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The rightful role of parents in sex education

As a private educator for 18 years, I have encountered an increasing number of children, especially boys, who asked me questions on sex, the youngest at eight years old.

The rightful role of parents in sex education

It is critical that we teach our children that sex is not a recreational activity to be indulged in before marriage, says a reader.

Ho Lay Ping

As a private educator for 18 years, I have encountered an increasing number of children, especially boys, who asked me questions on sex, the youngest at eight years old.

Thus, it is heartening to know that parents are taking up their rightful role of imparting sex education to their children (“When my nine-year-old son asks about the birds and the bees”; Feb 8).

As a child growing up, I acquired my sex education through romance novels introduced by peers. Indeed, sex education comes with the teachings on intimacy, love, responsibility and even marriage. Sexual education must include the emotional part of a sexual intercourse. Romance novels are very graphic and skewed in their depiction on sex. I could have experimented with pre-marital sex if not for my parents’ strict upbringing.

A large-scale survey was conducted here by not-for-profit charity organisation Touch Cyber Wellness in 2014, to examine children's exposure to pornography. It polled 836 students aged 13 to 15. It revealed that one in two teenagers here has watched or read sexually explicit materials, with some as young as seven when they were first exposed to it.

Truly, it is the duty of every parent to educate their child before he or she is exposed to the wrong source or bad peer or adult influence.

It is common to hear lower primary school students exchanging vulgar jokes about their private parts.

They have not been taught that their bodies have inherent worth and are not instruments of pleasure at all costs.

It is critical that we teach our children that sex is not a recreational activity to be indulged in before marriage.

The logical consequences of sex without the stability of marriage are children born out-of-wedlock, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases. The youngest age to undergo abortion here was 13 years old. No parental consent is required. Parents may not even know that their child has depression due to such an invasive procedure like abortion.

A child is a gift of life. Parents are granted stewardship of these precious gifts. It is the responsibility of parents to work with trusted adults and institutions to build a hedge around our kids who are increasingly vulnerable to child molestation or sexual abuse.

Every parent, well-educated or not, can be equipped to teach and impart sound values to his child. Together, we build a safe environment for our children such that they gain a heart of wisdom at every stage of their lives.

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