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Teaching the Brazilian ‘kiss’ to Japanese college students (and shaking up their culture).

Teaching the Brazilian ‘kiss’ to Japanese college students (and shaking up their culture).

Before my teaching career, I had worked between Brazil and Japan for some 20 years in a series of sexual and reproductive health projects. The first time I worked in Sao Paulo (1988–1993), the post-dictatorial, newly-born Brazilian health system was being caught off-guard by the AIDS epidemic. I witnessed the rise of the self-help groups of people with HIV that courageously exposed themselves to, and gradually won support of, the Brazilian society – and the free antiretroviral therapy policy that revolutionized the world’s fight against AIDS.

Brazil is also a pioneer in the natural childbirth movement. I worked in governmental cooperation projects (in Fortaleza/Sao Paulo, 1996–2001, 2003–2005) aimed at reducing the sky-rocketing C-section rate. Japanese midwives, with their traditional knowledge and sweetness, and Brazilian health professionals and birthing women, with their flaring passion for change, worked hand-in-hand for the cause called the “humanization” of childbirth.

Back in Japan, teaching about sex is not an easy task. The Ministry of Education literally prohibits sexual education to 1st year junior high school students. Families do not even have a name for the sex part of their daughters. Boys wrongly believe that adult penises should naturally grow out of the foreskin, and as they don’t, need special maneuvers . . . I understand that teaching about sex in Japan means shaking up the culture. One important component of my work is to help students learn to open up to others. Teaching them to “kiss” each other’s cheeks the Brazilian way is a sure way to shake them.

Speakers: Daisuke Onuki
Areas of Interest / Categories: Sexual Behaviour, WAS 2013

WAS 2013

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