Introduction to Sexuality Education in Schools
Sexuality education is a process of acquiring knowledge and skills, and forming attitudes, beliefs and values with regard to human sexuality.
Taught in schools, the MOE Sexuality Education helps students understand the physiological, social and emotional changes they experience as they mature, develop healthy and rewarding relationships, and make wise, informed and responsible decisions on sexuality matters. Sexuality Education covers the following dimensions of a person’s sexuality:
- Physical: Physical sexual maturation and intimacy, the physiology of sex and human reproduction;
- Emotional: Sexual attitudes and feelings towards self and others;
- Social: Sexual norms and behaviour and their legal, cultural and societal implications; and
- Ethical: Values and moral systems related to sexuality.
Issues of sexuality would involve value judgments. Parents as the primary care-givers, are responsible for the health and moral values of their children. Hence, parents may choose to opt their children out of a school’s sexuality education programme, talks and workshops. Parents may refer to the Roles of Stakeholders webpage for more information on the role of parents in the sexuality education of their children.
Why the Need for MOE Sexuality Education
Children need to acquire the knowledge, values and habits which will allow them to develop healthy and responsible relationships as they grow up. While parents play the primary role in their children’s sexuality education, schools have a complementary role to play in providing students with objective and reliable information on sexuality as part of a holistic education.
Our youth are growing up in a rapidly changing world, where globalisation and technological advancements expose them to a wide range of influences from around the world.
- Greater Access to Information
Our youth have access to many sources of information, such as the internet, cable TV and their friends. They are exposed to social norms of other societies and interest groups. Hence, it is important that our youth are able to receive objective and reliable information in schools, as well as guidance from their parents.
- Problems related to Teenage Pregnancies
Each year, there are about 2,0001 teenage pregnancies in Singapore (statistical age group used is 10-19 years). Some abort their pregnancies while others go on to give birth and become teenage mothers. Both groups suffer negative consequences, either from the trauma of abortion or as a single young mother, for which they are ill-equipped.
- Sexual Activity, STIs/HIV among Teenagers
Teenage pregnancies and the rates of STIs/HIV indicate that some youths are sexually active and are having unprotected sex.
- Source: Ministry of Health (MOH) and Registry of Births and Deaths (RBD), Singapore. ↩