Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



International Journal of Sexual Health 23 (2011), pp. 224–236; doi: 10.1080/19317611.2011.596256


Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Used by permission.


There is growing interest in China to understand how young people learn about sexuality, but there are few existing studies about the role of parents as sex educators of their children. This study surveyed 694 Chinese parents of adolescents in three cities about their knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding sexuality education for their children. The majority supported sexuality education, yet few parents had provided it. High-income parents had more favorable sexual attitudes and, in turn, were more likely to educate children about sexuality. The findings provide insight into parents’ role in adolescents’ sexual behavior and can be useful to sexuality education professionals.