Sex Education #2: Without Better Sex Ed, Malaysian Children Are Doomed

To read the Malay version, click here. 

Two days ago, there is news on 8-year-old boy shares how his classmate asked to play ‘Rogol-Rogol’ in school. Shocking right? How can this happen? Where did they learn all this stuff? From what I observed, our kids are going to be doomed if Malaysia does not provide better sex education for them. This issue is very worrying!

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credit: WOB

Recently, there have been many reports on crimes of sexual nature, especially incest. Like skeletons in the closet, these repulsive acts are being exposed after years of sexual abuse. According to the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, 1,796 incest, 1,152 unnatural sex and 6,014 molest cases involving children were reported between 2010 and May last year.

Sex-Education
credit: R.AGE

Besides, according to the reports by Health Ministry, STI rates have doubled in the past decade with syphilis increasing from 2.99 infected per 100,000 people in 2011, to 6.5 in 2017.

Do We Need Better Sex Education?

I believe that all of the schools in our country focus on how to make our kids succeed, right? With all the intensive classes, let alone the examinations to help them perform well in schools so that they can further studies to the best universities.

Some of us somehow always ask ourselves what is the need to teach our children about the importance of sex education?

Sex-Education
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Some of us also hate the ideas that if we teach our kids about sex education because it might distract them from their studies and put wrong ideas in their heads.

In my point of view, we can hardly find a school that teach the kids what will happen when students have sex because some of them believe, it will be too technical and not so academic for students to know about that.

After all of the cases that are happening in Malaysia recently, it seems the question isn’t whether Malaysia should invest in comprehensive sexual reproductive health education, but whether we can afford not to.

Correspondingly, sex education is something parents have to start with their children from a young age,

said Juliana Ooi, volunteer and trainer in comprehensive sexual education from NGO Family Reproductive Health Association.

credit: www.afa.org.sg

The sex education we get in schools in Malaysia is minimal. It’s mostly biological, for example in school, they only teach us what the function of our reproduction system and that is it.
There are no schools that will teach the children about consent, or is there any contraceptive options, or what happened after you have performed sexual intercourse with your partner.

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I am not even surprised that none of the schools teaches the kids about how to avoid rape from happening, what to do if you have been sexually abused.

Is Sex Education Cultural Taboos?

In 2010, former Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was reported in The Star saying that teaching sex education would be like teaching a thief how to steal, and that the move would encourage children to learn about sex among themselves, resulting in adverse incidences like unwanted pregnancies and baby dumping.

Sex-Education
credit: The Blog Place

Cultural taboos prevent many Asian parents from talking about sex with their children.

I think it’s the language used. People often think that sex education is about educating how to have sex,

said executive director of women and children development NGO Women: girls, Abby Latif.

But when you put it in the context of reproductive health, contraceptive measures against STD and STIs and financial literacy for young parents, it gives a whole different meaning to it,

she added.

For me, although for the general Malaysian community, introducing sexually related topics to primary school students seems not to be a good idea, but it is something that we cannot deny.

It is also remarked that a lack of explicit information on sexual and reproductive health is the core reason for the occurrence of unwanted cases since sex is still a taboo subject in Malaysian community.

credit: The Japan Times

Efficient sex education starts as early as before an individual reach puberty and before they have developed patterns of behaviour.

So? What say you? Do you think that we need better sex education in Malaysia or not? I guess we couldn’t afford to not to, right?

To read more articles about our #SEXEDUCATION series, please stay tuned!

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