Even the able-bodied need sexuality education

I agree with the views expressed by Dr Chong Siow Ann(Disability and sexuality; June 30) and those of Dr John Bosco Lee (Address sexuality issue for those with mental disabilities, disorders; July 2) about the need to help people with mental disorders.

However, it is not just those with mental challenges that deserve better sexuality support services.

The physically challenged and even able-bodied in society are just as underserved.

As a certified clinical sexologist, I have offered my sexuality education knowledge and expertise to numerous organisations, including physical disability ones, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social and Family Development, without success.

I had also reached out to the Social Service Institute (SSI) under the National Council of Social Service, the definitive body that conducts training to the social sector in Singapore.

Their limited sexuality-related courses include a horribly titled "Managing Sexuality Issues of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities", which is from the perspective of preventing and managing problematic sexual behaviours, and not from the humanistic and holistic perspective of their sexuality and expression being their right.

When I approached the SSI about creating more programmes relating to sexuality to train the social sector (social workers and counsellors alike) - they were unenthusiastic.

Just when will Singapore wake up to the fact that the lack of comprehensive sexuality education in schools, and positive conversations around our sexuality in general, has affected a nation of people?

Now, we have adults who had no sexuality education whatsoever, who are scared of sex, disconnected from their sexuality, experiencing problematic sex, unable to make the babies they want, and in unhappy marriages.

To make babies, we need functional adults who understand and are comfortable with their sexuality. We cannot assume they know how to have sex, and throw financial incentives at them.

In my practice, I have found that vaginismus (fear of penetration leading to painful or impossible sex) is the number one reason why couples cannot consummate their marriage.

We can do better - for all people abled and differently abled alike.

Martha Tara Lee (Dr)