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Sex Education

Sex Education

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Published by Amanda Diasip
Sex education taught at schools
Sex education taught at schools

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Published by: Amanda Diasip on Jul 24, 2012
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04/01/2013

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Sex education helps young be responsible
 
WITHOUT access to sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services, adolescents and youth,especially girls, face daunting reproductive and sexual health problems: unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions,maternal mortality and morbidity, violence, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, exploitation, anddiscrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.As in many countries, some 60% of the population of Malaysia is under 25 years of age.Evidence shows that sexuality education programmes have a positive effect on initiation of sex, frequency of sex,number of sexual partners, condom use and other sexual behaviours that can prevent negative sexual andreproductive health outcomes.Sexuality education also enables them to make informed decisions when they become young adults later inpreventing unintended pregnancies, baby dumping and getting STIs.While it is desirable for parents to provide sexuality education to their children, many parents dread it, and somerely on available educational materials.Parental guidance is one of the most influential means in getting messages across to the children especially when itis delivered with warmth and openness.Children are curious and naive, they keep looking for answers until they are satisfied. Therefore, parents have to beprepared with sufficient and appropriate information to educate their children.The book
Where Did I Come From? 
represents a good resource. It should not be brushed away. As long as sexeducation is presented in a wholesome manner
 –
its biological and moral aspects intact
 –
to the young, there is lessdanger of children becoming prey to irresponsible adults or sexual perverts. We need to teach our young to protectthem, not to expose them to irresponsible sex.Changing social conditions, rapid urbanisation, and an early start to puberty and delays in marriage, the acceleratedspread of information and communication technologies across cultural boundaries, and the gradual decline of extended families have all contributed to changes in relationships and sexual behaviours among young people.All these have prompted the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations Malaysia (FRHAM) to develop acomprehensive module called Reproductive Health of Adolescent Module.FRHAM, as a leading sexual and reproductive health NGO, has partnered with relevant organisations in conductingnumerous training sessions on how to use the module and has reached out to many young people in the country inimproving their knowledge and skills with regard to issues on sexuality.We strongly believe that it is important to inform and educate children so that they can make informed andresponsible decisions in their life.
Dr KAMARUZAMAN ALI,
 
Secretary-General,
 
Federation of Reproductive Health Associations Malaysia
 
 
Sex Education: What Children Should Learn and When
When talking to your kids about sex, make sure the conversation is age-appropriate.
 
Explain things in a way that your child can understand, given their age.
 
Don’t think you have to cover everything at once. Younger kids are interested in pregnancy and babies,
rather than the act of sex.Read our tips for parents about sex education and why sex education is important.  Every child is different, but here is a rough guide to what children should be able to understand about sex andreproduction at different ages.
Infancy: Up to two years
Toddlers should be able to name all the body parts including the genitals.Most two-year-olds know the difference between male and female, and can usually figure out if a person is male orfemale.
Early childhood: Two to five years old
Children should understand the very basics of reproduction: a man and a woman make a baby together, and the
baby grows in the woman’s uterus.
 Children should understand their body is their own. Teach them about privacy around body issues. They shouldknow other people can touch them in some ways but not other ways.
Middle childhood: Five to eight years old
Children should have a basic understanding that some people are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Theyshould also know what the role of sexuality is in relationships.Children should know about the basic social conventions of privacy, nudity, and respect for others in relationships.Children should be taught the basics about puberty towards the end of this age span, as a number of children willexperience some pubertal development before age 10.
Children’s understanding of human reproduction should continue. This may include the role of sexual intercourse.
 
Tween years: Nine to 12 years old
In addition to reinforcing all the things above they have already learned, tweens should be taught about safer sexand contraception.Tweens should understand what makes a positive relationship and what makes for a bad one.Tweens should also learn to judge whether depictions of sex and sexuality in the media are true or false, realistic ornot, and whether they are positive or negative.
Teenagers: 13 to 18 years old
Teens are generally very private people. However, if parents have spoken to their child early about sex increases thechance that teens will approach parents when difficult or dangerous things come up
 
Sex education will benefit children
There is no session in secondary schools that promotes safe sex education. I am not sure why we still don’t have it.
 The word sex itself is like a taboo in Malaysia. We live in a multi-religious society and I am sure every religionbelieves that sex before marriage is immoral but I also believe that no religion stops people from gaining educationin a good way, sex education included.
Parents don’t talk about sex with their children because they may feel
awkward and uncomfortable to talk about it.
By doing this, parents don’t realise the adverse effects.
 I say this because when children are curious, they keep looking for answers until they are satisfied. They tend to bemore interested in entertainment or that kind of issue. So what they do is, they will openly talk about sex with theirfriends, and they will go to the Internet.Children are naïve. By checking the Internet they may fall for the porn websites. Some of them may end up as pornaddicts and late
r, they want to try it themselves. That is why I am worried because I really don’t want to see a boy
from Malaysia breaking the record of Alfie Patten, who became a father at the age of 13.I suggest that schools should have a session teaching children about sex. I would like to stress here that it is not toencourage children to have safe sex but to teach them about sex for academic purpose and in a protectedenvironment. It should be done in a protected environment because, unlike surfing the Internet, students will betaught academically and monitored.There may be debate on when to start sex education or also how much information to give. I think we should not beworrying about this issue because Malaysia has many doctors, psychologists and others who are capable of doingresearch on it.The importance of having sex education is to give early exposure to teenagers on how sexual relationship works andalso to make them aware of the risks of having sex before marriage.For example, unprotected sex may result in diseases like HIV, and may also result in unwanted pregnancy. They canalso become victims of sex abuse, especially girls.There are many things that can be taught during such sessions, such as reproduction and reproductive health. It willbe good if the session is delivered in interesting ways so that students will not get bored easily. It is also important tomake sure that teenagers are comfortable listening to it. I believe it will be even better to separate boys and girlsbecause usually girls are shy in front of boys.I also think it should also include some religious talk so that they will know their responsibilities better. I hope thiscould be implemented soon because I believe children need the information so that they can be protected.
NUR ATIKAH MAZLAN,UiTM, Shah Alam.
 

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