A Shanghai publisher has issued China’s first “textbook for boys” to help them embrace their masculinity amid a “gender crisis” reportedly caused by the widespread portrayal of effeminate men in Japanese and Korean popular culture, mainland media reports. The book was released in Shanghai by the Shanghai Educational Publishing House on Wednesday in an attempt to “cultivate masculinity” in Chinese boys, China News Service reported. Gender equality in China would bring huge economic benefits However, it has already sparked controversy, with people criticising China’s overly male-dominated society, which had stressed masculinity, the report said. The six-chapter book, titled Xiaoxiao Nanzihan , or “Little Men” in English, encourages boys to be courageous and focus on their masculine side. You Rui, the book’s chief editor, told The Beijing News that they hoped the book would help boys to develop a more outgoing nature and overcome problems linked to “growing up”. Japanese and Korean fashion and pop music is increasingly popular among Chinese teenagers. The Beijing News report said the textbook would be used in some schools for fourth- and fifth-graders, and that girls would be separated from these classes and take other courses. China has world’s most skewed sex ratio at birth – again China News Service reported that there was a general trend in the country that had seen boys trailing girls in their academic achievements and social skills, and there was an increase in boys becoming more feminised in recent years,. Zhang Meimei, an education expert, said measures to cultivate masculinity among boys should focus more on improving their thinking and sense of responsibility rather than just focusing on improving their physiques. The solution to China’s demographic time bomb lies in changing age-old attitudes Fang Gang, an expert on gender studies, said it was wrong to place too much emphasis on masculinity because it helped to promote a male-dominated society rather than gender equality. He also questioned why boys and girls were being given separate classes when studying sex education because it was important for teachers to avoid making the subject mysterious. Instead such lessons should be more open and easy to understand.