Singapore To Use ‘Graphic Images’ of Body Parts Affected by STDs in New Sex Education Program
Health officials in Singapore next year as part of a sex education program plan to distribute to 15-year-old students a booklet featuring "graphic images of body parts disfigured and distorted by sexually transmitted diseases" in order to warn students against "casual sex," Singapore's Straits Times reports. The move indicates a shift in Singaporean sex education from a "tell-and-scare" method, in which students received booklets "splashed with warnings that essentially tell them: Say no to premarital or casual sex to avoid being infected [with STDs]," to a "show-and-scare" approach, in which students can view for themselves color photos of the body parts of people with gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. "The use of these graphics is to attract the students' attention and help them to remember the messages," a spokesperson for the Health Promotion Board, which teaches students about HIV and STD prevention, said. The 10-page booklet, titled "Teenagers Ask," will also include a section on condoms that "stresses" that they are not 100% effective in preventing STD transmission and a section called "Dear Aunt Aida" which "candidly" answers questions about sex. "We want teenagers to feel comfortable reading about STDs while appreciating the health implications of contracting these diseases," the HPB spokesperson added. Although Singapore's STD infection rates are "among the lowest in the world," Singaporeans in their 20s account for 40% of the total number of infections in the nation, according to the Times. In addition, approximately 33% of 870 Singaporeans ages 16 to 30 who responded to a recent global sex survey indicated that they do not practice safe sex (Ting, Straits Times, 12/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.