When should sex education be offered to Vietnamese children?
VietNamNet Bridge - Psychologists say puberty is occurring at an earlier period due to adequate nutritional conditions and environmental effects, and, as a result, sex education lessons at school are necessary.


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My Ha, a parent in Hanoi, said she once read messages on her 15-year-old son’s mobile phone from a schoolgirl, who used “obscene words that would make anyone blush”.

Her husband scolded the boy and smashed the phone. His son was embarrassed and scared, and said that a friend of his had borrowed the phone and sent messages.

After the accident, the boy began deleting all the messages on his phone. The parents say they cannot understand what the son thinks and does every day

Ha Thanh, a parent in Ha Dong district, was informed by the teacher of her daughter that the girl has made excessive intimate gestures towards a classmate. The schoolgirl spends most of her time at school texting messages and surfing on Facebook, rather than listening to teachers’ lessons.

One day, the teacher seized the phone and asked the girl to concentrate on learning. She saw many obscene images and comments on the phone. 

Psychologists say puberty is occurring at an earlier period due to adequate nutritional conditions and environmental effects, and, as a result, sex education lessons at school are necessary.

“I don’t know what we have to do. My husband took back the phone and prohibited my daughter from using a mobile phone. But we finally decided to allow her to use the mobile phone again. Without the phone, we cannot communicate with her and know where she is and what she is doing,” Thanh said.

Meanwhile, Phuong, a mother in Thanh Xuan district, said she is in distress as her 14-year-old daughter neglects her studies because she is busy going out with a boyfriend.

“I don’t have necessary knowledge to give sex education lessons to my daughter,” she complained. “What should I say to my daughter when she tells me that she wants to rent a room to live together with her boyfriend?” 

According to psychology experts, puberty now begins at the age of 12-17 for girls and 10-15 for boy. Sex education, however, has not received appropriate attention from educators. 

The Ministry of Education and Training has decided that sex education will begin at primary education level when Vietnam applies the new general education program. 

However, the decision has stirred debate among parents. While some parents believe the ministry has made a reasonable decision, others think this doesn’t fit Asian culture.

At present, students receive the first sex education lesson when they are in the 8th grade.


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Thanh Mai

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