Teachers' perceptions of teaching Sex Education in Hong Kong pre-schools: A pilot study

Year: 2004

Author: Lai, Eva Yuk-ching

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In Hong Kong, once a British colony, 'sex' has traditionally been viewed as taboo, and as such, seldom talked about or openly discussed in public. Schools have therefore not implemented sex education. Mass media further challenges the moral standards and values of teenagers by distributing sexual material which is distorted in nature. All these factors contribute to an increase in sexual promiscuity, sex related crime and incest, of which some victims are young children. Since the first few years of a person's life are the most important in the formation of their value and behaviours (Opper, 1996), the foundation of sex education should begin early.

The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the Hong Kong teachers' perceptions of teaching sex education in pre-schools. One kindergarten and one childcare center were selected for this study. Two pre-school heads and six teachers were interviewed. The findings indicated that almost all of the teachers did not have confidence in teaching sex education in their pre-schools, because they had inadequate knowledge and skills. Interestingly, the findings also showed that some unmarried teachers felt embarrassed to implement sex education. Nevertheless, they were willing to take up the responsibilities of teaching sex education if they had sufficient training.