Beijing, China: In 1979, the Chinese government instituted the one child policy, which remains today. According to the State Family Planning Commission’s Science and Technology Research Institute, more than 13 million abortions occur in China annually, and according to Durex, 9% of sexually active people under 25 know how to use a condom. Li Yinhe, a sociologist and professor at Chinese Academy of Social Science is working to introduce mandatory sexuality education into schools throughout China. The Ford Foundation gave funding to Marie Stopes China in 2010, along with other international funders. The road has been long, but interest among the public for better access to information indicates that progress is being made… slowly but surely.
Cayman Islands: Seventeen year old Madeleine Rowell received 250 signatures on a petition to the Cayman’s Health and Education Ministers for the adoption of a national sex ed curriculum in Cayman schools. The government has considered her request and has decided it will re-examine the existing curriculum, but this time with students’ input. In addition to working with students, the government will work with members of the Red Cross, Department of Counseling Services, and other key community stakeholders. The Sex and Relationship Education policy currently guides sex education in the schools. Madeleine wants education to be more comprehensive and accessible to all youth attending schools in the Cayman Islands.
Bangkok, Thailand: With only eight hours dedicated per year to abstinence-only sex education in Thailand schools, cable TV networks have created a series called “Hormones,” a show following the lives of nine high school students through the trials and tribulations of teen life. Topics include sex, condom use, abortion, homosexuality, drug use, and bullying. The show has caused significant discussion, to the point of censorship by the National Broadcase and Telecommunication Committee. Thailand ranks second in the world for highest teen pregnancy rates, behind Laos. The show is available on YouTube for those who can’t access it on television, and has been renewed for a second season.