THE RELEASE of sex education modules by the Department of Education (DepEd) has drawn a number of critics, including a UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery professor who blew the whistle on the modules’ “disturbing” contents.

Cardiologist and Bioethics professor Dr. Angelita Aguirre said that the modules, Lesson Guides on Adolescent Reproductive Health: A Population Education Concept, condone sex activity among the youth.

“Instead of promoting abstinence from sex, the modules encourage oral and anal sex and the use of artificial birth control methods, including condoms that are hardly 100 per cent effective,” Aguirre told the Varsitarian.

Aguirre, also the chairman of Makati Medical Center’s Committee on Bioethics, noted pages 54 to 57 of the modules that say “sexual experimentation is normal among the youth, thereby requiring experiences and skills in self-protection prior to sex.”

Further, the modules suggest young teens to “exercise non-penetrative sexual practices like oral and anal sex, to have sex with only one partner, to avoid penetrative sex without protection, and to use the condom correctly.”

The modules were prepared by foreign-contraceptive grant chasers like the TRIDEV Specialists Foundation, Inc., United Nations Population Fund, and David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

Sex tips for kids?

A volunteer of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, Aguirre wrote a letter to Acting DepEd Secretary Fe Hidalgo regarding the contents of the modules.

Aguirre said that the modules’ language was inappropriate for high school students due to the explicit words used.

“The language used was not only explicit, it tells about sexual techniques,” she said, pointing to the modules’ integration with basic education subjects like Health, Social Studies, Technology and Livelihood Education, Science, English and Filipino.

Ilang mga paglalakbay, pagtatagpo

Two other early versions of the modules have equally disturbing instructions. A sex education module under then DepEd Secretary Bro. Andrew Gonzales included lessons on how to properly wear condoms by using bananas, cucumbers or eggplants and other models of the male genital for demonstration.

Due to the controversies, DepEd has stopped the distribution and implementation of the modules in Manila public schools since June 19.

In an earlier statement, Hidalgo denied Aguirre’s claims that the modules promote “value-free” sex, saying that the modules were intended to make students realize the consequences of engaging in premarital sex, thereby discouraging sexual activity outside marriage.

Hidalgo said she will meet with Aguirre and the CBCP. Aguirre believes that sex education initiatives must always consult family groups and the parents, who she said are the reproductive “guardians” of their children. Nathaniel R. Melican


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