Legislator slams school sex education guidelines

Legislator slams school sex education guidelines
Hong Kong’s school 21-year-old sex education guidelines have been criticized for being outdated.

Hong Kong legislator, Ray Chan, said the guidelines classify transgender identity under “abnormal” sexual practices alongside cross-dressing, flashing and voyeuristic behaviour.

Chan’s comments follow a meeting by the island nation’s Legislative Council’s Panel on Education last week on sex education and the handling of sexual harassment in schools.

Chan said that transgender issues relate to gender recognition and are not a matter of “personal choice”, adding that such classifications appear to label it as something that is negative.

According to Hong Kong’s Education Bureau, the guidelines are designed for reference in the implementation of sex education and “should not be regarded as a curriculum guide.”

However, no new guidelines have been published since the 1997 document to replace or update its content.

“There’s a need to review this. Any guidelines – [even if] for reference purposes only – should not have such biased elements,” Chan said.

Asked by Chan whether the guidelines can be withdrawn altogether, Undersecretary for Education Choi Yuk-lin said they were merely a “historical document” and will not be deleted, according to a report in Hong Kong Free Press.

Choi said that the curriculum has since been reformed and the emphasis is now on cross-curriculum programmes in civic education – under which sex education is taught.

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