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Cherish Lives? Progress and compromise in sexuality education textbooks produced in contemporary China

Reiss, M; Ji, Y; (2022) Cherish Lives? Progress and compromise in sexuality education textbooks produced in contemporary China. Sex Education: sexuality, society and learning 10.1080/14681811.2021.1955670. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines a set of sexuality education textbooks used in a selection of primary schools in Beijing. These textbooks, under the overall name of 珍爱生命 (Cherish Lives), embody a comprehensive sexuality education approach with content designed on the basis of the UNESCO International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. Using feminist critical discourse analysis, we explore these books from three angles: the challenge of engaging with children as sexual subjects, given adult hegemony around sex; confusion about efforts to break the presentation of gender as a binary; and the contradiction between reproducing the myth of universal heterosexuality and attempting to present an education sensitive to LGBT issues. We show that while these textbooks demonstrate progress in sexuality education, they also manifest compromise. Despite this compromise, the books have recently been withdrawn and it is unclear whether their publication heralds a new, high quality approach to primary school sexuality education or not.

Type: Article
Title: Cherish Lives? Progress and compromise in sexuality education textbooks produced in contemporary China
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2021.1955670
Publisher version: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14681...
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Sexuality education, China, gender, feminism, patriarchy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136012
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