The Importance of Reproductive and Sexual Health Education for Adolescents

WRIHeavy rain that day did not keep the Women Research Institute (WRI) from holding a seminar under the theme of Adolescents’ Rights to Reproductive and Sexual Health Education (HKSR), on 18 December 2013 at the Grand Kemang Hotel, Jakarta. The event was attended by the executive director of WRI, Sita Aripurnami, with psychologist Ratih Ibrahim as moderator. As for the resource persons, they were Faikoh (Alliance of Youth Independent/ARI), Drs. Taufiq Rahman (Department of Education DKI Jakarta Province), Maria Ulfah (Indonesian Child Protection Commission/KPAI), and Roi Tjiong (Indonesian Family Planning Association/IPPA).

A comprehensive sexual education is a set of knowledge that teaches not only knowledge about reproductive health, but also life skills (assertiveness, social attitudes with friends, family and the environment) and knowledge of the gender which aims to prepare teens and young children with knowledge, skills, and values ​​to make decisions related to social and sexual life to prevent risky behaviors.

Indonesia currently has 63 million teenagers (Population Census 2010), but some of them are experiencing unwanted pregnancies. Even Indonesia Report (by KPAI) on HIV/AIDS mentioned that the number of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS has increased by 700 % in the last 5 years. One reason is the lack of comprehensive information about HKSR.” Actually HKSR offers many benefits to adolescents, as they can delay having sexual intercourse at an early age, reducing the risk of unplanned pregnancy and the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS, and other benefits,” said Faikoh.

KPAI monitoring results in 2012 on violence against children as described by Maria Ulfah is that Indonesian children are experiencing violence in the spheres of family (91 %), school (87.6 %), and in their surroundings/community sphere (17 %). She also explained that sexual behaviors occur in various orientations and gender identities such as heterosexual (95.7 %), bisexual (3.4 %), homosexual (0.7 %), and transgender (0.1 %).

The latest legal framework for HKSR is the Governor Regulation No. 31 Year 2013 on the Implementation of Adolescent Reproductive Health. Taufiq Rahman stated that HKSR strategy in the area of ​​education is with the implementation of adolescent reproductive health education materials integrated into relevant subject matters such as Biology, Guidance and Counseling, and Physical Education (PE), as well as into extracurricular activities such as Youth Red Cross and School Health Units (administered by the school infirmary), and by empowering teachers of those relevant subjects. “Solutions to the victims of child sexual abuse does not have to be marrying them with the perpetrator, it could result in more violence after violence (domestic violence), but by giving their right to a decent education and health,” explained Maria Ulfah.

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