing sex education.
Talk of sex remains rare among families as well, and a June survey conducted by The Beijing News showed that out of a group of more than 1,100 parents, only 40 per cent were educating their children about sexual health.