Teen Sex Videos Point to Intervention

Internet addiction, gaming and cyber bullying are some issues in cyber wellness education programmes in schools.

And increasingly, cyber wellness vendors are covering the sex-related aspects of the topic.

The importance of doing so will only rise, they say.

Last month, a university student in the United States killed himself after a video of him being intimate with another man was streamed online. In Singapore, a video of two female students having a tryst in a school toilet was reportedly circulated on mobile phones.

Such real-life cases are the kind that TOUCH Community Services, one of the vendors engaged by schools here, use to educate students to post content responsibly on social media sites.

TOUCH Cyber Wellness director Mrs Anita Low-Lim told MediaCorp: “The recent episode on teen sex videos suggests an escalating need for such interventions.”

She said the trend of youths recording and disseminating compromising material will rise, and emphasised the need to continually reinforce the consequences to students.

But some vendors want clearer guidelines from the Ministry of Education.

“From my understanding, MOE does not provide clear guidelines with regard to online sex-related topics in their cyber wellness education.

“It is probably covered in other aspects of the wider curriculum which I’m not familiar with,” (Singapore) Cybersports and Online Gaming Association co-founder and chairman Nicholas Khoo said.

“The cyber wellness topic that is most relevant is probably cyber bullying and guiding principles on not distributing undesirable content,” he added, noting that MOE’s cyber wellness education was more focused on Primary and Secondary level students.

MOE and schools that MediaCorp spoke to said cyber wellness is integrated into various subjects such as Civics and Moral Education, English Language and Mother Tongue languages “so that cyber wellness is taught in a relevant and authentic context”.

For example, students learn the importance of showing good “netiquette” when writing emails during learning of the languages. At Catholic High Primary, tips such as respecting others online and on copyright infringement will be included in their handbook next year.

“Schools are also encouraged to integrate cyber wellness as part of their character development programme and to customise it so they can be responsive to the needs of students,” a ministry spokesperson said.

Since 2008, there has been a cyber wellness framework for all schools, anchored on the principles of “Respect for self and others” and “Safe and responsible use” when going online.

Fei Yue Community Services, a vendor for both cyber wellness and sexuality education programmes, covers issues such as sexual temptation in its workshops. “Schools are receptive to have us educate the students in these areas,” said Fei Yue’s Project 180 (Youth Services) assistant manager Joyz Tan.

MOE launched a programme last year for peer-to-peer education. Parents also play a crucial role, and schools organise talks and seminars for them. “MOE is continuing to gather feedback about cyber wellness implementation in schools and their impact on students to further strengthen our cyber wellness education efforts,” said its spokesperson.

Along with education, there is also the deterrence of the law when it comes to circulating or filming sexual acts.

Lawyers said these could breach the Films Act and the Penal Code, as they are obscene films. Such an offence under the Films Act could lead to a fine of up to $40,000 and a jail term of up to two years.

However, Keystone Law Corporation director Bryan Tan said that people may not be aware their actions are criminal. The issue is how victims can stop such videos or get compensation.

“There are no privacy laws. It’s not illegal to film someone in a public place, albeit performing a private act. So this part may be missing,” he said.


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