Sex education: Beliefs and Practices–A Case Study of China, USA and Sweden
Tianzi Zhao ’20, Xinxiang, Henan, China
Major: Education and Youth Studies
Professor Janice Irvine from University of Massachusetts Amherst once said in her book Talk about Sex: The Battles Over Sex Education in the United States: “We have tried ignorance for a very long time and it’s time we try education.” She is referring to sex education in her comment. In reality, however, it has proved to be difficult. School has been a battle ground for any discussions about sex education, as conflicts happen when different ideas and beliefs are encountered at the site of school.
This paper aims 1) to better understand where the belief systems of the oppositions to sex education originated by tracing them back in history, and 2) to explore practices that work and can improve the current situations of sex education in general and in China specifically. In order to do so, through an extensive literature review, this paper starts by examining the theoretical, historical, and religious roots of beliefs behind the debates around the sex and sexuality education topics. The paper will then compare and contrast the sex education practices of different countries that are considered to be largely affected by the belief systems discussed in the previous part. The paper concludes by discussing the inspiration drawn from the country case studies.