Sex education starts at home

Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: Sex education should start at home from young with equal focus on both boys and girls, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

“Be open and approachable to children when they question about sex, contraception and intimacy,” she said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“The community also needs to be educated on sexual behaviour. We will strive to reduce the stigma on unwed mothers via education and awareness in the community.

“Comprehensive sexual education can help educate teenagers about sexually related problems. And continue providing access to sexual and reproductive health services for teens who have been identified as sexually active,” she added.

Fatimah said her ministry would also carry out more awareness campaigns on teenage pregnancies.

The campaigns would touch on the dangers of teenage pregnancies, how to identify and avoid risky behaviours, the available support system for unwed mothers and the awareness that they are not alone when they needed help, she explained.

Fatimah said there had been a drop in teenage pregnancies since the setting up of the One Stop Teenage Pregnancy Centre (OSTPC) at the state and divisional levels.

She added that since 2016, her ministry had conducted 61 runs of an integrated and holistic programme called Sexual Education Awareness and Advocacy.  

“Since then, there is a significant decrease in the number of teenage pregnancies in students from 160 cases in 2015 to 64 cases in 2019.

“Baby dumping cases, too, had dropped from 39 In 2015 to five in 2020,” she said.