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Sexuality Education in Philippine High Schools: What You Need to Know

Sexuality Education in Philippine High Schools: What You Need to Know

Sexuality education is high-quality instruction and learning about the wide range of topics that are connected to sex and sexuality. It explores the values and beliefs concerning these issues. Sexuality education also provides the skills required to properly navigate personal relationships and protect one’s own sexual well-being.

Topics included in s comprehensive sexual education (CSE) are:

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

Sexuality Education in Philippine High Schools: In Legislation

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

The law’s passage generated controversy, with very divided views coming from academic and religious institutions. Due to this, The Supreme Court delayed implementation until 2014 when it was declared constitutional. This was after eight of its provisions had been removed either in part or completely.

 

Cultural Considerations

The need for better sexuality education is reflected in the country’s high adolescent pregnancy rates. The 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey recorded that 8% of Filipino Women between 15 and 19 years were mothers. A further 2% were pregnant with their first child.

A study by Woman Health Philippines also 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.

Because the Philippines is a conservative and religious country, there is a lot of opposition to institutional sexuality education.

Adolescents in many similar cultures have traditionally not been given proper instruction that relates to sexual issues. This is because such topics are seen as taboo.

Sexual Education and the Catholic Church

Most Filipinos are members of the Catholic Church, which discourages premarital sexual relations. However, preaching abstinence has not stopped the ever increasing rate of teenage pregnancies.

The Philippine Statistics Authority has also noted that one third of Filipino youths have had pre-marital sex. Most of them had not used any form of protection.

Additionally, a large percentage of the population lives in poverty. A good percentage of these people are young couples who have poor sexual and safe sex knowledge.

Sex Ed in Schools

There is a notion that sexual education should not be compulsory in schools. Despite this, teens will still engage in sexual practices with or without proper orientation. This may result in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), unwanted pregnancy, and in the long-run, reduced life quality.

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

Impact of Sexuality Education on Teen Sexual Behavior

Studies show that sexuality education helps to delay sex. Teenagers will still get information about sex whether it is given to them in a structured setting or not. They will be exposed to sexual material and knowledge through the the internet or interaction with peers. The information gotten from these sources might be lacking or dubious, leading them to make poor choices.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports that factual, culturally-appropriate, age-appropriate, gender sensitive, and comprehensive sexual education diminishes risky behaviour in sexually active adolescents and young adults. When comprehensive sexuality education is delivered properly, it empowers the young to make informed decisions.

Many young people receive conflicting and confusing information with regards to sexuality and relationships. This deficiency has resulted in the need for a means through which they may obtain reliable information.

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 sexually transmitted infection rates. Instead, it improves the knowledge base of young people and their attitudes to sexual and reproductive health matters. Meanwhile, programs 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 Takeaway

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 Philippine high schools prepares young people for this pleasurable activity that can also lead to serious consequences. Empowering youths with safe sexual practices and understanding of the intricacies of their sexuality leads to better sexual wellness.

Learn more about sexual wellness here.

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

Sources

Why comprehensive sexuality education is important, https://en.unesco.org/news/why-comprehensive-sexuality-education-important
Accessed March 7, 2020

National Demographic and Health Survey 2013, https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR294/FR294.pdf
Accessed March 7, 2020

One in every 10 Filipina teens is a Mom!, https://psa.gov.ph/gender-stat/announcement/FS-201403-SS2-01
Accessed March 7, 2020

Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3194801/
Accessed March 7, 2020

Original Research Article in the Journal of Adolescent Health – Author Version Consequences of Sex Education on Teen and Young Adult Sexual Behaviors and Outcomes,
https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/article_files/j.jadohealth.2011.12.028.pdf
Accessed April 9, 2021

Facing the facts: the case for comprehensive sexuality education, https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000368231
Accessed March 7, 2020

Effect of sex education programme on at-risk sexual behaviour of school-going adolescents in Ilorin, Nigeria, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2584331/
Accessed March 7, 2020

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage: An Updated Review of U.S. Policies and Programs and Their Impact, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X17302604
Accessed March 7, 2020

Sexual behaviour factsheet, https://www.fpa.org.uk/factsheets/sexual-behaviour
Accessed March 7, 2020

Department of Health, https://www.doh.gov.ph
Accessed March 7, 2020

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Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Khristine Callanga
Updated Yesterday
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