Let’s Talk About Sex

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By Liwliwa Malabed

We don’t often hear this from grownups but last month, The FORUM for Family Planning and Development, Inc.

organized a press conference on Sexuality and RH Education for Youth: In School… In the ‘Net… In Demand.
Mr. Benjamin de Leon, President of The Forum, said that we must protect our children from misinformation. Adolescent RH education should be reliable and come from health experts.

Rep. Raymond Palatino, Kabataan Party List stressed that as a legislator, a Catholic and a representative of the youth sector, he sees the RH bill as an answer to the lack of appropriate reproductive service and dearth of information dissemination on sexual reproductive health for the youth.

Dr. Wei Siang Yu, also known as Dr. Love, asserted that the youth should not be deprived of reproductive knowledge since this is in fact their biological right. He said that it is no longer a question of educating them or not but instead, educating the youth better. The prevalence of internet can be used positively such as the case of sexxie.tv, which Dr. Yu founded.

Sexxie.tv is an interactive sex education website where young Internet users find the answers and support they need from medical and health professionals. It registers thousands of hits a day, with inquiries ranging from simple anatomy to risk of pregnancy and STD.

Ms. Cecile Villa of Foundation for Adolescent Development also believes that the Filipino youth today can be easily reached via cyberspace. They can have access to information on sexuality, reproductive health education, counseling and referral in www.teenfad.ph. FAD also finds offline measures such as campus-based life planning education (where the cost of parenting is computed by young participants) as helpful activities for the Youth.

Prof. Alvin Dakis of the Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates International (AYNLA) is worried that the youth not only get the wrong information but also turn to the wrong people for information. He said that even nurses and health professionals lack knowledge on sex education since it is not discussed in school.

Francisco dela Tonga of PIGLAS Kabataan believes we should equip the youth to prevent pregnancy and STDs. He cited studies that prove that age appropriate sexuality education delays sex debut and teenage pregnancy.

Dr. Randy Dellosa, Psychologist and Psychiatrist, said that the youth used to learn about sex from peers. Now they turn on their computer. He points out that adolescents should be able to rely on “a site that offers factual, research-based, culturally-sensitive and values-oriented information” such as sexxie.tv and teenfad.ph.

For years, decades, centuries, parents and teachers have successfully and cunningly skirted the issue. Sex is simply not something we talk about openly. When brought up, it leads to awkward silence, unnecessary blushing and embarrassed stammering. But with more Filipino children (23%) actively engaging in premarital sex at an earlier age (around 17 or 18) with 30% of them believing that AIDS is curable(!), then we grownups should grow up, endure an hour or so of discomfort and just sit with our kids for that long overdue sex talk.

Source: The Filipino Youth, 2002 YAFS Datasheet

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