Excerpt From Letter to MOE

To move away from the wild exaggerations and bombastic accusations some fundie Christians (these people have really scary minds!) have been casting on AWARE, GP classes and the MOE…

…here is a great excerpt from a letter sent to the MOE.

It addresses some of the misconceptions people like Alan Chin and Thio Su Mien, deliberately or not, have been trying force on people and it links to sites where more facts can be found so do take a look–
(thanks Jolene!)

I would like to highlight the fact that the preponderance of expert medical opinion supports comprehensive sex education which emphasises both the importance of the use of condoms (and other barrier methods) as well as sexual abstinence, not sexual abstinence alone. This is particularly important because alarming reports have previously indicated that one in four women in Singapore who is sexually active does not use birth control (see a Straits Times report of 19 November 2008, found online here: Moreover, a great deal of expert medical opinion leans in favour of sex education which non-judgmentally acknowledges the reality of forms of sexual activity other than penile-vaginal intercourse, so as to ensure that anyone who does engage in these forms of sexual activity remains protected from sexually transmitted infections.

I would like to point you to the following evidence in support of these statements:

* The World Health Organisation has produced a brief on preventing HIV transmission amongst youths. It includes the following statement: “Young males who have sex with males […] need information on the dangers of unprotected sex and where to obtain […] condoms for anal […] sex and services for the treatment of STIs. […] Stigma and discrimination are often cited as the most important barriers to services by […] men who have sex with men.”
see here

* UNAIDS, the United Nations joint project which addresses the spread of AIDS internationally:

* Medicins Sans Frontieres, an international humanitarian coalition of doctors:

* Human Rights Watch has done a case of study of Uganda, which initially successfully fought HIV transmission by promoting condoms and then was pressured to adopt an ‘abstinence-only’ strategy which focused on condemning homosexuality, with disturbing results from a public health point of view:

* The American Psychological Association has reviewed the evidence relating to American sex education programmes and concluded that comprehensive rather than ‘abstinence-only’ education is more effective at achieving desirable public health outcomes:

* The Cesar Chavez Institute found that family rejection of sexual orientation caused homosexual teens to be more likely to engaged in unprotected sex (compared to homosexual teens whose families accepted their sexual orientation)

While I understand that views about homosexuality and pre-marital sex differ between parents and across communities, I believe it is appropriate for MOE to prioritise the feelings of discomfort of some parents below the importance of ensuring students are taught information that ensures they do not contract diseases. MOE’s primary concern, where sex education is concerned, must be to ensure students receive accurate information that will protect their health and – quite possibly – save their lives, and the lives of others.

Sex education programmes should not tell students to adopt any particular sexual orientation or to engage in any particular sexual behaviour (and indeed I believe the AWARE programmes in question do not cross these boundaries). These programmes must however must provide accurate information about the means for protection that should be used for any sexual behaviour that does indeed take place. Moral guidance based on privately held values, whether religious or otherwise, can be achieved at home.

I would be happy to provide further information on any of the above items if you wish. I will be copying this communication to the Ministry of Health. Thank you for your time and attention.

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  1. […] Excerpt From Letter to MOE […]

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