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Lawmakers unlikely to approve chastity bill criticized as 'sexist'

Lawmakers unlikely to approve chastity bill criticized as 'sexist'

Taiwan's parliament is just saying "no" to a sex education bill because of a chastity clause some deputies say smacks of sexism.
Critics say the abstinence clause puts the burden of avoiding sex on girls but lets boys do as they wish in a society that promotes gender equality.
The bill was authored on September 9, 2005. It has struggled since then through changes and debate. A parliamentary session that ends next week looks unlikely to approve it.
"To use the law would be a human rights violation," said lawmaker Lee Hong-chun. "For this kind of thing, you don't need schools to decide. This is a question for families."
Yang Li-huan (楊麗環), a former Taipei teacher, wrote the controversial six-page bill in September 2005 to advise schools on what to tell teens about sexual diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
The initial bill enjoyed support across party lines, but was later amended under pressure from local headmasters who wanted a clause added asking middle and high schools to spend at least four hours of each academic year promoting chastity.
Faced with with legislative opponents threatening their own form of abstinence, Yang is looking for ways to reword the bill in the hopes of making it more palatable.
"This is not to stop you from sex, it's to tell you how," Yang said. "We hope to give children a complete sex education. Otherwise they might get sexually transmitted diseases or AIDS."
But many teens say abstinence is hardly a mystery.
"This is useless, because we're already taught that (abstinence) - by teachers and our parents," said first-year Taipei high school student Yuan Chen-hao, 16.


Updated : 2021-10-18 07:03 GMT+08:00