SHANGHAI — A crowd of curious adults watched as Chen Jing unzipped the pink cicatrix across the belly of a plush doll made to look like a girl. As she opened an abdominal compartment, a tuft of brown hair poked through. Chen carefully removed the “newborn” from the mother doll, its umbilical cord still attached. “This is how you can explain to your children where … Continue reading Can Anatomical Dolls Help Solve China’s Sex Ed Problem?
SHANDONG, East China — “What are the differences between men’s and women’s bodies?” asks Jiang Lingling. The 11 young children huddled around her look thoughtful for a moment. “Girls’ chests are bigger than boys’,” says one boy. “But Captain America’s chest is also big,” counters another. At the back of the room, the children’s parents start to giggle. But Jiang isn’t fazed. She’s used to … Continue reading China’s Newest Cram School Craze: Sex Ed Camps
SHANDONG, East China — Huang Wenjuan never thought there was anything wrong with her approach to parenting until her teenage daughter stormed out of their house after a big fight. Huang and her husband searched all over the city that snowy February night, and eventually found her in the stairwell of their apartment building. “She could see us, and said she just wanted us to … Continue reading Parenting Crisis Sends China’s Moms and Dads Back to School
YUNNAN, Southwest China — Zhi Zhengjiao, 17, grew up among rolling green hills full of corn stalks and tea shrubs. But despite this natural vista, other outlooks remain dull. For children like Zhengjiao, there are two typical career paths: becoming a migrant worker in the city or staying home to farm. Zhengjiao, who has waist-length hair and bangs that nearly cover her eyes, is creative … Continue reading Left-Field Careers for Farmers’ Kids
GUANGDONG, South China — Early Sunday morning, eight teenagers sit in a row looking at pictures of male and female bodies on the whiteboard and trying their best to answer the teacher’s question: Which parts of our bodies are private? “Wee-wee,” Ming Hang, a 12-year-old boy with autism, quickly replies, half giggling. “Remember, let’s call it a penis,” the teacher corrects him amid laughter from … Continue reading Teaching Sex Ed to China’s Special Needs Students