VietNamNet Bridge – The policy on saying “no” to pre-marriage sex and the
scrutiny kept by parents and teachers are the biggest barriers to the sexual
health education to minors.
Only threats and warnings…
A survey conducted by the Center for Health and Population Initiatives, more
than 1/3 of polled minors said they have sex at least one time, but they
considered these the accidental things, which were out of their control.
The center has also found from the survey that it is popular that minors have
lovers. Especially, 24.27 percent of the minors said they have three and more
lovers. However, the polled minors proved to have very ambiguous knowledge about
pre-marriage sex, and they did not have proactive protection when having sex.
Fifty percent of the minors aged from 16 to 18 who had sex revealed that they
did not use any protective measure when having sex for the first time.
Meanwhile, 40 percent of them said they also did not apply any protective
measure when having sex lately.
Most minors have the willingness to learn more about sex and emotional relations
from their parents and teachers. They believe that sex education can bring
important knowledge necessary for their lives, and they want to be able to learn
about this right from primary school. However, what they have received so far is
just threats and warnings from parents and teachers.
Students complained that parents and teachers have been unfair in behaving with
minors, while they do not think that juveniles’ sex and love are serious
A parent said frankly that if she finds contraceptives in her daughter’s pocket,
she would tell the daughter to stop, if the girl wants to grow up into useful
“If my daughter really wants to become corrupted, I will let her leave home,”
Most of the parents express their uncompromising attitudes to their children in
the matters relating to love and sex. This explains why children tend to be not
open to their parents and teachers. Since they cannot get useful advices from
adults, they may make mistakes in their lives.
… and dry, academic knowledge given to students
Scientists have pointed out that sex and reproductive health education is not
the matter of the juveniles aged 16-18, but the education should be started when
children get 12 years old.
Tran Thi Hoa, a doctor in Hanoi, said she receives a lot of patients, who came
to her private clinic not to treat normal diseases, but the sexually transmitted
She believes that a lot of minors suffer from diseases just because they lack
necessary knowledge about sex and reproductive health. Therefore, she has
suggested opening an exhibition on sex education for minors.
“I have learned that two girls have given birth recently at the age of 15. It’s
necessary to do something to stop the problem,” she said.
The Ministry of Education and Training has recently decided to bring sex
education curriculums to general schools. However, this still has not helped
much, because the knowledge given to students is dry, academic and unattractive.
“General schools don’t have social workers, though the supply is profuse. As far
as I know, some 40 training establishments in Vietnam produce the graduates in
social works,” said Nguyen Hiep Thuong from the Hanoi University of Education.