Introducing Sex Education to Our North Korean Orphans

Earlier this month Crossing Borders’ missionaries held a sex education class with the North Korean orphans in our care in one of our group homes. This marks a milestone in Second Wave. Most of the education programs through Second Wave thus far have been geared toward children. We realize that we must now change with the passage of time, as the children grow into adolescence. Our missionaries felt that sex education was necessary because the Chinese education system does not teach at length on the subject and most of the children in Second Wave are reaching a mature age at which such discussions were necessary.

When we first started our work in 2003 our North Korean orphans were around the age of 2 to 5. Now they are reaching their teens. Most of the children in Second Wave were born between 1998 and 2006, when the outflow of North Korean refugees into China was at its height.

It was an awkward subject to broach but our missionaries approached on the subject carefully. They opened by asking what the children thought of sex.

“The children said that sex is a very embarrassing thing,” our missionaries said in a recent report. “They said that it’s sinful and only bad people do it.”

The lesson taught that sexual relationships are a gift from God but that they were only to be in the context of marriage. They even brought in something familiar to the kids.

“We found amazing Chinese letter – (xing), which means means 'sex',” our missionaries went on to say.  “It is a combination of two words, the first part, 心, means ‘mind’. The second, 生, means body.  So true sex means body and soul. It matches what the Bible says.”

Our missionaries reported that, despite the awkward subject matter, the children were attentive. The caregivers of our group homes were the most thankful. Raised in the shame-based culture of China, subjects such as sex are hardly spoken of. We are grateful that the children were willing to be open to learning and sharing. We are also glad that our field staff and caretakers have boldness and wisdom in raising North Korean orphans with love and compassion.

Looking to the future, we will be shifting our curriculum focus from children to adolescents, developing methods on how to meet the changing needs of those in our care. We look forward to the challenge.