My ST Forum Letter: “Parents must provide kids appropriate sex education”

Posted On: July 4, 2016

I wrote a letter to ST Forum following this article in Straits Times “Nine in 10 teen boys exposed to porn: Survey”; Wednesday. It appeared on 1 July 2016. Read it here:

parents“Oversexualisation and early exposure to sexually explicit media can shock and traumatise children, whose brains are not developed enough to discern and interpret messages around sex and sexuality (“Nine in 10 teen boys exposed to porn: Survey”; Wednesday) .

In our imperfect world, though, we cannot protect children completely.

Hence, parents can install Internet filters, supervise Internet browsing, and prepare their children for the real world – with age-appropriate, bite-size and consistent dialogue on sex and sexuality.

When we talk about teenagers, we need to recognise that they are feeling their way around the world we live in and need to have a balance between independence and unconditional support.

Traditional parenting methods of the rod, overbearingness (“do only what I tell you”) and avoidance (“wait till you grow up”) only lead to sexual fear and ignorance, repression and shutdown.

Many parents I have worked with feel ill-equipped and uncomfortable talking about sex and sexuality with their child when they, themselves, did not receive sexuality education growing up and remain ignorant of many aspects of sex and sexuality.

Pornography is often the only sexuality education most adults receive.

Sexuality education in schools remains a contentious topic in a self-declared “Asian values” society.

I work with clients whose long-term sexual problems might not even exist if they had some basic sex education to begin with.

Overexposure to sex is one extreme, but lack of exposure is a swing to the other extreme.

Parents would not want their children to be thrown to the wolves. They want them to be of good heart and strong character, and have the discernment to know what is right for themselves, and when.

They want to give their children information, skills and knowledge, and to be available to inform, educate and counsel their children in all areas, not just sex, through their formative years.

Therefore, I encourage parents to work through their own sexual discomfort, and take responsibility in receiving accurate and sex-positive education, so as to be able to play a proactive role in supporting their children.”

Martha Tara Lee (Dr)

Read about what I have to say about Porn and Adults here.

Who is Martha?

marthaFounder of Eros Coaching, Dr. Martha Tara Lee is a Clinical Sexologist in Singapore who has a doctorate in human sexuality. She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy. In practice for seven years now, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore. This accolade is only for those who meet the stringent requirements determined by AASECT, which is the leading professional organization for sexuality educators, sexuality counselors and sex therapists in the United States.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published two books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. You can read the testimonials she’s received over her seven years of practice here. For her full profile, click here.

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