Sex is the fundamental of our existence however it has been a provocative word in Malaysia. According to the Wikipedia, sex is an extensive term used to illustrate education concerning sexual anatomy, sexual anatomy, sexual reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, contraception and other aspects of human behavior. Furthermore, a comprehensive sexuality education has been defined as “a life-long process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs, and values about identity, relationships and intimacy,” (SIECUS 2004).
The debate regarding the teaching of sex education in school has been ongoing as the issue is perceived as sensitive because of cultural and religious belief. Sex education should be taught in schools as it gives the youngsters early exposure of sex, curbing premarital sex and baby dumping cases and provide awareness and protection to young girls. The youngsters should be given early exposure of sex. The youngsters are curious about sex. Since the formal education of sex is very limited, they then have channeled their curiosity to the Internet for more information about sex.
According to Durex Sexual Wellbeing Survey, a total of 75% of men and 71% of women relied on the Internet in order to search out information on sex. School sex education, meanwhile lagged behind with 36% compared to other sources, magazines 73%, books 65%, peers 56% and partners with 43%. Besides, according to Datuk Ma’mor Osman, the general secretary of Malaysian Islamic Consumer Association; the teaching of sex education is not all about teaching the students of how to do sex, but it more to safeguard their reproductive organ. They need to know how to take better care of these organs.
Basically, formal sex education in school will benefit students as they are able to make comparison and equip them to make informed decisions about sex activity. What are premarital sex and the implications? However, careful researches must be done to choose the right module and approaches for the subject. Besides that, formal education in school helps to curb premarital sex and baby dumping cases. Various data indicate the mushrooming numbers of young and unmarried people are already having sex. For instance, The National Health and Morbidity Survey reported that 1. % of male students were sexually active with the incidence in male students twice that of female students. This somehow leads to the increasing number of premarital sex and baby dumping cases. Poor knowledge of sexual and reproductive health together with peer pressure in decision making and bad social life style are found to be major factors that contribute to premarital sex and baby dumping cases. The Health Department in Negeri Sembilan reported that there are 451 pregnancies outside of wedlock in government hospitals and health clinics in 2007 and 365 in 2006. Besides, girls aged 16 years or below accounted for 12. % of the cases in 2007 and 10. 4% in 2006. Hence, a school-based sexual education can improve consciousness of risk and knowledge of risk reduction strategies, increases self efficacy and intention to practice safer sex, delays rather than hastens the onset of sexual activity. Moreover, students also can learn about healthy boy-girl relationship and child-parent relations. Other than that, sex education also provides awareness and protection to young girls. The said subject can create awareness to the young girls by having a single gender sex education session in school every two weeks or when necessary.
This session is especially for young girl, where they can get a chance to express their thoughts, misunderstanding and confusion about sex. Teachers are playing a vital role in instilling awareness and protection to them so that they would not involve in such social illnesses. Furthermore, how can we create awareness and protection to those girls who already got involved? People who got involved in baby dumping cases are innocence young girls. They ended up committed such heinous crimes as they have nowhere else to go for help.
The teaching of this subject will provide young girls with information that they need so that they will be well informed about help accessible for them to seek for. This is supported by Datuk Sharizat Abdul Jalil’s comments, The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is moving actively to assist unwed mothers and providing shelters for unwanted babies through the National Population and Family Planning Board (LPPKN) clinics nationwide. Besides, the Ministry also is providing assistance to Non-Governmental Organization (NGO’s) which have set up homes for unwed mothers and unwanted babies.
This project can be very cooperative for the young girls when food, shelter, medical care, counseling, and legal aid are provided in a loving and caring without judgmental milieu. Therefore, by having a comprehensive sex education in schools; young girls will be well-versed that help is available and where to go to seek support. In conclusion, after having a looked at the benefits and arguments, I strongly believe that sex education should be taught in schools as it gives early exposure to the youngsters about sexuality, helps curbing premarital sex and baby dumping cases and create awareness to young girls.
Hence, the government should reconsider to re-strengthening the implementation of sex education or reproductive health education in Malaysian schools comprehensively. However, more research should be done in selecting the best module for the teaching of the subject. Besides, the citizens should think logically about the benefits of the teaching instead of thinking sexual education as a taboo.