Voices Of Youth

​Teach students how to treat opposite sex

I believe the stereotyping of girls partly stems from the influence of social media from a young age.

For example, popular Singaporean humour site SGAG tends to derogatorily portray women as petty, image-obsessed and materialistic. Studying in an all-boys school, I frequently overhear schoolmates comparing girls, ranking them based on their looks and fashion sense.

While programmes such as sexuality education are already being carried out in schools, it is not enough. Students need to be taught real social skills - that cannot be gleaned from lectures during assembly - and be educated about values such as trust and respect for the opposite gender.

The Ministry of Education and other relevant authorities might want to address this issue. I also call on fellow students to make a conscious effort to treat the opposite sex as we should - with respect. Only then can we move forward as a society in eradicating gender discrimination at its root.

Tan Jen Han, 14

Secondary 3 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2018, with the headline '​Teach students how to treat opposite sex'. Print Edition | Subscribe