THE issue of incorporating sex education in school has surfaced once again after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak stated in the Dewan Rakyat recently that 6,820 girls aged below 16 had given birth out of wedlock in the past 10 years.
One suggested course of action to combat teen pregnancies was introducing sex education into the core syllabus of Year Six and Form Three students.
I would like to acknowledge that the problems surrounding teen pregnancies stem from a lack of reliable information on reproductive and sexual health among youth.
Introducing sex education could be a great way to educate teenagers. However, the idea of incorporating sex education at an early stage is also worrying.
At this age where children should be playing with toys, is it a good step to expose them to sex? Would they be able to accept it?
We have to accept the fact that with current progress in technology and the Internet, teens can find out about sex with just a click of a button.
Whether their parents realise it or not, teenagers these days are being exposed to mixed, unrealistic and confusing messages about sex on television, the Internet and from their friends.
That is why it is better for the information to be taught in a proper manner, rather than letting them find out by themselves. Introducing teenagers to sex could help counter any incorrect concept of sex.
Plus, teenagers need a safe outlet to explore all of the confusing thoughts and feelings that have to do with sex without being judged. Rather than posting the question in online forums and getting the wrong advice, they need a place where they can ask questions and get accurate answers.
Unfortunately, many parents are not prepared to answer those kind of questions or feel that the child is not ready for the answers.
With teachers to discuss with and guide them about the issue in school, teenagers might be able to open up.
Who knows, besides curbing teen pregnancies, we might even be able to detect sexual harassment or rape cases involving some of them.
However, teachers have to be careful that they are educating, not confusing or putting fear, into their minds.
Malaysia is a multiracial, multi-religious and multicultural nation with each ethnic group having its own notion on the subject.
That makes teaching sex education in schools more challenging.
I believe the government should inform the public about what will be included in the sex education syllabus.
It is essential, especially for the parents, to be aware of what their children are going to learn.
Until today, no one has seen the syllabus or been told how the teaching is to be done, and that creates doubt about the plan.
Explaining what will be taught and how will help get the public’s trust on the issue.
Read more: SEX EDUCATION: Teenagers need safe outlet to explore subject – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/sex-education-teenagers-need-safe-outlet-to-explore-subject-1.170859#ixzz2CMQjYOxz