Wed, Jul 23, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Taipei showcases sex education, teen pregnancy services

By Regina Hsu  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The Taipei City Government Department of Social Welfare and the Taipei West Youth Service Center held a press conference yesterday to showcase resources available for schoolchildren on sexual education and pregnancy.

Taipei City Government Department of Social Affairs Youth Section Chief Liu Chun-hsiang (劉春香) said 32 underage pregnancies were reported in Taipei City last year.

Eight of the girls were between 12 and 16 years of age, while 24 were between 16 and 18 years old.

Among the resources available to teenagers seeking advice are a support hotline and a counseling Web site.

The site was the result of collaboration between 70 schools and a Christian society to help children discuss these topics in a comfortable environment.

For single, underage girls who have children, the Department of Social Welfare offers assistance in raising them and long-term support.

Taipei City Women’s Association secretary-general Kuo Yu-ling (郭育呤) said that over the past few years, the number of reported underage pregnancies averaged about 30 annually.

“Most underage girls who give birth end up keeping their babies rather than giving them up for adoption,” she said.

“We should maintain communication with children. If they are able to share with us and tell us their concerns about relationships or sex, it is easier for us to help them,” Liu said.

She said we should not restrict discussion of these topics, as children should feel comfortable enough to be able to talk about sexual issues.

Liu said that they have sought to teach children about protected sex to limit the number of underage pregnancies.

“We hope that we will be able to have sex education for children as early as fourth grade,” she said.

The support hotline can be reached at 0800-25-7085.

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