Talking Points: at what age should Hong Kong students start receiving sex education in school?

Talking Points: at what age should Hong Kong students start receiving sex education in school?

Jade MacKinley Herndon, 16, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School

Hong Kong students should start receiving sex education starting from kindergarten, but the topics should be given to them according to their age. For example, in kindergarten, students would learn about different parts of the human body, including where they cannot touch members of the opposite sex. In primary school, they can learn about having relationships and other behaviours. In secondary school, they can learn about different sexually transmitted diseases (STD). I believe this is a good way to teach the subject, because as students grow older, they get more mature and realise that these are serious topics – not just fun and games.

Saba Iftkhar, 16, St Margaret’s Girls’ College, Hong Kong

The best age to receive sex education is when students are 10 to 15 years old, as that’s the period when children develop into adolescents and start experiencing new emotions and desires. Because it’s so easy to access inappropriate websites on the internet, children might be exposed to sexual subjects at a very young age. And although they might know how sex works, they may not know about the risks of STDs or unplanned pregnancies. Giving children a proper sex education will not only allow them to embrace their body changes, it will enhance their knowledge on what measures to take in order to prevent any disaster!

Arthur Fan, 15, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School

Students in Hong Kong should start receiving sex education at school around ages 11-13, because this is when most students are starting to become sexually mature. They are changing a lot both physically and mentally at that time, so students should be told what changes are happening, and how they may affect their lives, so they can be prepared for the dramatic changes ahead. Students at this age are starting to become sexually mature, so they should be told the risks of unprotected sex, such as teenage pregnancy or STDs, before they become sexually active.


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Jasper Yu, 15, HKBUAS Wong Kam Fai Secondary and Primary School

Hong Kong students should start receiving sex education at school at kindergarten age. Thanks to the internet, people get a lot of inappropriate and incorrect media information when they are very young. As the result, student can easily get the wrong idea about sex. To cope with that, Hong Kong student should start receiving sex education in an earlier age.

Talena Gurung, 14, Confucius Hall Secondary School

Hong Kong students should start receiving sex education before age 10. Due to better nutrition, our bodies tend to mature faster than before. Therefore, it is best for children to learn about sex education before reaching puberty. Anything bad could happen to students so it’s better if they know more about sex education. If students have sex without knowing all the facts, they put themselves at risk, and their mistakes could affect their whole lives, and the lives of their friends and family. There are a lot of teen parents in the world, and responsibility and knowledge are the keys to making sure we don’t add to that number.

Jason Hui, 15, HKBUAS Wong Kam Fai Secondary and Primary School

Students should start receiving sex education in the first year of secondary school, because students are stepping into the age of puberty at that time, so they need to learn about the changes that will affect them. It is also important to raise their awareness of the consequences of sex, which will help prevent teen pregnancies.

In addition, receiving sex education from a qualified third-party provider will be more effective to get the students learn. That is because the lesson will be more profound to them and can add gravitas to what the teachers want to teach the students.

Natalie Yeung, 15, Tak Nga Secordary School

Hong Kong students should start to receive sex education when they are seven years old. Children are always interested in their bodies, and school and parents are the best ways to answer any questions they might have.

Boys and girls begin their adolescence around 11 years old, so this would give them four or five years to learn about sex and correct moral values. Sex education should be a long-term learning to help break taboos. It can foster children’s values, so they will behave properly to avoid teenage pregnancy and other social woes.

Mianne Wong, 14, Carmel Secondary School

Parents often urge later sex education at school as they think that children are not mature enough to learn about the topic. However, I don’t think so. Schools should start educating kids in Primary Three, at the age of nine. The earlier you teach them, the better, because with widespread technology, students may accidentally stumble upon some websites with sexual content. They may see that as interesting and develop an interest on it. But if we teach them before they experience adolescence, students can have a correct attitude towards sex, and they can protect themselves and distinguish what’s right or wrong.


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Jennifer Lau Wing-yan, 15, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Hong Kong students should start receiving sex education during primary school, because nowadays, children start to hit puberty very early. Who knows? Maybe it’s because of the amount of hormones found in their diet. If primary schools don’t provide students with the correct facts about sex, students will go looking for information on the internet, where they might not get the truth.

Arzoo, 15, Tak Nga Secondary School

Some research says that 95 per cent of all Americans have sex before marriage, so I think that Hong Kong students should have sex education early – definitely before puberty. Students ought to know the difference between “good touching” and “bad touching”. Even as early as Primary Four, they should have an understanding of pregnancy, abortion, and more.

It is necessary to teach students about sex education earlier because most of them are being exposed to it on the internet, so they should learn about the facts before they see the unrealistic world of porn.

Jasmine Lo, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

Students should start receiving sex education in the last years of primary school, because some of them are already teenagers and are curious about sex. Of course they can learn informally from their parents when they are still children, but a school-based programme will provide information that is complete, accurate and ethical. Last year when I was in Form One, I learned about family planning, reproduction, fertilisation, conception and development of the embryo and fetus, and childbirth during IS lessons. It taught me that sexuality is a natural, normal and healthy part of life.

Prudence Mak, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

We want children to understand sex and be able to make the right decisions when they come to that point. However, primary student are still to young to accept the information, as they will think that it is an embarrassing topic and will not treat it seriously. But as we grow older, we become more mature, and find it easier to learn about this. So sex education should start in Form One, as 12-year-old students are mature enough to study this information.

Samantha Mak, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

I think age 11 is the most suitable age to have sex education, because children at this age are beginning puberty. They may want to know why boys and girls are growing in different ways.

Dorothy Ng Ka-yan, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

Hong Kong students should start receiving sex education at around 10 or 11 years old, because this is when many boys and girls start puberty, and they will have some common questions about sex. A wrong decision can totally wreck your life, and knowing the facts about sex can help us avoid all kinds of trouble!

Ady Lam, 11, Island School

Even though it might be a very sensitive topic, around the age of 10 will be most effective. At 10, some children will start puberty. I know that 10-year-olds can be a little bit immature, and laugh or cringe at every word which we usually don’t use outside of Sex Ed, but by 13, it will be too late, as most, if not all, will have already started puberty.

Cherie Chan, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

Students aged 13 to 18 (those in secondary school) should receive sex education. Primary students are too young for this kind of information. However, secondary students are teenagers who will soon be adults, so they need to know and be clear about “sex”. As well, as students at age are starting puberty, it’s good for them to get all the information so they can avoid problems.

Eunice Yung Po-yiu, 15, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

At age 10 students should start receiving sex education. Primary school students should at least know a few things about it before they enter secondary school, so that when they are teenagers they will already know the rules and laws about sex. The earlier they start receiving sex education, the more they can protect theirselves. Then, if they are having sex too early, they will know how to solve this problem.

Tiffany Lim, 12, Tak Nga Secondary School

Students should start receiving sex education around Primary Six, so younger students can be prepared for puberty. Students need to know the process of puberty before they enter it, so they can be ready for what is to come.


For our next issue, we’ll discuss:

Should teachers and principals have to wear a school uniform? What should it look like?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to yp@scmp.com by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by Sam Gusway

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
At what age should students start getting sex education?

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