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Singapore youth counselors call for sex education to start earlier

01-11-2012 12:53 BJT

SINGAPORE, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Some youth counselors called for sex education in schools to start earlier and be more specific, following a court case of underage sex.

The 15-year-old girl in the court case said she was told by his boyfriend that his menthol cigarettes would kill his sperm, local daily Straits Times reported on Wednesday.

Some counselors said sexuality education should start at the lower-primary level, given that children hit puberty earlier now.

"When dating couples get more intimate, some guys will come up with all sorts of explanations for not having to worry about pregnancy after sex," said Rachel Lee, head of a family service center that gives sexuality education courses in several schools.

A senior expert involved in efforts to contain the spread of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) in Singapore also said recently that sex education should start earlier to prevent unsafe sex.

A call was also made for sexuality education to be less abstract.

"The programs need to include more real-life scenarios and case studies, so teens can relate to these and apply them to the situations they are in," said psychologist Daniel Koh of Insights Mind Center.

The Education Ministry's sexuality education program is taught by approved external vendors to upper-primary pupils through to students of junior colleges and centralized institutes.

It looks at sex in the context of a heterosexual married couple, and promotes abstinence as the best option for teens. It also teaches teenagers how to say no to sexual advances and gives them information on the risks of contracting sexually transmitted infections.

Lee called for parents of primary school children to be taught to talk to their kids about sex, and for primary schools to run orientation programs for parents so they learn to do so age- appropriately.

A Bayer HealthCare study last September revealed that a third of Singaporeans polled said they had been given the wrong information on contraception. Some women said rinsing their private parts with Coca-Cola or staying upside down after sex would stave off unwanted pregnancies.


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Editor:Bai Yang |Source: Xinhua

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