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Sexual Education in the Philippines: Facts and Misconceptions

Sexual Education in the Philippines: Facts and Misconceptions

Sexuality education in the Philippines is instruction and guidance on the wide range of topics that are connected to sex and sexuality. It explores values, beliefs, and provides the skills required to properly navigate personal relationships and protect one’s own sexual well-being.

Sexuality education in the Philippines: What is comprehensive sexual education?

Topics which constitute what is known as comprehensive sexual education (CSE) focuses on include:

  • Human sexual anatomy
  • Sexual activity
  • Sexual reproduction
  • Age of consent
  • Safe sex
  • Contraceptives
  • Reproductive health
  • Reproductive rights and
  • Sexual abstinence

The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 was passed into legislation. It is to guarantee universal access to contraceptives methods, fertility control, maternal care and sexuality education in Philippine high schools.

The 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey recorded that 8% of Filipino Women between 15 and 19 years had already given birth. A further 2% were pregnant with their first child.

A study by Woman Health Philippines found that many teenage girls think sex is the sole means of expressing love. Many Filipino women avoid reproductive health services for fear of being regarded as promiscuous.

The Philippines is a conservative and religious country so the amount of opposition to sexuality education in the Philippines comes as no surprise.

Adolescents in many cultures, including ours, have traditionally not been given proper instruction, that relates to sexual issues. This is because such topics are seen as taboo. If the child received any, it came from his/her parents and this was delayed until just before marriage.

Aside from the taboos and religious constraints surrounding sex, there are a lot of myths that impede sexual education.

Sexuality education in the Philippines is not viewed as an important subject

As mentioned above, teens will still engage in sexual intercourse with or without proper orientation. This might result in sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

Teens may not understand the emotional aspect of sexuality and might inadvertently hurt themselves and their partners.

Just as it is obtainable in countries like New Zealand, counselling about non-sexual relationships should begin in early school years. Sexuality education in the Philippines should be initiated from junior high.

Sexuality education in the Philippines will encourage teenage sexual behaviour

It should be understood that sexuality education in the Philippines informs adolescents what exactly sex entails and its consequences. Studies actually shows that it helps to delay sex.

Teenagers will still get information about sex whether it is given to them in a structured setting or not. After all, they are exposed to the internet and interaction with peers. The information from these sources might be lacking or dubious, leading them to make poor choices.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported that factual, culturally and age-appropriate, gender sensitive comprehensive sexual education which is based on life skills diminishes risky behaviour in adolescents and young adults who are sexually active.

Many young people receive conflicting and confusing information in regards to sexuality and relationships while transitioning from childhood to adulthood.

When comprehensive sexuality education is delivered properly, it empowers the young to make informed decisions.

What are the Positive Effects of Sexuality Educaton?

There is plenty of evidence that shows the positive impact of quality sexual education.

  • Contrary to the common misconception, sexual education within and outside schools does not increase sexual activity. Neither does it encourage risky sexual behaviour or increase HIV or other STI infection rate.
  • It improves the knowledge base of young people and their attitudes to sexual and reproductive health matters.
  • Meanwhile, programmes that preach abstinence as the sole option have been largely ineffective in delaying the onset of sexual activity. They have also not been able to diminish its frequency or the number of sexual partners.

Key Takeaways

Sex is a normal part of life. In the vast majority of individuals, it is bound to occur during teen years and early adulthood. Poor information about sex is rampant in the Philippines due to religious and cultural factors.

Sexuality education in the Philippines prepares young people for this pleasurable activity that can also lead to serious consequences. Empowering the youth with safe sexual practices and understanding of the intricacies of their sexuality seems like the right path to future overall health.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Education of Women and Men https://psa.gov.ph/content/education-women-and-men Accessed 7 March 2020

1 in ever 10 Filipina Teens is a Mom https://psa.gov.ph/gender-stat/announcement/FS-201403-SS2-01 Accessed 7 March 2020

Sex Education Delays Teen Sex, Study Finds https://www.livescience.com/18931-sex-education-delay-sex.html Accessed 7 March 2020

Sexuality Education for Children and Adolescents https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Accessed 7 March 2020

The Family Planning Association http://www.fpa.org.uk

Sexuality Education: Emerging Trends in Evidence and Practice https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X14003450 Accessed 7 March 2020

Peer Education Training Manual on Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health https://www.doh.gov.ph/node/15604 Accessed 7 March 2020

 

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Written by Khristine Callanga on Jun 06, 2020
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.
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