The Department of Health has been criticised after a Facebook user brought attention to an online sex education leaflet advising young people against premarital sex and dressing too sexily.

Update: Hong Kong Health Dept. removes controversial sex education leaflet, citing ‘outdated content’

The leaflet’s date of publication is unclear. However, following the uproar, the department appears to have taken it offline some time on Wednesday evening.

department of health
The sex education leaflet. Photo: Department of Health.

On Wednesday morning, editor at literary magazine Fleurs des lettres and writing teacher Kitty Hung wrote on Facebook that she came across the Chinese-language leaflet as she was preparing lesson plans, and was shocked by it. Since it was published, her post has received 1,400 likes and 600 shares.

The leaflet provides adolescents with advice on the responsibilities that come with sex, the risk of pregnancy and contraceptive options.

‘Don’t be promiscuous’

Hung criticised several sections of the leaflet, which advised adolescents to avoid premarital sex by “not dressing too sexily” and by “avoiding being alone in a room together or meeting in a dark place.”

“The best way to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases is: don’t be promiscuous,” says the leaflet.

Department of Health
The sex education leaflet. Photo: Department of Health.

Hung added that the images in the leaflet suggest that it is women’s responsibility to avoid dressing in revealing ways and to reject advances from men.

“I can’t believe it’s 2017,” wrote Hung.

See also: HKFP’s Guide to Sexual Health in Hong Kong

“Why can the secular Department of Health tell people not to have premarital sex?” wrote one commenter, Brandon Yau.

Titled “The Meaning of Love,” the leaflet was published by the Department of Health’s Central Health Education Unit, but it is undated.

The leaflet was no longer available on the department’s website on Thursday morning. The webpage was last updated on Wednesday.

HKFP has contacted the Department of Health for comment.

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.