Quick Hit: Cheongju Sex-Education Camp for Teens


Sex-education is still so severely neglected in the Korean education system, and still so stuck in the 1980s, that it’s easy to think that things will never change. Especially with an administration so opposed to women’s reproductive rights.

But it’s not all doom and gloom though, and a quick internet search reveals what seems to many camps like this across Korea each summer:

청주시, 속리산 유스타운에서 청소년 성교육 캠프 실시 / Teenage Sex-Education Camp Held at Sokrisan Youthtown, Cheongju

Newswire, 18 July 2012

청주시(한범덕 시장)는 7월 18일부터 19일까지 청주시 소재 중학교 남녀학생 62명과 함께 속리산 유스타운에서 1박 2일간 청소년기에 알아야 할 올바른 성가치관의 정립과 성행동에 대한 책임의식 고취, 청소년들의 건강한 성문화 정착을 위해 청소년 성교육 캠프를 마련했다.

From 18th to the 19th of July, 62 boys and girls from a middle school in Cheongju will attend a two day, one night sex-education camp at Sokrisan Youthtown. Its purpose is to promote healthy sex-culture among teens by instilling correct sexual values and a sense of responsibility about sexual acts.

이번 사업은 청주시여성발전기금 6백만원을 지원하여 인구보건복지협회 충북지회부설 청주성폭력상담소(소장 엄정옥) 주관 하에 청주시내에 소재한 중학교 남녀 학생 62명을 대상으로 청소년들이 직접 참여하여 눈으로 보고 체험할 수 있는 프로그램으로 운영하게 된다.

This event is organized by the Cheongju Women’s Helpline Consultation Center (Manager: Ohm Jeong-ok), part of the Cheongju branch of the Planned Population Federation of Korea, and was provided with 6 million won by the Cheongju Women’s Development Center. It will give 62 Cheongju male and female middle-school students a chance to experience things directly and see them with their own eyes.

전체 62명을 6개조 모둠으로 구성하여 지도교사(성교육전문가)의 진행 하에 모둠별 집단 프로그램, 신체관련 모형 만들기, 눈으로 보는 성교육(임신·출산·낙태·피임방법·성병)과 청소년 성폭력 예방 동영상을 시청하고 서바이벌게임과 황톳길체험, 별빛 성축제를 통하여 또래 간 친화와 화합의 시간을 갖는다.

The 62 students will be in split into 6 groups, each under the control of a teacher specializing in sex-education. They will progress through various programs, including: making body shapes [James – possibly that’s what they’re doing in the picture below, taken later]; receiving visual education [James – ?] related to pregnancy, childbirth, abortion, contraception, and STDs; watching teenage sexual violence prevention videos; doing survival games; going hiking; and making friendships through a “Starlight Sex Festival”.


또 성개방화·성상품화로 인해 다양한 청소년 성문제가 사회문제로 확산되고 있고 급속한 산업화로 인한 잘못된 정보의 홍수 속에서 자칫 일탈의 길로 접어 들기 쉬운 청소년기에 이들의 눈높이에 맞는 성교육 캠프활동을 통하여 올바른 성가치관을 심어주고 성행동에 대한 책임의식을 함양하여 문제를 스스로 예방하고 대처할 수 있는 성적 의사결정 능력을 키우기 위한 일환으로 마련됐다.

Because of greater sexual liberalization [James — meant in a negative sense, i.e. greater exposure to sex in the media and earlier and more frequent sexual experience], teenagers have various sexual problems, which are becoming society’s problems. But because of industrialization [James – the rise of the internet?] there is a lot of incorrect information about sex out there, and it is very easy for teens to take the wrong path. Through an age-appropriate program, this event is designed to instill correct sexual values, to promote sexual responsibility, and to help students themselves prevent sexual problems and make decisions.

청주시 관계자는 “청소년 성문제는 개인의 문제가 아니라 우리사회 전체의 책임이므로 이번 행사가 청소년들에게 올바른 성 가치관을 정립할 수 있는 좋은 기회가 되길 바란다”고 밝혔다.

A Cheongju city official said: “Teenage sexual problems are not just person problems, but all society’s responsibility. I hope this event gives teenagers a good opportunity to gain correct sexual values.”

7 thoughts on “Quick Hit: Cheongju Sex-Education Camp for Teens

  1. “receiving visual education [James – ?] related to pregnancy, childbirth, abortion, contraception, and STDs”

    When I was in seventh grade health, we had to watch a whole contraception to birth video, and in high school we had to watch an amazingly graphic slide show of various STDs on adults and on infants born to infected mothers. I wonder if their visual education is something similar?


    1. My first thought was that it would be (or involve) videos too, but then in the next line it mentions “teenage sexual violence prevention videos”, so I wondered why that wasn’t mentioned as part of the “visual education” of the line before.

      Either way, it’s an annoyingly vague article. It would be ironic if the program turned out to just be full of cutesy cartoon characters etc. etc. after I praised it so.


  2. “a whole contraception to birth video” – I take it you mean ‘conception to birth’?

    This year my middle schoolers have been getting a number of lesson about sex ed. by guest speakers who come to each class. I’m not sure exactly what they’re teaching but they’re all getting at least a few hours of it.


    1. You’d have to ask Amanda, but I think the line makes sense myself – after all, contraception tends to “happen” before conception! :)

      Glad to hear about the guest speakers. In case you haven’t read it already, here’s a translation of an article by one such speaker, about what she found teenage boys said and though about revealing women’s clothing.


    2. Ha, yes, I meant CONCEPTION, although the video did include contraception in it. Pesky TRA…

      Speaking of guest speakers–we also had a guest speaker from the local domestic violence shelter. They said that in most rape cases, the victim knows their attacker.

      A week later, we had a woman come in from True Love Waits who told us we should only go out with people we know so we don’t get raped. And then she tried to get us to sign virginity pledge cards. When I told her what we had learned, she meekly said, “But it would help.”


  3. Interesting. Not enough details on the camp for me to judge, but I will say: at least it’s a start! Korea’s youth is in dire need of proper resources and guidance on sex. I’d love to meet these “teachers specializing in sex education”–I’d no idea such unicorns existed in South Korea! I intuitively agree with James that “industrialization” = primarily the internet; with connectivity so pervasive in the country, the web is likely the “go to” manual for everything. Goes without saying, but for proper sex education to make a lasting positive impact, it must be institutionalized throughout the country; without constant reinforcement, the lessons learned at the camp will mean little out in the real world.


  4. I guess this only proves that Korea is being more open-minded when it comes to sexual awareness and education. This is good news since it can lessen unexpected pregnancies and early marriages, in some ways.


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