Archive for the ‘Sex Education’ Category

Sex education for children a must

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Teaching children about sex can equip them with proper knowledge of the consequences attached to sex.

THE beginning of an article published in the New Straits Times recently may have brought back childhood memories and a smile to the faces of some readers.

The article itself was a serious one, but the lead and second paragraphs, though not meant to be funny, may have had that effect. In these two paragraphs, we are told of a statement recorded from a young woman who had been caught after abandoning her newborn.

Though well-educated, the young woman believed that a kiss could make her pregnant but did not know that sexual intercourse could.

It is no laughing matter, of course, but some readers probably couldn’t help but smile or slap their foreheads.

The Christians among us, especially, probably had some memories come rushing back. For those of you who have not read the Bible, the Holy Book is actually quite a racy collection of text.

This is especially so in the Old Testament, which for those unfamiliar with the book, is the part which, simply put, deals with the early history of the world and the Israelites. There are mentions of harlots and concubines, and scenes of rape, seduction and even drunken sex.

As a young child, however, reading the Bible can be a tad confusing when it comes to its mentions of anything sexual. As mentioned, there are tonnes of references to sexual intercourse between two (sometimes more) people, but in many of these references, the language is vague, to say the least.

It is, after all, a religious book containing things written hundreds of years ago. You can’t just say “so-and-so had sex with his/her significant other/concubine”.

The word most often used is “lay”. In the story of Lot, the nephew of Abraham, we are told that his daughters get him drunk after their mother is turned into a pillar of salt and “lay” with him to get pregnant (yes, you read that right… there is incest, too, in the Bible).

Little wonder, then, the confusion among young, impressionable and inexperienced minds; the mere act of lying down with someone can get a woman pregnant (or, “with child” — there was no confusion about that term).

The point here is this: it is not that the Bible is confusing; it is that one of the most important things we need to realise is that education is extremely important.

That education — sex education, that is — is the best thing to stop child sex abuse.

Federal police Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division principal assistant director Assistant Commissioner Ong Chin Lan was quoted as saying that greater awareness of sex crimes was needed to increase vigilance against sexual predators, along with stronger laws as a deterrent for others, such as the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017, which was recently passed in the Dewan Rakyat.

She was also quoted as saying that she believed moral-based teachings needed to be enhanced along with the present academic-based curriculum, and that there was a need to take another look at the approach to sex education in schools.

Others were quoted as supporting the need for a more comprehensive sex education syllabus in schools.

One thing these experts didn’t touch on, though, was the role of parents in all this. This point, in fact, is a very important one, especially taking into consideration how the article began. The woman talked about at the very start of it all had actually been told by her mother, when she was a young girl, that kissing boys could lead to pregnancy.

Sadly, we seem to have forgotten that the very first educators for children are their own parents. It is their parents who teach them their first words, how to hold their bottles, how to “go potty”, brush their teeth, and all other manner of things.

But, sex is a topic that is so taboo in Malaysia that when it comes to teaching our children about the birds and the bees, we tend to shy away or avoid it altogether. We would rather just leave it to schools.

And thanks to this taboo, and the social stigma attached to merely talking about sex, teachers, too, are usually loathe to go into detail, glossing over the subject and dismissing any questions the children may have.

Teaching our children about sex and sex crimes as soon as they are able to grasp the lessons should be the priority for every parent.

Yes, of course, we dread that talk. But, it has to be done, so that we can keep them away from predators and so that they are equipped with proper knowledge of the consequences and responsibilities attached to sex.

by LESLIE ANDRES.

Read more @ http://www.nst.com.my/taxonomy/term/7/2017/04/230882/sex-education-children-must

Taking on an awkward talk.

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

SEX IS the one topic that many parents will fumble with when it comes to educating children.

While it is often still treated as a taboo by many Asian families, many parents are beginning to live through the awkwardness by opening up on the issue nowadays.

Parents interviewed by MetroPerak are saying that it is important for their children to learn from someone they can trust about the changes in their bodies as they grow up and how they feel about the opposite sex, instead of letting them figure things out on their own.

Some have already planned how to broach the conversation with their growing children.

On the other hand, there are still some who only feel comfortable with answering questions if their children ask.

General Studies teacher Rafiza Ghazali, 39, said, as her children will become teenagers in a few more years, she thinks it’s better to educate them in stages as they grow.

The mother of two, aged eight and 10, said her children have already been exposed to the topic of intimate relationships in their religious studies, and it is up to her to explain the topic to them.

“They have asked me about the meaning of an intimate relationship. They understand that it is something that their father and I have together.

“Other aspects, such as kissing, they only know about thanks to watching movies.

“I think this is appropriate for their young age. I haven’t spoken to them about sexual relationships yet because it is better to wait for them to be more mature.

“I don’t want them to be shocked when they find out now,” she told MetroPerak.

On March 28, it was reported that experts are saying that parents need to be positive and open when discussing sexual issues with their adolescent children.

Universiti Malaya Educational Psychology and Counselling Senior Lecturer Dr Norsafatul Aznin A. Razak was quoted as saying that the failure of parents to clearly communicate with children about sex is one of the reasons that teenagers engage in free sex.

She also said that the use of communications devices among children needs to be monitored.

Agreeing with Dr Norsafatul, Rafiza said parents today should not feel shy or awkward about sexual topics, because it is better for the children to learn it from them than outsiders.

“If they don’t learn it from you, they are going to learn it from their friends, their boyfriends or girlfriends, and you will never know what they are actually telling each other.

“Who knows if they might feel tempted to do a ‘practical trial’ with other people if they are not educated properly?” she said.

A retiree who wants to be known only as Lee, 56, said she tries to communicate openly with her 17-year-old daughter when it comes to bodily functions and relationship advice.

“At this age, it is important that teenagers should know about sex and what they can do to protect themselves where sex is concerned.

“For me, it’s good that my daughter doesn’t feel shy about asking me these questions, so I have no problem answering them either,” she said.

Lee also makes it a point to voluntarily educate her daughter on the subject whenever they come across topics like pregnancy.

“I know that they also learn about reproduction in schools, and with teens being teens, they are bound to talk a lot about it among their friends.

by AMANDA YEAP
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/04/10/taking-on-an-awkward-talk-parents-admit-to-grappling-with-issue-of-speaking-about-the-birds-and-the/#I5TCfw5VH2dfXsJB.99

Lawmakers scrutinise Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017.

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawmakers spent more than nine hours in gruelling debates over the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017.

The debate on the Bill, which was at the committee stage last night, will continue today.

The Bill was scrutinised by MPs who raised several questions on the working of the proposed law.

Their concerns included questions on why child marriages were not addressed as a sexual offence against children, how to deal with victims during testimonies, how authorities can deal with the “dark web” and underground global paedophile networks, and also child pornography.

Some lawmakers argued that Section 2 – which states the Act is to be used for children below the age of 18 – was confusing and could allow perpetrators above the age of 18 to escape prosecution.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said pointed out the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017 was drafted to protect victims from all form of sexual acts without taking into consideration their age.

She argued the Bill was specifically targeted to protect victims and this was clear from its title.

“This is for the victims, not the perpetrator. The perpetrator can be of any age,” she said, adding the age definition of a child was in line with the Child Act (Amendment) 2016.

On child marriages, Azalina said there are specific laws in Syariah and civil laws which allowed children below 16 to marry.

The current civil laws allows a person below 16 to marry with permission from the Chief Minister or Mentri Besar, while Muslims below the same age can marry with the consent of Syariah Courts.

She pointed out the Bill also allowed the Government to prosecute Malaysians who travelled abroad to commit sexual crimes against children.

This showed the government’s seriousness, she said, to nab sexual predators regardless of where the crime is committed.

Earlier Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abd Karim said the new laws were needed to punish those who preyed on children.

Due to the efforts of The Star in successfully lobbying 115 MPs to pledge their support for new laws against child sexual crimes, the Bill is widely expected to pass (112 votes are needed to pass the Bill).

by HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAMMARTIN CARVALHO, and RAHIMY RAHIM
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/04/mps-debate-for-more-than-nine-hours-lawmakers-scrutinise-sexual-offences-against-children-bill-2017/#RYBLPIfgMrOFy8SF.99

Combating child sexual crimes is a long road.

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

PARENTS in Malaysia have been waiting for this for a long time.

The Sexual Offences Against Children Bill, which includes tough new laws to combat the child sexual crimes epidemic in Malaysia, is set to be tabled for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat this week.

The Star has successfully lobbied over 115 Members of Parliament to pledge their support for new laws against child sexual crimes. For Malaysia, having this important Bill tabled in the august House is just the beginning.

It has been almost a year of campaigning by The Star’s R.AGE, starting with our Predator In My Phone undercover investigations (fb.com/ragepmp) of child sex predators, all the way to our efforts in lobbying the MPs.

The investigations alone lasted six difficult months. Every sting operation was painstakingly planned out to protect undercover journalists, posing as 15-year-olds.

The team would spend hours with hidden cameras on standby in various positions. But most painful of all were the conversations they had with the predators, which were just … traumatising.

The predators would boast about the children they had raped, even offering to show photos of their victims.

That’s how emboldened they were, because chances are, they’ve done it before, and they know they probably won’t get caught.

Naturally, the top question a senior editor gets asked frequently is whether the project has made him paranoid that his son would someday become a victim of these vile predators.

But his reply is always the same: the only thing that horrifies him more than the thought of his son becoming a victim, is having his son grow up to become a predator who would harm a child.

The truth is, the new law, comprehensive as it is, serves mainly to punish child sex predators who have already committed a crime. It won’t stop our society from producing these predators in the first place.

And that’s the root of the problem – have we, as a society, failed in some way? Have we created an environment – from our homes, to our neighbourhoods and our schools – where sexual abuse is al­most tolerated? We have been complicit in our silence and inaction.

So, having the Bill tabled at the august House is just the beginning.

Yes, it will allow us to take predators and paedophiles off the streets, and maybe deter some of them from acting on their urges. Many of the NGOs, child advocates, lawyers and police officers the team worked with on Predator will finally have some of their shackles removed.

But ultimately, Malaysia needs to figure out how to change her people’s collective mindset on issues of sex, respect and plain human decency. Our children need to learn to respect their fellow human beings enough to not treat them as sexual objects.

As Sir Thomas More wrote in Utopia: “For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.”

And that’s where R.AGE hopes to take up the fight next – education. Not just for our children, but more importantly for our parents, teachers, lawyers, judges, social workers, police officers – everyone.

The Star Says
Read more @ h
ttp://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/the-star-says/2017/04/02/combating-child-sexual-crimes-is-a-long-road/#25EXmWWuEV5ZgQM1.99

Parents should discuss sexual issues with their teens.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The failure of parents to clearly communicate with children about sex is one of the reasons that teenagers engage in free sex.

Senior Lecturer of Educational Psychology and Counselling at Universiti Malaya Dr Norsafatul Aznin A. Razak said parents needed to be positive and open when discussing sexual issues with their adolescent children.

“The focus of the discussion is to equip them with information on underage sex, in addition to safeguarding their physical, mental and spiritual well-being,” she said.

She was commenting on a report of a Form 2 student in Malacca who confessed to having sex with multiple partners in and outside of school.

Dr Norsafatul said the influence of social media and ease of accessibility to information today have made teenagers more prone to going to the wrong source for information.

She said that the use of gadgets among children needed to be monitored.

“The issue can be avoided through open communication between parents and children.”

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the education system should be reviewed to address the increasing number of cases involving sexual activity among students.

She found it worrying that students were becoming bolder by engaging in sexual acts at school, which was supposed to be a hub of education, not of immoral activities.

Noor Azimah said teachers need to identify the troubled students and guide them.

“Parents also need to be more aware of their children’s activities and act quickly if their children are involved in such activities,” she said.

BERNAMA.
Read more @
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/28/parents-should-discuss-sexual-issues-with-their-teens/#yxP4EcxZwJ4S42TF.99

Strengthen weak link in fight against child sex crimes.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

THE fight against child sexual crimes in Malaysia is gaining momentum. Well, that may be something of an understatement considering that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself has made it clear that the Government will go all out to stop these heinous crimes.

On Monday, an outraged and resolute Najib vowed to put an end to child sexual crimes in the country, and added that the efforts would start with the tabling of the Child Sexual Offences Bill later this month.

A special court would be set up to deal with such offences, he said when opening a two-day seminar that was part of a campaign called Jenayah Seksual Kanak-Kanak: Hentikan!! (Child Sexual Crimes: Stop It!!).

He emphasised that the Government would ensure the proposed law is effective, comprehensive and holistic.

That is a key point. Many initiatives kick off with the best and most heartfelt intentions, but to keep going, they must have sound strategies, a solid legal framework and smooth execution.

To deter child sexual crimes, it is important that the cases are investigated and the predators brought to justice. For that to happen, those in authority must know about the plight of the victims. And this is often the weak link.

According to the police, there were 7,862 cases of sexual crimes against children between 2014 and last year. That is an annual average of 2,620, and these are only reported cases.

It is reasonable to assume that many more such crimes have remained dark, hideous secrets. As long as child sexual crimes continue to be “silent crimes”, halting them is an uphill battle.

Patron of the Permata programmes Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who has been championing the cause and the Hentikan!! campaign, said at the seminar on Monday that it is the collective responsibility of society to promote awareness of these crimes.

As she pointed out, many cases go unreported because children were afraid and families want to protect their reputation and honour.

In his speech, Najib said many still failed to recognise the threat of child sexual crimes because the topic was “considered taboo or sensitive”.

“But it’s important to teach children what is appropriate and inappropriate, and that their body belongs to them alone,” he added.

Beyond that, children need to know what to do if they unfortunately fall prey to sex offenders. There is a lot for the victims to overcome, and they can do with all the help and support they can get.

Police statistics show that in almost 90% of the cases of sexual crimes against children, the victims knew the alleged perpetrators. That alone can be a huge deterrent against reporting the crimes.

The Star Says.
Read more @
http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/the-star-says/2017/03/15/strengthen-weak-link-in-fight-against-child-sex-crimes/#RWFTZUqSD3W5KWEG.99

It’s unanimous – sex education, although taboo, is vital.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: “Sex education” are two words many Malaysians are almost too afraid to say out loud.

But that was not the case at the Jenayah Seksual Kanak-Kanak: Hentikan!! (Child Sexual Crimes: Stop It!!) seminar yesterday. Participants from all levels of society openly called for comprehensive sex education across the country.

They were heard.

“There’s a need to educate our children because they’re now able to get their answers from the Internet,” said Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

“In those days, answers were from parents and teachers, but some subjects – like your body – were taboo to talk about,” said the Women, Family and Community Development Minister.

“Now, children just go straight to Mr Google; all the more reason for my ministry and I to feel that we must teach our children as early as possible – about bad touch and good touch. I think it should be in our education system.”

During a presentation, the ministry’s Deputy Secretary-General (Operations) Dr Waitchalla R.R.V. Suppiah said it was “ridiculous” that Malaysians could not even talk to their children about their private parts using the proper terms.

“I heard that some parents use terms like bunga and batangBunga mana ini (what kind of flower is this)?” she asked to laughter from the audience. “If we, as adults, are embarrassed about talking about it, what more children?”

While there was no specific subject for sex education at the moment, Moral Studies, Biology and Islamic Studies all touched on the matter, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan.

“The ministry is, however, open to suggestions and ideas to further strengthen the syllabus and teaching methodology if the need arises,” he added.

Rohani’s support for sex education follows Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s call for parents to educate their children about “appropriate and inappropriate” touches, adding that children should be taught that their bodies belonged to them and them alone.

Rohani did, however, acknowledge the taboo that accompanied the words “sex education” hindered attempts at educating children and their families.

“Raising awareness and helping parents realise sex education are some of the hurdles we have to cross,” she said.

“It’s part of our culture to be more reserved when it comes to talking about sex,” said participant and mother-of-four Mariammah Subramaniam. “But children are our treasure and we have to protect them, even if it means you have to teach them about these things.”
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/15/its-unanimous-sex-education-although-taboo-is-vital/#lTf4rup1ecpxCdiS.99

Teach sexual predators a hard lesson

Saturday, March 11th, 2017
Loke (left), Berjaya Group executive director Nerine Tan (second from left), Syed Azmi (third from right) and representatives of Protect and Save the Children Association, Voice of the Children and Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking literally blowing the whistle on sexual predators.

Loke (left), Berjaya Group executive director Nerine Tan (second from left), Syed Azmi (third from right) and representatives of Protect and Save the Children Association, Voice of the Children and Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking literally blowing the whistle on sexual predators.

Citizens Against Child Sexual Abuse (CACSA) collected 40,000 signatures within a month in support of stiffer penalties against sexual predators in Malaysia.

CACSA spokesman Mimie Loke said they had also garnered support from MPs for the Child Sexual Crime Bill.

“We launched an online petition and also received physical signatures.

“We have also produced a booklet, Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse: Let’s Talk, which is available for free at 7-Eleven outlets.

“Parents need to be vigilant as sexual abuse is more often than not committed by people known to the child,” she said at the launch of a public awareness campaign at Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur entitled, “Prevention is the answer: How to be your child’s defender”.

“I urge parents to talk to their children from a young age about inappropriate behaviour from adults,” said Loke, adding that laws need to address the sexual grooming of children on the Internet, especially through social messaging services.

CACSA is made up of various NGOs including Voice of Children and P.S. The Children and ngohub.asia.

ngohub.asia representative Syed Azmi Alhabshi said parents should be good at listening and observing so they would know the early signs of sexual abuse.

ASP Noraini says adults need to educate children to protect themselves from sexual abuse by using easy-to-find items such as a pen or pencil.

ASP Noraini says adults need to educate children to protect themselves from sexual abuse by using easy-to-find items such as a pen or pencil

They should listen to their children’s stories, and look out for a possible hidden meaning behind them.

“They should give their children the opportunity and space to tell their stories, and be aware of any change in behaviour such as not wanting to go to school anymore.

“There is always a reason for a child’s actions, beyond that, parental supervision is important to prevent such incidents,” Syed Azmi said.

ASP Noraini Mohamad Noor from the Sexual Crimes Against Women and Children Division 11 said awareness and education goes hand in hand in combating child sex crimes.

“We have to be wary of who our children are talking to, especially with the popularity of social media.

by WEY WEI LING
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/03/10/teach-sexual-predators-a-hard-lesson-40000-respondents-in-online-petition-support-stiffer-penalties/#PSCOFQ0ApEhfSo28.99

‘Urgent need for sex education’

Saturday, September 24th, 2016
Birds and bees: Students listening to a talk by Thanam during the Sexual Encounter Seminar at Hospital Permai in Johor Baru.

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.

by KATHLEEN ANN KILI.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/09/24/urgent-need-for-sex-education-no-point-in-ignoring-the-matter-says-psychologist/

Teach young kids about sexuality

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Open discussion: Dialogues and workshops are a good way of engaging with schoolchildren on issues affecting the human anatomy, emotional relations and sexual reproduction.

Open discussion: Dialogues and workshops are a good way of engaging with schoolchildren on issues affecting the human anatomy, emotional relations and sexual reproduction.

CHILDREN are the easiest target and victims of sexual abuse. There have been so many reports of sexual atrocities committed against children.

The number of cases that have gone unreported are just as high.

I believe that parents play a big role in educating their children about sexuality.

Studies show that children with little parental supervision are more likely to engage in earlier sexual activities or abused.

In the absence of parental involvement, children might be influenced by their peers, images on the television, movies and also the Internet.

One recent study stated that there are about 9,000 sexual scenes exposed to children per year.

For this reason alone, parents should make it a point to be aware of their children’s sexual development and behaviour.

In the primary school years, children may become embarrassed about being naked in front of their parents.

They have curiosity about anatomy of the body, gender differences, menstruation, puberty and pregnancy.

If for example, a six-year-old child wants privacy in the bathroom, it might be a good chance to teach him or her about private parts and its rules.

Learning about sexuality should be put into proper perspective. Parents should be encouraged to discuss family attitudes, values and beliefs with their children at the early stage of their lives.

The discussion can be initiated with the birth of a sibling in the family.

At this stage, parents are encouraged to answer children’s questions as accurately as possible.

When I was five, I remember asking my mother why my older sister did not perform prayers.

My mother explained about the female menstrual cycle.

Of course I could not quite understand all of what she said, but I accepted my mother’s reasoning.

by AHMAD FAIZUDDIN.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/07/17/teach-young-kids-about-sexuality/

When talking to children about sex and related issues, it is important