Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Stop being prudish about sex education


I still don't understand why our Ministry of Education is so prudish when it comes to incorporating proper sex education into our school curriculum. Today's news report concerning a global sex survey carried out by Durex on 5,409 Malaysians aged between 16 to 55 this year showed some very surprising results. I certainly didn't expect to read that Malaysians are starting to have sex earlier, and the average age for losing their virginity is 19. That is certainly food for thought for our religious authorities and self-appointed moral guardians of the public out there.

Has it got anything to do with the lack of a systematic approach to educating our young about sex? We need to get past the "birds and the bees" method of old where our teachers practically squirm in their seats trying to explain the process of procreation to sniggering kids. Admittedly, some of them did such a bad job that it would have been better that they did not broach the subject in the first place. The kids almost always ended up more confused than before they started. And that is when the kids come up with their own theories, some of which generously dished up by equally ignorant friends.

Maybe our MOE can collaborate with our Ministry of Health to start a programme whereby a group of teachers especially trained to provide proper sex education and counselling can go around to all the secondary schools in our country on a rotation basis. And to avoid potential problems, male teachers can conduct classes for groups of boys and female teachers will be assigned to teach the girls. These sessions will also be a good opportunity for the school kids to ask questions and get some real answers and guidance in handling their sexual curiosity as well as understanding the process of sexual maturation experienced by teenagers.

We have to face the reality that with internet access, our government can no longer control what our young ones are exposed to. By having a proper and systematic approach to sex education in our schools, hopefully we can teach our young to be responsible for their actions and perhaps avoid the unfortunate incidences of baby dumping and infanticide that is happening in this country. And considering that almost 4 out of 10 Malaysians surveyed admitted engaging in unprotected sex without knowing their partner's sexual history, is it any wonder that rising cases of AIDS in our country is a serious problem that needs urgent attention?

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4 Comments:

Blogger johnleemk said...

Well, this jibes with my own experience of sex education. The first informal sex ed I had was in form two, when my class coerced our (admittedly liberal and open-minded) Moral Education teacher into discussing a classmate's wet dreams. That didn't help much, because she presumed we already knew what sex is. The only formal sex ed is in form three, when in science, students learn about the reproductive system. There is no explanation of how the act is performed, and a cursory explanation of contraceptive devices available, but none of this matters - I know girls who have already had sex before they reached form three. Practically everyone in form three has already learnt about sex elsewhere. Sex ed is clearly inadequate.

9/11/05 17:51  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

I know you are still a school boy but still, do you know that some women got their first lessons on contraception at the gynae's office AFTER having given birth? Shocking, isn't it? This is a true tale from a doctor friend.

9/11/05 18:43  
Blogger johnleemk said...

Oh, God...I can't imagine there exist such people. Well, Durex says so, so it's true. 2/3rds of all Malaysians learn about sex after the age of 17.

9/11/05 20:17  
Blogger H J Angus said...

Think you should that article about the clinics in KL since you are near there!

I am sure there are such centers in each major city.

10/11/05 12:06  

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