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Indonesian parents encouraged to discuss sexual health with teens

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, March 13, 2017  /  03:11 pm
Indonesian parents encouraged to discuss sexual health with teens

Parents need to informally discuss sexual health and sexual reproduction with their teens. (Shutterstock/File)

Sex is not an easy topic for either parents or teenagers to discuss.

Research conducted by Dharmendra Kumar Tyagi (DKT) Indonesia, an organization that focuses on family planning services and HIV/AIDS prevention through social marketing, found that parents need to informally discuss sexual and reproductive health with their teens. However, these topics often make both parents and children feel uncomfortable, which may lead to the kids being misinformed on the matter.

“[This led to teenagers] being misinformed as they prefer to look for information online or through their peers who are equally lacking understanding about the topic,” said DKT Indonesia brand manager Sutan Musa said in a press release.

Realizing this hardship, the organization recently launched the Sexual Health Training Booklet "Safety Can Be Fun".

Read also: Parents need education on sexuality to prevent LGBT violence

The booklet, presented in a casual way, aims to help parents educate teenagers about sexual and reproductive health. Available for download for free, it comprises seven different topics, namely sexual and reproductive health, physical and emotional change, hormonal change in teenagers and how to handle it, a healthy love relationship for teenagers, sexual transmitted disease (STD) information and encouragement to "think before doing".

DKT Indonesia deputy general manager Pierre Frederick said that sexual and reproductive health education in school was inadequate as it only discusses theories; it usually does not provide detailed information, such as from the psychological side.

"An informal approach is important as it allows teens to feel close and able to open up to their parents. This can protect teenagers from risky behavior," said Pierre. (kes)

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