Promoting abstinence stifles potentially helpful discussions on sex

Sexual intimacy should not be a validation of self-worth, a point Ms Ho Lay Ping made in her letter (Teach our young to say 'no' to premarital sex; June 22) and which I agree with.

However, I do not see how condemning premarital sex can benefit teenagers or help them learn more about sexuality.

Promoting abstinence creates a stigma around sex, stifling possible conversations that could provide relevant and helpful information for curious teens.

We need to encourage functional and safe discussions that allow teens to speak up about sex without fearing judgment.

Such discussions give them varied and reliable information, allowing them to thoroughly consider the consequences before committing any act.

We do not need more stigmas that will silence teens who are facing problems such as sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

We should encourage open-mindedness so that anyone of any age can voice their troubles and seek help. It is not about normalising or encouraging premarital sex, but rather, getting people to talk about it so that we can provide a community that both educates and supports.

We should encourage open-mindedness so that teens - and indeed, anyone of any age - can voice their troubles and seek help, if necessary.

It is not about normalising or encouraging premarital sex, but rather, getting people to talk about it so that we can provide a community that both educates and supports.

For example, local organisation Babes reaches out to pregnant teenagers to provide assistance that will help them make informed decisions about their pregnancies. The project reached out to 2,221 people in 2015/2016.

The troubled should not have to struggle alone.

Lynette Goh Xin Ying (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2017, with the headline 'Promoting abstinence stifles potentially helpful discussions on sex'. Print Edition | Subscribe