Surely a better policy would be to promote 'abstinence' with younger children but with teenagers who may already be sexually active promote safe-sex. To assume that teenagers and young people are a single group that can be approached with one singular campaign denies the activities and attitudes of different cohorts in the target community.[...]
Singapore youth scorn abstinence
Singapore (dpa) - Youths in Singapore are fed up with campaigns promoting sexual abstinence, a published survey said Monday.
Among 16 sexuality topics, two-thirds of 1,383 secondary school students ranked "building healthy relationships with the opposite sex" as the top priority.
Commitment to abstinence from premarital sex ranked 12th, according to the findings in The Straits Times.
The survey showed that 81.9 per cent of students had not spoken to any adult about intimate issues, and 17.8 per cent said they perceive adults to be awkward in dealing with the subject of sex.
"The abstinence message could be harmful despite its good intentions because it doesn't reflect reality," Bernise Ang, founder of the Singapore International Youth Council, was quoted as saying.
A 15-year-old student said, "You hear it once, then when the next person tells you not to have premarital sex, you can practically repeat everything."
With the message clearly needing updating, the Health Promotion Board is using peer influence to promote a healthy lifestyle, including refraining from promiscuous sex.