Sex Education: Do Filipino Teens Need It?
With the Philippines being an extremely religious country, it's no surprise that many people are opposed to the idea of imposing sexual education in classrooms. There are many wrong images that come with what exactly Sex Ed will teach students, and people often have a hard time separating fact from fiction. Here is a list of a few misconceptions about what people think goes on in Sex Ed, and what it actually is.
- The imposing of Sex Ed will cause an increase in sexual activity in teenagers.
The point of Sex Ed is not to teach teenagers to have sex. It is there to give them proper comprehensive knowledge on the topic so that they know how the whole thing works, and what the dangers that come with it are. Simply scaring teens into chastity and abstinence and using the "If you have sex before you get married, you're going to die" quip can be pretty tiring to hear after it is all that you are told by your religious advisers all your life.
It teaches teenagers properly what sex is, and what it may lead to. If anything, based on studies, its main purpose is to delay sex. Instead of simply trying it out and learning on their own, teenagers will have background knowledge on the subject. The implementation of this class can lead to so many positive outcomes for the country such as a decrease in teenage pregnancy, proper family and future planning, and the lessening of teenagers dropping out of school because they cannot support both their education and their baby.
- Teaching Sex Ed goes against the beliefs of the Church.
Though most Catholics strongly agree that God would disapprove of premarital sex, it is also a well-known fact that God promoted the idea of people improving for the better and leading well-planned lives, which is exactly what having proper Sex Ed in the Philippines can bring to us. Premarital sex may be wrong in the context of Catholicism, yes, but do people not see anything wrong with the continuous increase in teenage pregnancies in the country? It doesn't exactly come off as a shock to anyone that a large percent of the Philippines—33% alone in the NCR Region according to studies from 2015—has been affected by poverty. A large number of this group is made up of teenage couples who had no knowledge of sex, and because of this, went into their sexual lives unprepared. This leads not only to the unhappy life of the mother and the father of the child, but that of their children as well.
Don't get me wrong, God probably thinks premarital sex is wrong, but I'm pretty sure He would think that the suffering of hundreds of thousands of families because of not having proper knowledge about sex is worse.
- Sex Ed should not be a mandatory class that should be taken seriously.
This is something that is as untrue as it is dangerous. Having premarital sex with no idea of its repercussions can put teenagers at risk of so many things, with unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases being only a handful of what may happen to them. The worst case scenario that they may come to may even be death.
If teenagers do not receive proper education about sex, they will have no knowledge about subjects like the possible diseases they may receive—chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIVs, AIDs, and syphilis being only a few of those—and will have no idea how to prevent getting them. They will not know what to do if they accidentally hurt their partner, and will be unaware of any irregularities in their body that their sexual activity may be causing them. Having no education about sex will not stop teenagers from having sex; it'll just stop them from staying safe.
Having no education about sex will not stop teenagers from having sex; it'll just stop them from staying safe.
Do we as a country genuinely think that having teenagers know nothing is better than having them know about something as religiously "taboo" as sex? Perhaps we should stop pretending to be unaware of all the bad things happening around us and should actually try to make a change. Perhaps we should start trying to progress as a nation, just like the rest of the world.
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