A "masculinity crisis"? China says the boys aren't all right

In the latest attempt to tackle what academics and news outlets call a “masculinity crisis,” the Education Ministry has proposed emphasizing the “spirit of yang,” or male attributes, by hiring more sports instructors and redesigning physical education classes in elementary and secondary schools.

The plan, a response to a top official’s call to “prevent the feminization of male youths,” was released last week. It included no timeline and few other details, but it prompted an outcry online and is still stirring fierce debate on social media. One hashtag has been viewed 1.5 billion times on Weibo, a popular microblogging platform…

In recent years, as the country has sought to bolster its military and reckon with pampered children, mostly boys, born under its one-child policy, a more stringent idea of masculinity has emerged. Television censors have blurred the pierced ears of male pop stars. Well-groomed actors have been publicly derided as “little fresh meat,” and parents have enrolled boys in boot camps, hoping they will become “real men.”