10 April 2009

Teach children sex in proper context - Priest to parents

Parents have an obligation to teach their children sex in the proper context, especially in the face of "anti-life" bills now pending in Congress, a Bicol-based priest said. Fr. William Santiago, director of the Archdiocesan Family Ministry of the Archdiocese of Caceres, said an effective sex education to teach responsible parenthood should begin at home. "Sex education, in order to be effective should start from parents and this should happen in their regular interaction with children at home," he said in a statement on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website ( He made the appeal noting that television has greatly reduced the quality time of family members to interact with one another and exchange ideas.
Also, he voiced concern over a bill on Reproductive Health and Responsible Parenthood at the House of Representatives. He noted that the bill includes teaching sex education starting with Grade 5 pupils in the elementary schools. Last July, the Church led a massive pro-life rally in Manila scoring the controversial bill. On the other hand, Santiago said he doubts the effectiveness and preparedness of school children at such young age for sex education. Meanwhile, the proposal to give sex education to grade school pupils drew diverse reactions from parents, the CBCP said. Some concerned parents said it is too early to talk about sex to elementary pupils while others said curiosity might lead to more problems such as early marriages. Others say it is advantageous because it would raise the young's awareness on the ill effects of pre-marital sex. But there are also apprehensions such introduction to sex education may encourage the children to be more adventurous. "Parents should play a big role in guiding their children and in teaching sex education so a proper direction may be achieved in conveying to them this sensitive but important subject," Santiago said. Children should likewise be guided on the use of the internet and prevent their access to pornographic materials,

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