Textbook for Boys Designed to Encourage Masculinity Introduced in Shanghai Elementary Schools

Chinese boy
Chinese children at an elementary school, Shanghai, China, September 1, 2014. Gender studies expert Fang Gang said putting too much emphasis on stereotypical "male traits" promotes inequality. Johannes Eisele/Getty

A textbook specifically for boys has been published in Shanghai.

The book aims to help young male students in Chinese elementary schools understand their role in society through physiological and psychological explanations, focusing on masculinity, responsibility and "self-protection ability."

The six-chapter book, with a title that translates as Little Men, encourages boys to be brave and independent, local media reported.

Topics include: "What is the difference between a boy and a girl?," "Why am I a boy and not a girl?," "What does a father mean to a son?" and "Why do we need to have awareness about investment and money management?"

You Rui, the book's chief editor, told The Beijing News that he hoped the book would help boys to develop a more outgoing nature and overcome problems linked to "growing up."

But Fang Gang, director of the Institute of Sexuality and Gender Study at the Beijing Forestry University, told the South Morning China Post that placing too much emphasis on masculinity promotes gender inequality.

The Shanghai Educational Publishing House said a textbook for girls is in the process of being written.