Communicate with your kids about sex, UM lecturer tells M’sian parents

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KUALA LUMPUR: The failure of parents to communicate with children on the issue of sex is among the reasons that teenagers engage in free intercourse.

Senior Lecturer of Education and Counselling at Universiti Malaya, Dr Norsafatul Aznin A. Razak, said parents need to be positive and open when discussing sexual issues with their adolescent children.

“The focus of the discussion is to equip them with information on underage sex, in addition to safeguarding their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

“Parents need to talk about boundaries when it comes to relationships with family members and friends, as a way to curb unrestricted mingling which could lead to premarital sex,” she said.

She was commenting on the issue of a Form 2 student in Malacca who confessed to having sex with multiple partners in and outside of school.

Norsafatul said that the influence of social media and ease of accessibility to online information have made teenagers prone to going to wrong sources for information.

She said that the usage of mobile gadgets among children needs to be monitored. This is especially the case when it comes to children aged between five and 12.

“(Negative behaviour) can be avoided through open communication between parents and children. However, there is a stigma attached to sex education, in that it is thought to promote sex among teens.

“We need to change that perception and look at it from a positive side, where it could be used to educate teens against it,” she said.

In addition to that, past negative experiences could also lead a teenager to become involved in or addicted to premarital sexual activities.

“Those who have been raped or committed sexual acts in the past might also be more open towards sexual activities.

“Being a victim of rape is painful, but in some cases, it may become a precursor to sex addiction,” she said.

Norsafatul also suggested for parents to meet up with counselling experts to discuss the best methodologies to educating their children about sex.

This is because the openness of parents to discussing the issue is still low, she said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the education system in this country needs to be reviewed, following reports of numerous cases of sexual activity among students at school.

“This is because, though students can gain in-depth knowledge on the repercussions of immoral activities through the Pendidikan Islam and Moral Studies subjects, such activities are still going on. Why is this so?” she questioned.

She finds it worrying that students are becoming bolder, by engaging in sexual acts at school, which is supposed to be a hub of education, not of immoral activities.

Noor Azimah said that in addition to stern action from schools, counselling teachers also have a role to play in guiding troubled students to the right path.

“Teachers need to identify the troubled students and guide them. Parents also need to be more aware of their children’s activities and act quickly if their children are involved in such activities,” she said.

Mohd Noor Salleh, a 38-year-old father of two, said he believes that many teenagers today have been bombarded with a variety of information, some of which might arouse their curiosity enough to emulate.

“Parents should not give their children free reign. We need to monitor their online activities. If they are visiting websites with obscene content, we need to promptly take action to prevent things from escalating,” he said. — BERNAMA

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