Notes from the region

The China Sexuality Resource Centre (CSRC) was established in 2005 and is directed by Prof. Pan Suiming. It is affiliated to the Institute of Sexuality and Gender (ISG), Renmin University of China. CSRC will start a new round of programmes on sexualities from 2008-2010 supported by the Ford Foundation. The programme will focus on the sustainable development of the field of sexuality and aims to mainstream sexuality in China. It will be based on individual and institutional capacity building and networking, strengthening the work of the CSRC, further improving the research and activities within the Chinese context with a human-rights oriented perspective, and facilitating the dialogue in the nation and internationally.

Activities under the new round of programmes include:

  1. Lobbying with the University authorities to provide resource support to CSRC for sustainable development of the sexuality field.
  2. Organising national and international conferences on sexualities in China to strengthen the networks between different disciplines.
  3. Continually editing, publishing and disseminating Chinese newsletters and books nationwide.
  4. Continually providing grants and awards to encourage young scholars to be involved in sexuality research and set up courses in the universities.
  5. Translating English materials into Chinese and vicé versa.
  6. Being more actively involved in practices or facilitating practices by organising training workshops or seminars and providing lectures for different parties and organizations such as family planning association, disease control centres, media, and other related NGOS.
  7. Facilitating more effective dialogue between different parts of China, China and the region, and the international world by sharing information, exchanges, visits, participating and organising panels in international conferences and e-communications.

Update from Gaya Nusantara on the Indonesian Sexuality Forum

The current public discourse on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health and rights in Indonesia, as represented in emotional media debates and proposed legislations tabled by conservatives on polygamy, adultery, pornography and erotic dancing, to mention but a few phenomena, shows a lack of thorough understanding of the complex issues.

On the other hand, a small but significant critical mass of Indonesians have been educated in various sexuality institutes using a critical and emancipative approach to the subject, to the extent that a well-thought-out response needs to be constructed. At the same time, the fact that most sexuality institutes are held in the English language has meant that more people who could enroll in them otherwise have been barred due to a mere lack of language proficiency.

Realizing all that, a group of Indonesian non-governmental and community-based organizations came together to put our expertise and skills together to educate each others’ constituencies, namely married couples of reproductive age, midwives and health providers, religious leaders, young people, LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed and queer and questioning) people and people with different abilities, about sexuality and sexual and reproductive health and rights using a critical and emancipative approach.

In this pilot program, called the Indonesian Sexuality Forum, which can be expanded and replicated in other communities after appropriate monitoring and evaluation and later revisions and adaptations, a core module has been composed to be used by trainers, hailing from the different organisations in the Forum, in training the various constituencies. In addition, community-specific modules will also be developed.

The Forum dovetails with the work of the South and Southeast Asia Resource Centre on Sexuality in that GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation, a member of the Forum, is the liaison between it and the Resource Centre. News and other pieces from the work of the Forum will be translated into English and included in the Resource Centre website and In Plainspeak, and the other way around. The program will also identify potential participants from Indonesia in Resource Centre activities. It is envisioned that this collaboration will inform the region about Indonesia and vicé versa.

Update from the Institute For Social Development Studies in vietnam

Under the Ford Foundation’s support, the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS) set up a Resource Centre on Sexuality and Sexual Health in 2002. The Centre has been known by researchers, practitioners, lecturers and students, not only because of its wide and multi- format collection of national and international teaching and reference materials in the field, but also because of its informative and user-friendly website. The Centre has also conducted a series of seminars, which is perceived as a forum for those researchers who want to come and share, seeking ideas for their work.

Set up subsequently, JVNet, a bilingual English-Vietnamese listserve and newsletter on HIV/AIDS has up to now had more than 2000 subscribers. More recently, the newsletter Living with HIV, a forum for and by People Living with AIDS (PLWA), has been warmly received by not only the PLWA network but also by many authorities and functional organisations and agencies at all levels. The circulation of the second issue was 2000 copies, double that of the first.

Currently, the Centre continues to excel in its mission to serve readers by maintaining the websites and seminars, producing more publications and, probably more importantly, opening up linkages with universities and research institutes and with international and regional centres such as the South and Southeast Asia Resource Centre on Sexuality in India, and The National Sexuality Resource Centre (NSRC) in the United States.

In 2007, the Ford Foundation and UNFPA charged ISDS with the responsibility to conduct a National Survey on Sexuality and Sexual Health in Vietnam. This project is intended to run for over three years and will set the standard for research of this type in the near future.

The overall objective of this project is to produce an empirical foundation for a comprehensive understanding of the key issues of sexuality and sexual health in Vietnam and the promotion of sexual well-being, sexual rights and gender equality as indispensable factors for socio-economic and human development in Vietnam.

To this end, the project aims to:

  1. Explore and map present knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and practices (KPAP) towards sexuality of a nationally-representative sample of the Vietnamese people.
  2. Identify parameters/boundaries and determinants of Vietnamese sexuality.
  3. Trace changes in sexuality KPAP over the past 50 years and the relation between these changes with human development in Vietnam.
  4. Identify major sexual health issues and their relationship to people’s sexuality KPAP.

We are currently in the process of revising the questionnaires after the consultation meeting. Also, as this is the very first survey of this nature in Vietnam, omission is almost inevitable and therefore any feedback or recommendations for inclusion at the later date would be gratefully received. Please find us at

We thank Pan Suiming in China, Dede Oetomo in Indonesia, and Khuat Thu Hong in Vietnam for preparing these updates.