China's first textbook for male pupils gets the thumbs up

SHANGHAI • The first textbook designed specifically for male pupils in primary schools in China has received positive feedback from parents, students and education professionals, the media reported yesterday.

Last month, the Shanghai Educational Publishing House unveiled the book, Xiaoxiao Nanzihan, or Little Man in English, aiming to help male pupils in the fourth and fifth grades understand sexual physiology and sexual psychology, and enhance their self-protection.

The textbook, focusing on the mental health of male pupils, comes as nationwide discussions about "boys' crisis" are rife. The boys' crisis refers to the tendency of male pupils to lack masculinity, and be outperformed and overshadowed by girls in school.

"So far we have received mainly positive comments from counterparts, school heads and parents, and many schools have shown interest in the book," said Ms Zhong Xiangyang, an official from the education bureau of Jing'an district, which initiated the textbook's compilation.

Ms You Rui, the book's author and the principal of Zhabei No. 3 Central Primary School, said it is the product of a pilot programme focusing on gender education at her school.

The textbook includes topics such as "What is the difference between a boy and a girl?"; "Why am I a boy and not a girl?"; and "What does a father mean to a son?"

It is expected to help boys more openly discuss questions they might otherwise not address in everyday life.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'China's first textbook for male pupils gets the thumbs up'. Print Edition | Subscribe