‘Urgent need for sex education’

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 24 Sep 2016

Birds and bees: Students listening to a talk by Thanam during the Sexual Encounter Seminar at Hospital Permai in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Most students in Malaysia are sexually active by the time they are 13, and a psychologist is counselling an average of one pregnancy case every two months.

Psychologist Engelina Daniel said incorporating sex education into the school syllabus would deter student from being involved in sexual activities and should not be delayed further.

“What many fail to see is that sexual activities among teenagers cause not only social problems but also have psychologically effects.

“More and more have been coming to seek counselling and treatment for acute stress and anxiety due to relationship problems,” she told The Star at the Sexual Encounters Seminar for students here on Thursday.

“We have to reach out to the students as early as possible, as those as young as 10 years old are being exposed to pornographic content from the Internet.

“There is no pointin turning a blind eye on the matter, thinking it will resolve itself,” she said.

She added that 15- and 16-year-old girls were more prone to face such issues, especially after suffering illnesses or being impregnated by their partners.

Activist Thanam Visvanathan Suresh, who talked about the lega­lity issue surrounding underage sex, said that many students, especially boys, were unaware that they could get in trouble with the law even for consensual sex with girls under 16.

“This is why adding sexual education in the school syllabus is vital, especially in this day and age where children are constantly exposed to sexual material on social media,” she said.

Sultanah Aminah Hospital obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Eliza Mohd Noor said most teenagers were also in the dark on health implications once they started being sexually, active especially if they had multiple partners.

She added that the current syllabus in schools only scraped the surface, as it is focused on the scientific terms of reproduction, and students are not given proper education on intercourse and its impact.

The consequences of unprotected sex and types of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) need to be explained to students, she said.

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