The birds and the bees

Re­cent events re­mind us of the im­por­tance of sex ed­u­ca­tion.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRATS - By MELISSA ONG

I WAS shocked to read the news of the three­year in­ces­tu­ous re­la­tion­ship be­tween the fa­ther and daugh­ter that made head­lines re­cently. The part that wor­ried me most was when she ad­mit­ted to be­ing a will­ing part­ner and that her fa­ther paid her for each in­ter­course.

The first thing that came to mind was that we des­per­ately need bet­ter sex ed­u­ca­tion. Sex, to me, is the beau­ti­ful and in­ti­mate dis­course be­tween a cou­ple that is in love and most im­por­tantly, com­mit­ted to each other. It should in­volve love and re­spon­si­bil­ity.

As time goes by, how­ever, the whole con­cept is chang­ing. In today’s so­ci­ety, we hear far too many cases in­volv­ing rape, un­wanted preg­nan­cies, sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted in­fec­tions, and so on.

It sad­dens me that some­thing so pure has turned into a plat­form for so many so­cial is­sues – all be­cause we lack the knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing to pro­tect our­selves.

As a teenager, I know that talk­ing about the birds and the bees (with adults) can be quite awk­ward. Even some adults would find it hard to put the con­cept into words.

But I be­lieve it is ex­tremely im­por­tant for the youth to be taught on the ba­sics and con- se­quences of it. There is no point in mak­ing up funny tales of “pick­ing you up from the longkang”. It shouldn’t be a taboo any­more. Why shouldn’t chil­dren learn – at an ap­pro­pri­ate age – how they were con­ceived?

Keep­ing them in the dark will only cause more prob­lems. They could de­velop dan­ger­ous mis­con­cep­tions about sex, such as the idea that sex be­tween a fa­ther and daugh­ter is nor­mal.

Al­though I don’t know the ra­tio­nale be­hind the fa­ther-daugh­ter af­fair, I was al­ways raised with the no­tion that there is a boundary for ev­ery re­la­tion­ship. It scares me that the world has come to this.

Hav­ing said so, I do hope that the world can change for the bet­ter, and so so­ci­ety would fi­nally open up to the topic of sex. Ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness doesn’t en­cour­age sex, but it in­forms so­ci­ety and pre­pares them for the day they take on such re­spon­si­bil­ity. Well, as the say­ing goes, preven­tion is bet­ter than cure.

The writer is a mem­ber of the BRATs young jour­nal­ist pro­gramme or­gan­ised by R.AGE. To find out how you can be part of the pro­gramme, or to in­vite the BRATs to cover a story or event, email brats@thes­ For more info about the pro­gramme, go to face­­brats. Our braTs young

jour­nal­ists are al­ways go­ing for cool as­sign­ments.

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