This is hardly surprising. If your housemate is a university student or you are
the landlord of a university student, or if you have a relative or friend who
is a university student, you would find that cohabitation is a common practice
among these students. They will even tell you about their sex lives without any
You also shouldn't be surprised that the study results indicated 80% of
university students do not use birth control methods. Our schools do not
provide any sex education courses and parents have never taught their children
about how to avoid unwanted pregnancies, so it is only natural that youths do
not have adequate sexual knowledge.
Thanks to advancements in technology, we now have all kinds of information at
our fingertips. We can access all kinds of data on the internet with a single
mouse click. Pornographic discs are readily available at the pasar malam and
pasar tani as well as in shopping centres. The hip youth culture espoused in
HK, American, Japanese, Korean films and TV series convey ideas about sex and
sexuality that emphasise a lack of responsibility or accountability.
Another study showed that primary and secondary school children who did not
even know where babies came from had admitted to engaging in sexual acts. They
were simply imitating the actions they saw in pornographic films, without being
aware of the risks and results of such actions. When the media went to
interview a private clinic, a girl in secondary school uniform was seen coming
in for an abortion. The newspapers also frequently carry news reports about
babies that were thrown into toilet bowls or abandoned in rubbish bins.
These university students who claim to be adults said they understood about
taking precautions and accepting responsibility, yet there are those among them
who would abandon their babies. Of course, there are also those among them who
would marry, give birth to the child and build a family. It all depends on
whether these youths had been given the proper education at the proper time
about sex and gender relations.
The new generation's idea of sex is open and uninhibited, they are intent only
on the pursuit of sexual pleasure while ignoring notions of safe sex,
responsibility and proper relations between the two genders. They are not
wholly to blame, as no channel exists to instil in them proper ideas and
knowledge about sexual relations.
It is vital that sex education classes be held in primary and secondary
schools. The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is eager to
get started. It only awaits approval and help from the Cabinet and the Ministry
of Education. Hopefully, such classes will soon become a reality.
A few parents have actually started educating their own children about sex, but
most parents are reluctant to talk about the subject. Some of them feel that
sex education should be taught by the schools.
With the increase of double-income families where both parents are busy with
their work, the time that children spend alone by themselves has also
increased. Without urging from their parents, the chance for communication and
sharing between parents and their children is almost zero. What parents really
need is guidance on how to communicate with and educate their children, instead
of just being made to shoulder the blame for their children's misdeeds.
A large portion of our society, including youths and their parents, have never
received any formal sex education. Sex education shouldn't just be confined to
a class held in schools, but should include parents, providing them with the
correct idea about sex and how to handle problems related to their children's
sexuality. Schools and parents must work together to instil society with proper
knowledge and ideas regarding sex.
The government has actually already conducted many workshops dealing with youth
and family problems and has enthusiastically implemented various community
activities related to these subjects. Perhaps they simply did not promote such
activities well enough, so that many people did not know such activities
existed. When the government carries out such activities it should try to get
community and religious activities involved and benefit more people.
The lack of sexual knowledge and safe sex practices amongst our youth is hardly
anything new. It is also not the first time that such a study has been
conducted on Malaysians, whether as university students or regular citizens.
The important thing about the study is not the figures, but the information it
In this age of globalisation and information proliferation, we cannot avoid
being negative and positively affected in various ways. The best way to deal
with this outpouring of information is by analysing it and knowing what
benefits us and what we need to improve on. We should avoid conducting studies
that merely end up as a collection of statistics in a report without providing
any solutions. Hopefully, the next study that is conducted will be filled with
new information instead of just packed with doubts.