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Sex education sessions target migrant teens

By Lu Chen (Global Times)

09:46, May 16, 2013

The Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission has held 1,777 training sessions over the past three years to help teenagers of migrant families avoid unwanted pregnancies, the commission said Wednesday.

The sessions, which have been attended by more than 50,000 teenagers, have targeted the local migrant population because they are among the groups most at-risk for unplanned pregnancy, according to a commission press release. In 2012, unmarried women accounted for 31.6 percent of those who underwent the procedure. Of those unmarried women, 80 percent were from outside Shanghai.

The training sessions have focused on sex education.

Unprotected sex was the cause of more than 60 percent of the unplanned pregnancies, the commission said. And 77 percent of contraception failures resulted from the improper use of condoms.

The commission started the sessions in part due to the reluctance of Chinese parents to take on the topic of sex education.

"It is an embarrassing topic for Chinese parents to discuss with their teenage children, which makes it difficult to get the knowledge out there," said Wang Fang, vice secretary-general of the Shanghai Family Planning Association.

Rather than having adults instruct teenagers, it might be more effective for teens to learn from people around their own age, Wang said.

A total of 692 young volunteers took part in the sessions, delivering about 150,000 copies of sexual education materials. "This is not enough, so we will continue to build a team of volunteers to make sure young people are well-informed," Wang told the Global Times.

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