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China: Yao Sifan’s “Rodoko” Breaks Silence on Sex Education

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Until Chao Rong was an adult, she didn’t know that “the baby comes out from a woman’s vagina.”

Welcome to China!

There are many teens like Chao Rong, who are simply unaware of the simple procedure of giving birth until they are 18. The Chinese society still considers it as a taboo to talk about sex openly.  To bridge this lack of awareness, Yao Sifan, an 18-year-old Beijing high school student, is founded a platform where the information about sex education is out and open to all.

This predominant ignorance among the youth of the country has led Yao to create Rodoko. It is a page on Chinese social media platform WeChat.  Aimed at young adults the site uses straightforward, educational posts to talk about sex and relationships. The page gets more than 1,000 followers each week.

Rodoko (means “nutmeg” in Chinese) and for a better understanding, she chose the site’s logo of the seed’s resemblance to a vagina.

Also Read: India, China Account for 39% of Young Internet Users: UN Report

Ignorance about sexual matters is widespread among Chinese people. “I had this idea because when I was small, I watched a ghost movie.… The women in the movie got the devil’s baby, [and] when the day comes, the woman’s belly opened,” said Chao, 23, a user, living in Beijing. It was only when she hit adulthood a friend explained childbirth to her, Foreign Policy reported.

Also Read:UN Study Raises Concern On Status Of Elderly Women

Chao shares another experience from her school days when she kissed her boyfriend at the age of 17, and was worried that she would get pregnant.

When asked about Rodoko, the ideator Yao said, “I have been always interested in feminism, and I wanted to do a project with feminism.” Yao recalled that most of her young teenage days she faced “body-shaming” that sparked her awakening. “At first I wanted to focus on women’s leadership, but then I thought that is a very vague concept. I noticed that girls in China don’t have basic knowledge about menstruation and no one ever teaches them.… They are very ashamed to talk about it,” she added.

Yao says the most common question she gets from students are about virginity.

READ: China Deports US Bizwoman For ‘Espionage’

Sex education in classrooms is almost nonexistent in China, the national curriculum only teach basic anatomy. The Chinese government bans the mainstream media from showing content depicting same-sex relationships and other “abnormal sexual relationships,” such as “incest,” “sexual perversion,” and “sexual assault.”

This perpetuates misconceptions about sex among teenagers. In such cases, Yao Sifan’s concept of having an open chat about sex education is definitely a clap-worthy initiative.

READ: Why we should stop making a big deal out of sex and sexuality

Feature Image Credit: Foreign Policy

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