Parents' Primordial Role in Sex Education

Manila Bulletin, January 21, 2005 | Go to article overview

Parents' Primordial Role in Sex Education


Byline: Bernardo M Villegas

THOSE who are promoting the widespread dissemination of artificial contraceptives are citing the alarming increase in teenage pregnancies. They naively believe that making pills and condoms easily available to the young will reduce pregnancies among them. Well, I have news for the birth controllers. Teenage pregnancies are even more prevalent in countries like the United States where artificial contraceptives are freely available. As a related information, the condom-pushers have to be also reminded that despite the aggressive promotion of condoms in Thailand, the number of those suffering from AIDS is over a million, the highest in Southeast Asia.

There are no shortcuts to fostering trully responsible sexual behavior among the young, a task that primarily rests on parents. Making artificial contraceptives freely available may actually backfire! It may lead to sexual promiscuity, the removal of any restraint or self-control in the use of sex so that the outcome could actually be more unwanted pregnancies and in the actual case of the United States close to a million abortions every year, despite the over-the-counter availability of contraceptives.

Filipino parents who want to educate their children in respecting human sexuality should read Chapter 19 of the Catechism for Filipino Catholics published by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines with the cooperation of the Couples For Christ. The chapter, entitled "Respecting Human Sexuality," makes it clear that sexuality should be understood in a more complete and integral sense than in the past when the focus was almost exclusively on the sex act. Today sexuality signifies an essential dimension of the whole person, by which he/she enters into relationship with others. It thus touches every aspect of personal life, and has to be developed by all men and women just as life itself must be.

The only effective way of preventing unwanted pregnancies among the young is to educate them for chastity. As Paragraph 1100 of the Catechism states, "What is of utmost importance in the education and practice of chastity is motivation. This means taking seriously our imagination, which is the key factor in arousing or controlling the human sexual drive. It means focusing on the values of our sexuality, which ground the moral norms values such as: personal growth in interpersonal dialogue and the gift of self in love, creative fecundity and the transmission of human life. …

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