Sex Education in Malaysia

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1. INTRODUCTION

This section will discuss the background of the study, the statement of the problem, the objectives of the study, methods used and the limitations of the study.

1.1 Background of the Study

Sex education is a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, contraception, and other aspects of human sexual behavior. Common avenues for sex education are parents or caregivers, school , and public health campaigns.

Parents are potentially an important source of information and support to their children on sexual issues, and research shows that both parents and children are keen for a significant part of sex education to take place in the home. In practice, however, it appears that many parents feel that they lack the skills and confidence to play a direct role in sex education. Experience from the USA and Europe suggests that parent education programmes can have positive effects on the quality of sex education that parents can offer (Blakey, 1996).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Globally, one of non-governmental organization such as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had organised Children and Young People’s Forum to give the right information to protect them from HIV/AIDS by providing for more effective sex education in schools. The number of people living with HIV/AIDS continues to grow with the rate in East Asia rising by 50 per cent from 2002 to 2004. In some countries in the region, the nature of the epidemic has changed from a concentrated to a generalised outbreak although in the majority of countries, the outbreak is at a relatively early stage. However, available data indicates that knowledge of HIV and ways to prevent it are still low in this region which makes action to protect those most at risk, including adolescents, essential.

In many European countries for instance Switzerland which sexual intercourse is considered acceptable and even part of normative adolescent behaviour at least from the age of 15 or 16 years. Switzerland is one of the world's lowest rates of abortion and teen pregnancy. Teens there like those in Sweden and the Netherlands, have easy access to contraceptives, confidential health care and comprehensive sex education. In addition, Sweden compulsory sex education starts when children are 10 to 12 without parental consent, teens can get free medical care, free condoms and prescriptions for inexpensive oral contraceptives and general advice at youth clinics. Emergency contraceptives are available without a prescription.

In Asia countries, for instance Sri Lanka, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is trying out a guide project on teaching sex education to children from the first grade and building on these sex-education messages in an appropriate fashion for each grade level, thereafter.

While in ASEAN countries such as Singapore, the government’s Health Promotion Board announced a new strategy to put teens off casual sex which to distribute a booklet to teenagers of 15-year-olds featuring color photographs of people infected with gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. The booklet is a based from the standard in a country with routine control. The booklet included of graphic because they wanted to grab teens’ attention and bring across the dangers. Singapore is one of the lowest STD transmission rates in the world, with a total of 6,500 cases reported in year 2001. The Singaporean doctors and three private organizations like Singapore Planned Parenthood Association, Action for AIDS and Singapore Youth Challenge had cooperated launched a new sex education campaign “Sex in the Air” which offered free advice for teenagers via mobile phone text messaging. During the campaign, teens can send text questions about sensitive or embarrassing topics such as safe sex, AIDS, pregnancy and masturbation...
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