SEX EDUCATION: AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE
|GENDER RELATIONS ATTITUDE SURVEY OF MUSLIM YOUTH AND PARENTS|
|Written by Dr. Shahid Athar|
If we as parents do not teach our children about sex, they will probably gain information from the wrong source. Teaching sex education in mixed classes to hot-blooded teenagers without benefit of moral values is like pouring gasoline on emotional fires."
During a presentation at the Islamic Center in Toledo, Ohio, a survey of sex attitude was obtained. A total of 157 attendees out of 200 responded. 95 were parents and 62 were youth. Toledo's Muslim community is well established, educated and progressive and has a mixture of Arab and Indo-Pakistani immigrants. To each question, their (parent vs. youth) response is given.
1. Should an Islamic viewpoint on sexuality be presented in the Weekend Islamic School?
2. Should parents teach sex education at home?
Yes: 82 (86%) 47 (75%)
3. Are you aware that sex education classes in public schools do not teach moral views and abstinence?
Yes: 72 (75%) 46 (74%)
4. Do you allow social mixing of boys and girls above 12 years of age?
Yes 64 (67%) 32 (51%)
5. Should parents supervise such activities when they are permitted?
Yes 94 (99%) 48 (77%)
6. Should parents be aware of and choose the movies, TV shows, music and magazines children are exposed to?
Yes 93 (98%) 45 (72%)
INTERPRETATION OF THE DATA
It is obvious from this survey that both parents and youth as a majority approve of sex education being given at home or at Sunday Islamic School. Nearly two-thirds of them approve of supervised mixing of boys and girls. While the majority of parents feel that they should choose movies, music, TV programs for their youth, the youths themselves, who otherwise are conservative, are equally divided on this issue. We hope that with continued emphasis on Islamic perspective on sex education that their attitude may change in the future.