Sex Education

North Korean Orphans: Sex and Half-North Korean Teens

China’s population of half-North Korean, half Chinese youths are beginning to reach adolescence, which means the introduction of adolescent problems. This is something we have seen in our group homes for North Korean orphans. Last year, a boy in one of our orphanages was caught downloading pornographic materials. His caretakers did not know what to do. In China, sex is a taboo subject. In our children’s schools there are no sex education courses and parents rarely speak to their children about the birds and the bees.

In that same orphanage, two of our girls began menstruating.

In response to this, our missionaries decided to hold a seminar about sex in a biblical context. Here is an excerpt from their report:

"We also talked about an amazing Chinese character –性 (xing) means sex, it has two words together, the first part 心 means ‘mind’, and 生 means body. So, true sex means body and soul, it matches what the Bible says.

The most important thing is that the children are committed to keep their bodies and hearts pure for the true love in God’s time for them. Children believe that God has a beautiful plan that is ordered and designed in a way to bring God glory and also will bless them."

This week, please pray for these North Korean orphans who are entering into adolescence without a family to support them. Their mothers have either abandoned them or have been sent back to North Korea by the Chinese police. Their fathers live in abject poverty and there are no people to raise them except for outsiders like Crossing Borders. Please also pray for our caregivers who do their best to address the problems of each of our children in a loving and biblical way.

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.