Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Sex Education

Reading Kampung Girl's blog on sex education made me think. I found that many of my collegues had a similar opinion. According to them sex education is unacceptable to what they call "our Malaysian culture". Some said it was against the religion while others felt that their children can learn on their own.
I was particularly distressed by the last comment. You cannot leave children to learn about sex on their own. Curiosity about the body is part of any teenager's growing up phase and they would then have to depend on the internet, friends and other sources to obtain info, which may give them a twisted view of the topic. My wife told me that her teacher actually skipped the part on reproduction during her school days and they had to read on their own. Thank God I had a great biology school teacher who dealt with the topic in a very professional and informative manner.
I guess the whole problem arises from the term itself - the word "S-E-X" is taboo in our society. It is seen as a dirty word and people tend to get lot of wrong ideas about the whole issue. Maybe it would be wise on the part of policy makers to change the term to something more clinical and socially acceptable like "Reproductive studies" or something else.
As I understand it, part of the education, besides teaching us about our bodies, would educate teenagers that it is OK to say "NO!" if they do not want it.
We have to accept that the fact that the number of rapes involving teenagers, abuse of children by family members, unwanted teenage pregnancies, AIDs cases are all increasing in Malaysia. We cannot just put our head in the sand and pretend that everything is OK. Even if the sex education thing doesn't get through, there are a few things that parents can do. Read this article " Just Say No “ to Sex: Is Abstinence a Realistic Goal?" By Gwen Morrison . Would love to hear your comments on this issue.

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