• China's Sex Education Book Series

China's Sex Education Book Series (Photo : Weibo)

The sales of China's sex education textbooks are growing despite the controversy over their explicit content.

A textbook series titled "Zhen Ai Sheng Ming," which translates to "The Cherish Life" in English, has been recently embroiled in controversy over its content's explicit nature. It is a series of sex education textbooks for primary school students compiled and published by Beijing Normal University in 2015.

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The book series introduces the whole structure and function of the human body, including genitalia, and teaches kids how to protect themselves from sexual predators. It also discusses ideas about sexual orientation, gender equality and freedom to make individual lifestyle choices.

Some parents see this differently and claim that its content is inappropriate for children. It recently received public uproar when a mother of a primary school student in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, posted pictures of some of the textbook pages on Sina Weibo.

As it caused controversy online, sexual education classes have been temporarily suspended in the primary school in Hangzhou.

Not all see it as "unsuitable" though, as some parents have been buying the books for either their kids or their young relatives.

The book series is selling like pancakes. Almost all online stores that carried the books are out of stock, including JD.com, amazon.cn, and taobao.com, three of the largest e-commerce platforms in China.

The next batch of stocks is reported to be not available for a week. A lot of people have already pre-ordered so that they can secure their copy of the book series.

"'The Cherish Life' series are excellent textbooks. The textbooks meet the actual needs of the students, both physically and mentally, and adhere to the national standard," said Peng Xiaohui, the vice secretary-general of the World Association of Chinese Sexologists.

Peng also commented on the Hangzhou controversy and said: "I think it is a breach of duty for the schools to take back the books. Some parents are 'sex-illiterate' themselves, and they should not make the next generation repeat their ignorance. There should be no excuse for preventing the younger generation from receiving a scientific and reasonable education."