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Sex cartoons break taboos for teenagers

China has published its first cartoon book series on puberty and sex education, borrowing the idea from the Republic of Korea.

The book series, "I Want to Know Myself," is popular among primary and middle school students in South Korea. China has translated the books and made some changes to suit the needs of its own young people.

"The book is loaded with information about healthy growth in children," said Chen Xuefeng of the China Children's Center. "It is very helpful in achieving a smooth transition to adolescence."

China, whose citizens rarely discuss sex publicly, has published several sex education books in recent years, revealing a more open attitude.

During the past decade, the health of the 323 million people aged 10-24 has been improving steadily, authorities said. But they are experiencing sexual and psychological maturity at an earlier age, according to a Population and Development Country Report issued in September. Young people are now more open toward sex, and their sexual ethics are changing, the report said. At the same time, premarital pregnancies and abortions have increased.

"Teenagers have become sexually mature and active much earlier, but the lack of sex education makes them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS," said Liu Liqing, chief representative of Marie Stopes, a UK service organization.

Experts said many young people visit pornographic Websites to learn about sex because there are few other sources. A textbook on sex was published on the Chinese mainland for the first time in 2002.

People's Daily Online

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