A new batch of sexually progressive textbooks are causing a commotion in China.
The new curriculum, which has been introduced in some schools around the country, teach students in second through sixth grade about gender identity and sexuality—including career gender equality, pregnancy, STDs and homosexuality , reports Shangaiist.
“Is it reasonable for a textbook to be compiled like this? I myself blush just looking at,” a mother wrote on Weibo, China’s version of Facebook.
Some parents on the other hand are praising the progressive lessons being taught in the books.
“Giving our children more knowledge about sex will help them better protect themselves in the future,” said a Weibo user. “Finally, sex education in China has caught up with the rest of the world!” applauded another.
A popular article, “China, You Finally Recognize Homosexuality,” was published online by a lesbian group and has been widely shared, sparking more debate.
“The children of China now have a sexuality education curriculum that we can be proud of, and yet everyone is giving it a thumbs down,” wrote China’s tabloid the Global Times on Weibo.
But the textbook publisher, The Beijing Normal University Publishing Group, issued a statement saying that the books went under “strict scrutiny” before they were published.
Educating students about sexuality and STDs—including HIV—has become more urgent in recent years, especially for gay Chinese men. A report was released last year that stated male-to-male HIV infections in youth cases in China had “increased from 58.5 percent to 81.6 percent in 2015,” according to the Chinese news site, The Nanfang.