[imText1]South Koreans would remember the “Beautiful Sex of Our Children Syndrome” of the late 1990s. It was the name of a sex education program to educate youth correctly with direct expressions. It played an important role in bringing out the shadowed “problem of sex education for youth” to the light.
They say even in the kindergarten they teach basic knowledge on sex, so now we know how much the wrong belief of “they learn it by themselves when they become adults” changed.
How do they carry out sex education in North Korea?
The youth (teenagers) in North Korea do not receive sex education. All sex education they get from the school is learning about plant reproduction, animal reproduction, sperm and egg cell in the biology class.
Even for the girls, all they learn about is sanitation, health, and how to raise a child, but not about sexual relationship between men and women.
Their curiosity on sex unsolved in school does not get answered at home either. This is due to the social attitude, which is not open about sex. Therefore, it is said that many young adults do not know how men and women live together, even when they reach 20 years old.
The most important issue in sex education of North Korean middle and high schools is “how to untangle the issues of love in “artistic” way. They say even the male and female relationships must be made with revolutionary loyalty like the relationship between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jung Suk in the revolutionary history.
In North Korea, they call the kids who know about sex (sexual relationship), “broken the thought.” The teachers of the students who have “broken the thought” agonize for not being able to solve the problem of male and female relations in “artistic” way.
Of course, love affairs are forbidden in North Korea. Up until 80s, any sort of romance was unthinkable. However, once the trend changed to “free romance” in the North Korean society and after the schools started to have co-ed classes in the middle and high schools, everyone, even the youth, fall in love.
However, despite the hot trend of romance, there is no sex education for the youth. For this reason, it is known that accidents occur occasionally in North Korean middle and high schools.
The most serious problem is pregnancy of girls. Once a student is revealed to be pregnant, not only does she get punished, she also gets expelled from her school. After the mid-1990s, they got rid of the punishment and the student only gets expelled these days.
Most of the girls who get pregnant choose abortion. Some visit obstetricians with their parents whom they may have acquaintance and bribe them for abortion but if not, they take in tuberculosis pills or vermifuge, which are known for causing miscarriage.
After such chaotic sex culture among the middle and high schools since the mid-1990s, the schools started to teach girls more about sex. In the “female student practice classes,” the girls are taught about physical differences between men and women, biological physiological phenomenon, methods of contraception, and how to be careful about having a male-female relationship.
But “sex education” is still an unfamiliar and embarrassing issue in North Korea. That is because of the social attitude which is yet to become open about sex issues.
Although romance is forbidden, friendships between men and women are allowed and are more and more becoming normality. This is much different from the 80s when relationships with opposite sex were thought unacceptable. North Korea needs a systemized practical sex education that fits the reality.