Thursday, April 22, 2004

*Sex Education*

Writing to it gets posted...=)

I read with some interest Mr. Tan Thuan Seng's letter dated 220404 om 'Cancer threat from new sex infections' and would like to thank him for raising this issue to the public and for his recommendations to the Ministry of Health.

However, I am forced to read his piece with a critical, and some might say, jaundiced eye because of the agenda his organisation has been pushing.

Focus on the Family is a Christian based group (in)famous for its 'abstinence only' sex education policy with an emphasis on the 'virginity pledges' and its critique on the efficacy of the use of Condom in Safe Sex and its implied conclusion that there is none as such.

While it is reasonably true that there is no such thing as safe sex, there is however, Safer Sex and by neglecting such a concept, Focus on the Family has ultimately done a disservice to the groups it purportedly wants to protect.

Leaving aside the narrow religious moralism championed by the group, there is still a lot of practical detriments that could be ascribed to their policy. Foremost amongst which is the group's message being predicated on the fallacious logic that teaching about safer sex equates to the promotion of sex in general.

The real danger is that by not doing so and by pushing its message in the faces of others, they risk alienating the high risk groups, in particular, the high incidence of teenagers engaging in pre-marital sex (as polled by Durex and the Straits Times). Even in the highly improbably situation whereby the majority of these teens are swayed from their present course, there is still a situation whereby the remaining will continue to engage in their activities without the knowledge of how to properly put on a condom or the dangers of unprotected oral sex. Besides which, by what means do we then magically ascribe such knowledge to married couples?

The best service we could provide to our youth would be to treat them like young adult. Providing them with a balance education, one without religious moralism and let them make the final decision.


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