Many Chinese people don’t know much about their bodies and don’t receive adequate sex education in their adolescence. I don’t know about the post-95 generation, but it’s true for me (post-90s) and many of my friends.
Parents are uncomfortable talking about sex-related topics to their kids. When we ask them where we came from, we are fobbed off with answers like “you were found in the street ”or “you were born from my armpit”, which was my mom’s standard answer. The things we learned from the few health education programs in school are negligible.
Official data from China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission showed that more than 13 million abortions were performed China in 2013. Another public survey of youth aged between 15-24 in China found that 22.4% of those surveyed have engaged in premarital sexual behavior. The lack of proper sex education has a direct effect on the social issues of teenage Chinese girls.
Menstruation-tracking app Dayima, which is slang for period in Chinese, found out from its online community that there are still many Chinese females, ranging from their teens to late twenties, that are in want of sex education. Founded in 2012, the app claims to have more than five million daily users now.
“I remember when a 13-year-old girl posted for help. She was getting her period for the first time and was scared that she would bleed to death,” Chai Ke, the CEO of Dayima said on Thursday.
Chai, born in the 1980s, pledges to be a woman’s best friend and help women tackle their health issues with a handy product, the Dayima app. As the company grows, it is taking a new approach to become a social networking tool for women, encouraging discussion of intimate experiences and health issues.
Hence the book, titled 400 times. Women are estimated to menstruate around 400 times in our lifetimes. This book has five chapters on menstruation and female sexual anatomy, and a chapter on birth control. It is a combination of simple language, funny illustrations and useful information.
The book’s content is generated from its online community “Jiemeishuo”, which means girl talk. This is a section for girls to talk about topics that they prefer to discuss with people they don’t know, like menstruation, pregnancy, genital health, etc. There are also gynecologists and nutritionists on the platform who contribute articles and answer questions online.
Business wise, the app has grown from a tool for girls to keep track of their menstrual cycles, weight, and sleep cycles into an online community and an e-commerce site that sells skin care products and sanitary pads.
Find our previous story on Dayima here.
(Both photos provided by Dayima)