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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » SEX in a CONSERVATIVE culture and how it HARMS

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Author Topic: SEX in a CONSERVATIVE culture and how it HARMS
robot_on_fire
Activist
Member # 45735

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I come from a conservative Asian country ,SIngapore. ALOT of things about how sex is viewed , taught and dealt with BOTHERS ME to the point of frustration and ANGER.

1)Firstly lets talk about how SEX is taught in schools here.
Boys get NO SEX ED AT ALL.
girls get it at about age 9 .

In my sex ed, i was told this like masturbation is wrong.
Orgasms are never mentioned. Details are lacking a lot. a scare tactic was used in high school showing us graphic pictures of STDs however testing , pap smears or anything like that was not mentioned.

2) how sex is viewed. well yesterday when i went for my first pap-smear /vaginal exam i was made to SIGN a consent form BECAUSE I WAS NOT MARRIED. imagine that! just because i was not married.

THe culture still HIGHLY values virginity till marriage and pre-merital sex is often looked upon as wrong. Hence many may never go for testing or check ups because of the fear of the taboo...
( however my experiences show that doctors are very open and non-judgemental , its merely the social aspect )

And SOMEHOW many of my peers (ages 18 - 20) have VERY VERY poor knowledge about sex. Girls think its wrong to masturbate or never masturbate.
No-one wants to talk about sex for fear that its wrong, and most of the time if they do misinformation is spread.

Some friends are EVEN afraid or repulsed by sex mainly because of the lack of info or how their parents treat it.

As a muti-cutural society with many religions, there are also alot of issues with how religions treat genders and sexuality ...

All this outrages me A LOT.

I try to do what i can by telling my close friends about proper contraception and for those who are afraid of sex why its not something to fear.

I GO to art COLLEGE where people are more open minded and liberal, however these "conservative" ideas of sex and misinformation is still being spread.

Alot of girls and guys dont even want to be in relationships with non-virgins.
this is ridiculous , because SIngapore is a highly modern society in every other way, i feel that the way it is now is doing NO-ONE any favours and would love to change this in any way possible. /rant

Posts: 92 | From: las vegas | Registered: Feb 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Onionpie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 41699

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wow, does that sound like a frustrating situation! I can understand your annoyance with it, for sure. And it's awesome that you really want to change it for the better -- and you ARE. One person at a time, correcting misinformation and being open about a topic that so many others are not open about, you're helping improve people's knowledge and perceptions of sex [Smile] That is so awesome! Keep up the great work.

And have you tried telling them about Scarleteen, or showing them articles from here? That might help you out a bit. Or, if you have S.E.X. you could try lending that to some of your friends, or recommend it so they can read up for themselves! And if some people aren't up to reading a book with "SEX" in big letters on the front, you could always put a layer of paper over the cover for them so they could read it anyway [Wink]

It's also awesome to hear that the doctors you met weren't at all judgmental -- that's a huge plus. Maybe you could tell people about tests/pap smears and tell them about how awesome you found the doctors to be? That might help convince them that it's okay to go for the tests.

I'm really sorry you are in this unhappy situation, but know that you're doing awesome work and are helping your friends out [Big Grin] Good luck!

Posts: 1182 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill2000Plus
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I just want to point out that societies with one dominant religion can be just as conservative about sexuality and gender as societies with many religions. I think what you say about boys not getting sex ed is interesting as it maybe puts the onus more on women to prevent the transmission of STIs (along with being wrong because everyone has a right to accurate sex education as opposed to silence, misinformation and religious/cultural taboo enforcing). Is there anything you can do to get involved with activism surrounding these issues? I think it's good that you're talking to your friends about it, that's activism too. And it's good to hear the doctors you've encountered do not share these conservative attitudes.

[ 02-12-2010, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

--------------------
Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

Posts: 840 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
robot_on_fire
Activist
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"I just want to point out that societies with one dominant religion can be just as conservative about sexuality and gender as societies with many religions. " - Jill2000plus

definitely ! but what im saying is a lot of the religions here do look upon sex as a taboo. Yes we all know of the Catholic church disapproval of contraception. but other major religions here such as Islam also look as sex as a taboo especially premarital sex , hence those following the faith feel like its wrong and like i said are less likely to practice safe sex (they dont want to be seen buying condoms) and are less likely to visit a doctor for their sexual health .
But i do get what you are saying. Both religions also frown upon many gender/sexuality issues .

Im extremely pleased most healthcare professionals are well informed and non-jugemental , the laws regarding contraception and abortion are equally as good too (minors are allowed abortions without parental consent)
Parents also do not have to be informed of any visits or anything like that.

But the issues i've mentioned really frustrates me, especially the misinformation and even worse the TOTAL lack of info.

i actually have friends who dont use condoms, dont know what an orgasm is, think sexual pleasure comes from intercourse ONLY, dont know what a penis looks like, have never seen their own vagina , dont know methods of contraception, dont know what a pap smear is , think its wrong to see their boyfriend naked, think being gay "is fake" ... and so many other issues.

I feel that change should be made, i did some research and it shows that teen pregnancies / std/aids among teenagers has risen steeply . showing that teens ARE having sex, just not being open about it and uninformed . which is VERY sad indeed.

I'll see if i can find if thats a cause i can actually support.

thanks for the encouragement.

Im trying to help a friend now who has just told me that she was in the past used for sex by her first boyfriend, and after taking her virginity he dumped her. Now she has sexual hangups and body issues, feeling "worthless".
However now she's having unprotected sex with her boyfriend who "feels condoms dont feel as good..." which REALLY REALLY BUGS ME.
She also has a whole bunch of emotional issues with her current boyfriend. I tried to tell her about going for checks and maybe going on BCP.

I'll try linking them here, no i dont have the book though LOL. Yeah i've told some of my closer friends how awesome the doctors have been, and a lot of them were surprised. : D

Posts: 92 | From: las vegas | Registered: Feb 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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