China proposes teaching masculinity to boys as state is alarmed by changing gender roles

In January, China’s Education Ministry published plans to “cultivate masculinity” in boys from kindergarten through high school. The initiative involves hiring and training more gym teachers, testing students more comprehensively in physical education, making health education compulsory and supporting research into issues like the “influence of the phenomenon of internet celebrities on adolescents’ values.”

The plan follows a warning from one of China’s top political advisers that the nation is experiencing a national “masculinity crisis.”

“Chinese boys have been spoiled by housewives and female teachers,” the adviser, Si Zefu, said in a policy proposal in May. Boys would soon become “delicate, timid and effeminate” unless action was taken, he said.

Addressing the issue is a matter of national security, he wrote, warning that the “feminization” of Chinese boys “threatens China’s survival and development.”