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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 6:24pm
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SEX

Sex therapist Marty Klein urges schools to discuss intercourse

Expert says frank discussions stop young people rushing into first sexual experience

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 November, 2012, 4:58am
 

Accurate knowledge about sex and an open dialogue on the topic promotes contraception use and stops young people experiencing intercourse too early, an American sex therapist and educator says.

Dr Marty Klein, author of A merica's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust & Liberty, made the claim while advising an audience of 150 Hong Kong students and educationists on what makes a good sexual education at a Family Planning Association of Hong Kong-organised event in North Point yesterday.

"Sexual education will not lead to more sexual activity," said Klein. Instead, he believes it would have the opposite effect, as youngsters would be better informed of the full picture.

"The mission and philosophy [behind sexual education] needs to be clear - it's to increase young people's knowledge about sex, not to scare them away from it," said Klein.

"Sex education should prepare young people for healthy relationships, to make good sexual decisions and have respect for others."

Klein stressed that accuracy and comprehensiveness was important in a sexual education curriculum, which should include information on sexual diversity. Topics such as birth control were important, while teachers and parents should be open to answering young people's questions honestly.

Facts should also be separate from opinions, said Klein.

Many school curriculums currently failed to do this, due to taboos surrounding sex, religious beliefs and varying cultural norms, said Klein.

"Sexual education should be treated as other school subjects. No one would recommend teaching children chemistry which is not accurate," said Klein.

"It should be the same. [Sex] is the only subject where parents appear to say they think children being ignorant is safer than knowing."

Klein cast doubt on abstinence-only programmes in the United States, noting that 88 per cent of those who pledged to not have sex until marriage broke that vow.

"It's also the worst method of preventing pregnancy and disease," said Klein, as these programmes do not educate young people on the full picture.

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