A largest NGO in China is all set to propagate a new method of sex education for youngsters throughout the country.
Xi Xiaoping, vice president with the China Family Planning Association, said: 'Puberty and child-bearing age have arrived earlier in recent years, but sex education is lagging behind.'
China now has more than 300 million youngsters who have reached puberty, and about 20 million become sexually mature each year.
Education on sex and reproductive health in China was virtually 'non-existent' for many years. Traditionally there were cultural taboos and people rarely discussed sex publicly -- it was even regarded as a sin.
A survey conducted by the association shows that premarital sex, premarital pregnancy, induced abortion and people who have contracted venereal diseases and HIV/AIDS are all on the rise in China.
The association, along US-based non-profit group PATH, has just concluded a five-year sex education pilot programme in 12 municipalities and two villages in China.
The programme, aimed at youngsters aged between 10 and 24, has adopted the established way of sex education in Western countries.
The association is currently promoting the 'successful experiences' to China's 30 provinces, municipalities and regions, according to Pan, adding that 245 cities and counties in the country have adopted the new method.
Altogether 5.85 million boys and girls have taken part in the programme.