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Gender, Health, and History in Modern East Asia$
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Angela Ki Che Leung and Izumi Nakayama

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390908

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390908.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Sex in School

Sex in School

Educating the Junior High Students in Early Republican China

(p.61) 2 Sex in School
Gender, Health, and History in Modern East Asia

Jen-der Lee

Hong Kong University Press

Nearly two hundred volumes of physiology and hygiene textbooks, together with governmental and other materials, are investigated in this chapter to illuminate the intricacies in drawing the moral landscape pertinent to sex education in early republican China. Frequent revisions of official directives testify to the fast changing political and intellectual arena of China. Shifted emphases between reproductive functions and puberty sexuality exemplify the professionals’ uncertainties in getting to the early teens. Pedagogical publication boomed and writers experimented on both textual and visual materials. Bio-medicine was flagged as entrance to learning one’s own body, but a healthier nation promoted in the New Life Movement eventually relied on the individual’s self-discipline not necessarily required of scientific erudition. Some may have found secretion system more useful than anatomical information to integrate physiology, psychology and pathology into the mechanism of sexual differences, so much so that a gender division of labour was proposed to fulfill both personal responsibilities and to echo contemporary political rhetoric. Not all endorsed such elaboration, however, and the zigzag between sexual differences and gender equality became a noteworthy parallel to the tug-of-war between sexuality and reproduction.

Keywords:   Sex education, Physiology and Hygiene, Reproduction, Sexual differences, Anatomy, Gender division of labour, Visual representation

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