Teaching Sexual Education to Children

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The term “sexual education” in Malaysia usually calls to mind the sexual act itself, which is perhaps why it is not permitted to be taught as a standalone subject in schools. Instead, it is incorporated into other subjects, such as Moral and Islamic Studies, and Science and Biology under the Reproductive and Social Health Education (PEERS) programme introduced in 1989. Its prime focus is on abstinence.1

However, globalisation, urbanisation and access to social media continue to heighten young people’s curiosity about sex though, belying the more conservative views of their parents and the country’s policymakers. To bridge this widening gap, the Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) actively works with primary and secondary school students, and youths from colleges and universities, through interactive personal safety and youth programmes to raise awareness about sexual harassment and violence, at the same time educating them about their rights and responsibilities.2


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