Davao’s poor want sex education taught in schools – survey

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 January) – The majority of those who are in favor of teaching sex education in schools belong to the lower income classes, a survey made in this city by the Institute of Popular Opinion (IPO) of the University of Mindanao late last year showed.

Dr. Ma. Linda Aquiza, IPO director, said at the regular Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao Monday that the poor people’s approval of sex education shows their lack of knowledge about it owing to their economic condition.

“Those who have less in life have less in education, and less in sex education. Hence, sex education may help define their family conditions such as economic, health and opportunities in life,” she explained.

The survey was done from November 18 to 28, roughly a month before Congress passed Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012. It covered 1,400 respondents across the city’s three districts selected through stratified sampling.

The survey results showed that 47.91% of the respondents favor sex education while 49.64% are against it. However, respondents who belong to Classes D and E gave sex education as a subject an approval rating of 21.85% and 16.18%, respectively.

Adrian Tamayo, IPO’s specialist on economics, governance and politics said the results reflected the respondents’ income level.

He noted that majority of those who opposed the inclusion of sex education in curriculum were from the upper income bracket, and 95.3 percent of them said “parents have the sole responsibility of educating children on issues about sex.”

The results were reflective of how open the parents from poor families are to teaching their children with sex education in school, he said.

“It is the voiceless saying now what is appropriate for them, those who have less in life because they have these problems,” he added.

With heavy work schedules to feed several family members, poor parents have less time for their children, Maian Cozo, IPO specialist on health and environment resources said.

He pointed out that quality time for the children helps prevent premarital sex that leads to teenage pregnancies.

Having “quality time”, he added, means having enough time to talk about relationships, sex and other sensitive issues between parents and their children.

On topics in sex education, the survey showed that at least 90 percent of the respondents approved of the topics provided.

The topics included gender and sexual orientation, communicating with parents on matters involving sex and relationships, issues on active sex, information on reproduction, and resisting sexual engagement.

Section 14 (Age- and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education) of the RH law states: “The Department of Education (DepED) shall formulate a curriculum which shall be used by public schools and may be adopted by private schools.”

Opponents of the RH Law argued that sex education would encourage promiscuity and lead to the weakening of the family as an institution.

Both Houses of Congress approved the controversial Reproductive Health Bill last month amid stiff opposition from officials of the Roman Catholic Church.

Aquiza said that despite the survey results, Dabawenyos have to accept the fact that the law had been signed by the President.

“We hope that law makers will have resources to implement the law and the DepEd to create appropriate curriculum,” she added.

Cozo meanwhile said the IPO will conduct surveys on love, poverty and hunger, access to social services, and synopsis of the election before April this year. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)