SEOUL, Jun. 10 (Korea Bizwire) – Sex education is undergoing changes in and out of schools in South Korea.
A series of sexual crimes and intensifying gender discrimination have led many to call for sex education that encompasses gender discussions, leading many teacher’s associations, civil groups, and startups to develop various curriculums to be taught at schools.
Previously, sex education was limited to the transfer of biological knowledge on pregnancy, illustrated by a fetus growing inside the mother’s womb, and abortion, expressed by a fetus running away from various surgical instruments.
On the other hand, gender education or gender equality education is a new form of sex education that does not confine gender within the limits of ‘sex’ in biological terms, but extends to the territory of what constitutes gender in a society.
One of the most representative groups on gender education is ‘Outbox’, a teacher’s association in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, established in 2017.
Outbox offers gender education to elementary school students to teach them about gender sensitivity and gender equality.
There are also startup companies that specialize in systematic gender education as solution for hate crimes and other social problems, one of which is Unicorn, a gender education startup.
“Thus far, sex education has been more like a transfer of anatomical knowledge. Now, gender education should take a more systematic, age-by-age approach to deal with emotions and communications arising from human relationships,” said Oh Ji-yeon, CEO of Unicorn.
Health, the only school curriculum that offers sex education, however, continues to be one of the optional courses, not mandatory, at schools.
According to the Health Education Forum, only 39.7 percent of all high schools in South Korea conducted health classes.
“Health should become a mandatory subject and education personnel should be properly staffed to ensure that health instructors carry out sex education with diligence and consistency,” said Cha Mi-hyang, president of the National Health Teachers Association.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)