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ViewPoint - Sex Education

Jacqueline M - 21 January 2001
A Singaporean lady married to an Austrian. She had spent a year in Austria and have recently returned to Singapore.

Comments: In Europe, sex is the most natural thing ... I have seen a TV documentary that showed parents actually walking around naked in front of their children to show the kids that it is more science then porno (that I can never do??) The media from simple advertisement to movies have very strong sexually message.

My 5-year-old girl is aware that men and women get naked and kiss a lot and she calls it "sexing". My son who was level three (8-year-olds), then is quite aware what is done during sex and he has a science book that shows naked men and women. I have a seventeen-year-old stepson who is very sexually active with his girlfriend. I had to give my stepson a brief conversation about the psychology and the other issues of sex and love. He was raised mostly by his mother who had never talked about it and he learned everything from movies and friends. My husband who had already lost his virginity at the age of twelve was given the talk by both his parents only at the age of sixteen ... and they were very short and uncomfortable and a little late.

Sex education is a very sensitive issue both in the west and east, it is a topic parents avoid having with our children. It is also a topic children avoid as they feel that parents don't understand and it is a dirty talk to have ... I personally feel that sex education lies very strongly on the shoulders of the parents as there is no age group one can pinpoint which is the best time to introduce into school curriculum. Sex education is very individual something which only parents close to their children can know when is a good time to talk about it. Children too have the curiosity of asking questions on the matter from as young as when they start to notice things around them; these questions can even come once a year or in undefined frequency. Parents are the only ones best to observe their children or teenagers having these doubts on sex issues in their mind but not knowing how to ask or who to ask.

The problem mostly lies with parents not taking time to talk to their kids to create a bond so they know what they are going through, especially "growing up" issues etc. Parents who can't cope with issues should seek advise so they can better deal with the 'birds and bees' talk. The issues on whether teens should have safe-sex or moral sex should be taught by especially the parents ... safe-sex is straight forward, it is moral sex that is the tricky part where the psychological effects of having sex before marriage must be explained to teenagers. Equipped with the right information teenagers would then be able to make better choices in life.

About troubled runaway teens ... their early bad sexual encounters ... alcoholism, drugs ... all these are all too shocking today in Singapore. Occasionally my husband goes to discos with me and we stay out late till three, I spend most of those times watching these teenagers as I feel it helps me cope with my own kids ... knowing what peer pressures they have to grow up with so I can have better conversations with them. I too grew up from a broken home .. had a child out of a wedlock ... spent a lot of time hanging out ... drank too much. I have turn around ... today I am a paranoid mother/housewife because looking back I feel that it was my parents that failed me by not talking and I mustn't fail my kids.

Parents must realize that children are not just decoration on their wedding cake ... they are a life time work and dedication and most of all each and everyone of them is a gift; not spoiling them too much nor ignoring them ... parents must find a middle ... a temperance which can vary from one child to another, they are made from a part of us and if we as parents can't understand, talk or guide them then who can? Parents are the best candidates for the job for any issues for their children.