Sex education begins with young minds

The occasion: a sex education awareness panel organised by the Myanmar Parenting Association. The panel focused their presentation on sex education for young children, raising awareness and sharing tips to teach young adults about sexuality and relationships. The notorious Victoria case has alarmed parents, who came in numbers to attend the talk. At the event, they had the opportunity to learn about sex education, child safety and welfare.

“Sex is an important topic, and relates to many aspects of the anatomy. Educating young people doesn’t mean talking about everything, but sharing the right information. Sex education, in short, is the instruction of issues relating to human sexuality, including emotional relations and responsibilities, human sexual anatomy, sexual activity, sexual reproduction, age of consent, reproductive health, reproductive rights, safe sex, birth control and sexual abstinence,” said Dr. Thet Htar Shwe Sin Win, one of the panelists and a lecturer at the Department of Child Health, University of Medicine, Magway. 

Accordingly, sex education awareness includes a wide range of topics including anatomical functions, sexual intercourse, love, emotions and values in a relationship as part of what researchers call a “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” (CSE).

“We need to teach children about sex, from the things that they can already understand. We can start by teaching them about their body parts and then how the body works, and go from there,” she added. 

According to the panelists, parents-to-children sex education is still underdeveloped in Myanmar as it is perceived as embarrassing. Experts hope to challenge the status quo, in particular with regard to recent cases of rape and harassment.

 “One of the ways to prevent child rape is to teach sex education. Children are physically and mentally weaker than adults. Despite what people may think, most cases of rape are not committed as acts of force or abduction by strangers but rather by relatives or close family friends,”, said Dr. Phyo Thiha, another panelist and social influencer. “If we really hate reading about these cases in the media, we really need to fight against sexual abuse where ever we may encounter it,” she added. 

To this end, panelists recommended parents to learn about sexual education so as to be able to teach it to their children.

 “Parents need to study sex education because in our culture children and parents are often inseparable, and children have no other ways to learn other than from each other,” said Ma Su Lei Win, Myanmar Parenting Administrator.

Ma Aye Aye Myo Zart, a famous “mommy blogger”, and Dr. Khaing Sabae Min, Myanmar Parenting Administration, also spoke at the event.

At the discussion, attendees also offered support for Victoria. 

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