ST forum: We want our child to grow up non-discriminative

11 May 2009
Straits Times Online Forum

We want our child to grow up non-discriminative
WE REFER to last Saturday’s report, ‘Aware programme ‘exceeded guidelines”, and the justifications given by concerned parents (both in the press and online) that homosexuality is not neutral because it is ‘not natural’ and illegal.

There is increasing evidence from psychologists and scientists that suggests that sexual orientations go deeper than mere lifestyle choices and there may be genetics at work that swing people one way or another. Even nature (animal kingdom) has numerous bisexual, asexual and transsexual examples as biology evolves with its environment.

Socially and culturally, different sexual orientations existed thousands of years ago (for example, in Greece, China and India) and continue to exist today. The law on homosexuality in Singapore is inherited from the British Victorian code of conduct.

For the record, we are a happily married heterosexual couple and proud parents of one. As concerned parents and with one of us having had a convent education, with its obligatory sex education programme that preached only abstinence (complete with a scary abortion video), we feel it is high time youngsters were given a more realistic and complete picture, especially in this Internet age, of what is involved as they develop sexually. They should be taught not to be ashamed of their body and respect it at the same time; and also that pleasure is not a sin but may come with negative consequences, including HIV/Aids.

We hope the Ministry of Education (MOE) will consider the feelings of parents like us also who are neither ‘liberal’ nor ‘conservative’ but are concerned that our child gets a well-balanced, progressive education.

Singapore is a multicultural and multireligious society and MOE must recognise that not all religious groups and non-believers necessarily think of homosexuality as immoral or criminal. At the end of the day, what we want for our child is that he grows up non-discriminative and non-prejudicial, and is able to make critical decisions, and love and be loved in return.

Margaret Tan (Ms)

Teo Thiam Seng

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