Children should be given comprehensive sex education so that they can express themselves freely on sexuality and gender issues, say four organisations.
PETALING JAYA: Four organisations today urged the government to implement sex and sexuality education in schools instead of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) guidelines that may cause discrimination and bullying against children.
Instead of instituting restrictive gender roles in schools, children should be given comprehensive sex education so that they can express themselves freely on sexuality and gender issues, they said in a joint statement.
The four – Voice of the Children (VoC), Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK), PS The Children (PSC) and Malaysian Child Resource Institute (MCRI) – added the Federal Constitution states that there shall be no gender discrimination against Malaysian citizens.
“The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), of which Malaysia is a signatory, also states that the government must ensure that children are protected against all forms of discrimination.
“These LGBT guidelines are inaccurate and only promote stereotypical gender roles. Issuing such guidelines will promote hatred and rejection against children who do not conform to gender stereotypes,” added their statement.
Such children may be ostracised by their peers. This will impact their psychological growth and self-development as they are not able to learn in a safe environment, they said.
They said comprehensive sex education should comprise topics on gender, sex, and sexuality. Children should be taught about gender identity, the emotional effects of healthy peer relationships, as well as the various forms of sexuality.
“This will not necessarily lead to children becoming sexually active or becoming homosexual.
“Instead, it will help children understand their bodies better and make informed decisions on sex and sexuality. Children must be allowed to develop to their fullest potential.”
They urged the government to educate instead of trying to identify gay children and singling them out for condemnation.
It is essential that any guideline or policy developed be in the best interest of the child, they said.