Taiwan's education Ministry grilled for gay topics in sex-ed materials

Taiwan's education Ministry grilled for gay topics in sex-ed materials

TAIPEI - The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday was corrected by the Control Yuan for providing sex education materials to elementary and junior high schools which contained content that violated the Gender Equity Education Act.

According to the Control Yuan, the contents of three textbooks printed by the MOE between 2007 and 2008 on the topic of sex and homosexuality were found to have violated legal standards of decency.

Control Yuan member Kao Fehng-shian (高鳳仙) said that schools should promote substantive gender equality, eliminate gender discrimination, uphold human dignity, and improve and establish education resources and an environment of gender equality.

"Providing proper and fitting education on sexual equality to students is the responsibility of schools and teachers," said Kao. "However, the MOE did not take the advice of experts and the public before printing these three textbooks."

"In arguing that abortion is a legal and reasonable choice, as well as providing information on sexual intercourse between men as well as on how to have sex, the texts violated regulations (in encouraging illegal behavior among minors)," said Kao.

According to Kao, the textbooks also asked teachers to instruct students on how to make oral dams and how to properly use lubricant, triggering complaints from civil organizations.

After the Control Yuan corrected the MOE, the Legislative Yuan also passed a proposal to stop printing the three textbooks.

The head of the MOE's Department of Student Affairs and Special Education Liu Chung-cheng (劉仲成) said that the contents of two of the three textbooks have been changed to bring the texts in accordance with regulations before they are redistributed to elementary and junior high schools.

Liu said that a textbook about homosexuality will no longer be printed or distributed.

"The three textbooks are meant for instructor reference while teaching a gender equality course, so students should not have a chance to read them," said Liu.

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