Monday, April 27, 2009

Sam's Sex Education Programme

There is the view that AWARE is trying to promote homosexuality under the banner of "sex education". That made me think of something unrelated to AWARE and homosexuality. (For more, you can read about AWARE's comprehensive sexuality education here)

-add- This is just in. The Ministry of Education has made a release on AWARE's comprehensive sexuality education programme. Click here.

My wife occasionally pokes fun at me, that I am the "boyfriend/husband with no sex education".

That is partly true, because I cannot remember much of the "sex education" I received in school.

Yes, there was "chapter 13" in our Secondary 2 science books. But biology some how turned me off, so I couldn't remember much.

I am a very innocent, bordering on naive kid. I had no idea what on earth was the menstrual cycle, probably till I was 15 or something.

They talk about contraception in the books, and I had no idea what the hell is withdrawal, or rhythm-something (related to the menstrual cycle).

The fact that I had no idea about all these, was because for most of my teens, I had no conception of what sex is all about. Yes, vaginal penetration. Then what? Babies?

Given my rather innocent and asexual teen-hood, I would have probably thrived in Victorian England, or Church of Our Saviour Singapore.

Interestingly, without any conception of sex, I was always attracted to girls, but not in a sexual way probably because (duh) I could not conceive of sex.

I have seen animals do it on the Discovery Channel, and the closest to human beings were the monkeys (although Creationists will frown at this statement).

Given my teenage experiences, I realise there are different "consumers" of sex education. Some are already sexually active, some want to experiment, and some want to go to school and get good grades (me!).

Nevertheless, I feel it is important that sex education today be more comprehensive and polycentric.

For an inadequately (sex) educated person like myself, I believe I can contribute some stuff on sex education. This brand of sex education is rather cultural, than sexual, as you will see.

1) Firstly, teach responsibility. Do not hurt others or yourself. Be responsible, be comfortable, be respectful. (By respectful, I do not only mean say "thank you" after sex)

2) Talk about contraception, the types of contraception, and various (major) religious views on contraception.

3) Talk about abortion, the pros and cons, and various religious views on abortion.

4) Talk about pleasure and erogenous zones in the body, and again discuss various religious and cultural takes on them. Do not invisibilise the clitoris, female orgasm, and render female sexuality as passive.

5) Talk about masturbation, and provide cultural and religious views.

6) Talk about sexual orientation, give a brief history on sexuality and cultural and religious views on sexuality.

7) Talk about sexual identity: Emotional attraction (feelings, fantasies and desires), physical attraction (skin colour, body type, gender type), status attraction (attraction to rich people, or rugged working class men), lifestyle preference (spending quality time with whom), and so on.

8) Talk about conception to birth. Probably can include the scientific and creationist perspective. Isn't that comprehensive enough?

9) Teach about sexually-transmitted infections and diseases (already being taught any way).

10) Provide objective simulations of sexual intercourse, so that the non-porn-watchers among the kids can understand what on earth sex is. Of course, parent consent is required; parents can also come and watch with their kids too.

11) Provide negotiation tips on how to say "no" when you are unwilling to have sex, or when you are tired from having sex. (Sex educators need to have humour too, you know.)

12) Talk about gender roles and some basics on behavioural science: for example masculine behaviour among men, and feminine behaviour among women. Talk about gender confusion, gender identity disorder and so on.

I think it is important for cultures and religions to be represented in sex education. Ultimately, it is up to the kids to choose which views they feel more closely aligned with.

Even better, religious and community representatives can be invited to participate too! They can speak about sex education from their perspective. It will be just like another Racial Harmony Day, minus the ethnic minority costumes.

My sex education proposal also allows parents of kids the option to opt out, and instead have an organisation of their choosing to teach their kids their preferred brand of sex education, abstinence pledges and 19th Century chastity belts and other iron/steel anti-masturbation contraptions included.

This proposal also introduces to our kids the different cultural approaches to sex education. At least kids can understand sex education from the scientific, the religious and the non-religious perspectives.

Hey! Looks like a lay person like me can help shape sex education in Singapore! If Sam can make sex education proposals, so can you! What do you think?

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