Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Program Name/Specialization

Community Psychology


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Ciann L. Wilson

Advisor Role

Associate Professor; MA Thesis Supervisor


Attitudes toward sexuality among Chinese youth have become more liberal in recent generations, but sex education remains controversial and limited. Due to the lack of awareness of sexual risks, many Chinese youth engage in unprotected sexual activities resulting in unintended pregnancy, abortions, and STIs. Therefore, understanding successful pathways and unique challenges are crucial to develop adequate sex education for youth’s sexual health in China. The current study used semi-structured in-depth interviews and investigated 28 Chinese youths’ experiences of sex education and sexual health. The results mapped out youth’s sex education experiences by age and sources and demonstrated the impacts of various sex-ed practices. The findings highlighted family and schools had fundamental influences on youth’ baseline attitudes and knowledge, but the contents were mainly centered on morality and social norms. Internet and social media had been utilized for sex-ed as a capability-building space. The study showed that the effective sex education was to provide information and skills to facilitate informed decisions for youth to reach their own sexual health goals. Initiating a thinking process about the individual’s sexual health goals would be necessary.

Keywords: sex education, sexual health, China, youth, LGBTQ, interview, capability, empowerment, morality, social media

Convocation Year


Available for download on Wednesday, January 24, 2024