The internet is an effective means of providing sex and reproductive health education to young people in Shanghai, China
Social science research policy brief
An increasing number of young people in China is engaging in sexual relations before marriage and the age at sexual debut in the country is declining. However, most young people (10–24 years) continue to lack basic sexual and reproductive health knowledge and skills to negotiate safe sexual practices. Moreover, sex education itself, and the channels of communication that are best suited for providing it for unmarried young people, remain controversial in China. In recent years, the Internet has emerged as an important medium in China for information dissemination, especially for young people. In 2004, an estimated 87 million people used the Internet in China; 54% of them were below the age of 25 years. In large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the percentage of young people using the Internet is even higher. This pioneering study evaluated the potential of the Internet as a means of providing sex and reproductive health education to young people in China.
Objective: Launched in 2003, the study aimed to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of sex and reproductive health education for young people conducted through the Internet.