Sound understanding of sexuality essential

I second the call by pre-schools and experts to teach basic sexuality education to young children, and to teach children which body parts are private and should not be touched by others ("'Never too early' for kids to learn about basic sexuality"; Wednesday).

A sound understanding of sexuality is essential to the holistic development of our young people.

Children should learn from a young age to respect their own bodies as well as the bodies of others, and to appreciate the differences and appropriate boundaries with members of the opposite sex.

They should be taught to identify, reject and report inappropriate sexual advances, be they from strangers or family members.

Parents and educators should cooperate to facilitate an environment of openness and careful guidance when children confer with and confide in them about matters of sexuality.

Appropriate sanctions can and should be meted out to children who engage in inappropriate behaviour, in order to emphasise the seriousness of their actions.

Ultimately, the best gift any society can give the next generation is a right set of knowledge and values, enabling young people to recognise the dignity and worth in themselves and those around them, including matters of sexuality.

Darius Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2016, with the headline 'Sound understanding of sexuality essential'. Print Edition | Subscribe