Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 195


EOC submits recommendations to Education Bureau ahead of sex education review

The Policy, Research and Training Committee (PRTC) of the EOC recently submitted its recommendations to the Education Bureau (EDB), having learned of its plans to review sex education in schools.

Sex education in Hong Kong schools has long been criticised for its overwhelming focus on the biological aspects of reproduction and little regard for values related to intimacy and relationships. Indeed, the term "sex education" reflects too narrow the spectrum of topics it covers. The EOC therefore recommends renaming the subject as "sexuality education" or "sexuality and relationship education" to spell out its true purpose - cultivating positive attitudes towards desire, others' bodies, and gender equality among the younger generation.

Before making the submission to the Government, Professor Susanne CHOI Yuk-ping, Convenor of the Working Group on Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign under the PRTC, along with some working group members, met officers of the EDB responsible for the sex education review to discuss and exchange views on the issues at stake. Among the recommendations made by the EOC in the submission are setting concrete objectives for sexuality education, the content to be taught and the measures to facilitate implementation, such as stipulating dedicated lesson hours.

"The current Guidelines on Sex Education in Schools were published some 20 years ago in 1997 and have not been revised since then," said Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, Chairperson of the EOC. "As mentioned in the Policy Address 2018, proper sex education plays a particularly important role in the personal development of teenage students. As the Task Force on Review of School Curriculum sets about developing a more holistic curriculum, we at the EOC feel obliged to chime in - because a better thought-out curriculum could help students develop healthier concepts of sex, enhance their knowledge of what's meant by sexual harassment and how to seek help, and ultimately serve as a preventive measure against sexual aggression. As a statutory organisation tasked with implementing the Sex Discrimiantion Ordinance and combating sexual harassment, we hope that the Government will value our input and take our recommendations forward."