Recently, a high school in Central China's Henan province presented a code of conduct for students constituted under the category of 'macho boys' and 'cute and clever girls'.
The initiative has become a hot topic among local teachers and students.
Zhengzhou No 18 High School, which specializes in art education, granted the titles "macho boys" and "cute and clever girls" to 44 students - 22 boys and 22 girls - at the beginning of the new semester, so that other students would emulate their behaviour, China Daily reported.
Duan Yaping, 44, the school principal, said that several students used to think that misbehaviour like smoking would make them look cool, which is why the school resorted to selecting role models for them, according to a report of Zhengzhou-based Henan Business News.
Twenty-eight behavioural characteristics are required for a student to become a "macho boy". Some of them include having neatly groomed, not long hair, not dressing strangely, respecting girls and admiring heroes, according to a notice on the school website.
The characteristics of "cute and clever girls" comprise not roughhousing with boys, having self-respect and decency.
In its working plan for this semester, the school asserted that it will teach students to form good habits, like "writing well, walking well and speaking well", as a part of its social etiquette education.
A teacher from the school said that the art students are not so compliant as other students, so the school had to set a code of conduct to keep them from being so rebellious.
Xiao Yuan, an art student from Zhengzhou High School, a different school, said that she understood the reasoning behind the code, but she had her own ideas.
"Some say high school students can't tell right from wrong sometimes and this code will remind us to be kind, not wicked," she said.
"But the students should make up their own minds to become whatever they like and should not all be the same."
Guo Fang, a student in her last year at Anyang Foreign Language High School, said that the code is too strict, and that it might restrict normal interaction between boys and girls.
"Open-minded girls will be labeled 'bad students' with this code, which is unfair," Fang said.
Some parents also expressed their concern about the code, saying that it is inappropriate to set a unified standard for students to follow and learn.
Liu Dan, whose daughter was in Zhengzhou High School, said the code will make some students lose self-confidence as they might be not so "masculine" as the code need them to be.