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Light-hearted sex education videos go viral on Weibo

A series of short, one-minute educational video clips that aim at teaching young kids about sex, went viral on Weibo, China’s version of twitter.

In China, a largely sexually reserved country, sex education has always been a sensitive topic. The school education barely touches upon it and the parents either find it embarrassing or are at a loss as to how to have the conversation with their kid. So it is not so hard to understand the instant popularity of the clips.

Fertilization is likened to a needle injection in the clip. “The size of the needle does not necessarily matter.” the creators quipped in the video. Photo: weibo.com

The clips are motion graphics (MG), similar to the popular YouTube educational video series Minute Physics. The clips were made by a project called One Minite Sex Knowledge which got a 50,000 yuan fund from winning Baidu’s (a Chinese web services company) “Hobby Master Project” competition, which sponsors young people who have viable projects that they want to pursue but lack start up funds.

The initiator of the “One Minite Sex Knowledge” project, a young man named Zhao Yinlong who is known by his Internet alias Teddy Bear @灰色泰迪熊_V, said the idea came to them because two of their friends just became fathers last summer and they “wanted to make something for their babies.” “Sex education is an area that is barely touched, so we decided to do an MG project on that.” The young man said.

Popular cartoon characters like Garfield are featured in the videos. Photo: weibo.com

The project was done by a team of young people in their spare time. The 25-year-old Zhao was the producer, cartoonist and lighting technician. The script writer @BigD_大D and co-producer @面包啊 work for Guokr.com, a popular Chinese popular science social networking service website. Ding Zheng, aka @BigD_大D who penned the script at the request of Teddy Bear, said that their goal was to make a sex education video that is suitable for both adults and children. “The humorous tone helps to take the embarrassment out of the topic of sex. We hope we could provide certain information for the children and a way out for their parents,” he said.

The script took Ding about three weeks to finish. The drawing, on the other hand, took Zhao only about three days, which was filmed and then took two days to edit. The videos went viral shortly after Zhao uploaded them on Youku, a Youtube-like Chinese video sharing website, and Weibo, China’s version of twitter.

The Chinese instantly took to the humorously-scripted and well-dubbed series. One viewer said that the line “Mum and Dad will protect you” almost made her tear up. Many left comments saying they will save the video to watch with their kids.

"The only advantage a boy might have over girls is that boys can pee standing. It's more convenient."  Photo: weibo.com

The popularity certainly took the team by surprise. Co-producer @面包啊 only voiced his cautious happiness even when the official Weibo of the Beijing Police reposted the video. “Feels like it indeed is becoming viral,” he said. Zhao, who is self-employed at the moment, said they are working on a fourth clip.


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