Gay content, if vulgar, should be regulated
Many people feel embarrassed taking about sex, and often prevaricate when asked by their children where they came from. But fortunately, a series of primary school sex education textbooks have lessened adults’ uneasiness in explaining sex to children. The textbooks were compiled in accordance with UNESCO’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education and have become increasingly popular in China.
In the volume designed for sixth grade students aged 11-12, the textbook introduced different sexual orientations, and made clear that homosexuality and bisexuality are normal and cannot be regarded as diseases.
Indeed, homosexuality is not a mental illness. The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases in the 1990s, and China’s Institute of Psychology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 2001. Equal treatment of gay people is a basic principle of modern society.
Respect and protection of people with a different sexual orientation reflects the level of civilization in a society. Sexual orientation is, in essence, an individual right, and all citizens are free to live the life they like. Homosexual people are a minority. Protecting minority people’s rights is a must to realize fairness and justice. Emotionally, people may be different in their acceptance of the gay community, but respecting others’ sexual orientation should be the consensus.
The textbooks educate us to overcome prejudices on differences. To a large extent, the existence of homosexuality reflects people’s diversity of sexual consciousness and sexual orientation. From Homeric Hymns to Death in Venice, many world-renowned literary works are themed on homosexuality, noting that the most precious human emotions often exceed the boundaries of sex. But illegal content on social media platforms must be eradicated regardless of sexual orientation. This is a basic principle of online regulation. In the meantime, patience is needed during the process. Lumping gay-related content with pornography and violence, and categorizing homosexuality as abnormal will inevitably trigger public anxiety.
Sexual orientation shouldn’t be used as a tool to catch eyeballs on social media platforms. Vulgar content about homosexuality may exert a negative influence on young people, and encourage them to blindly follow so-called gay fashion. Above all, homosexual people are ordinary citizens. While striving for rights, they should also bear their due responsibilities toward society. Sex is nothing to feel ashamed about. We hope people can overcome prejudices and become more tolerant of people with different sexual orientations.