Review of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Thailand
Many students still lack a correct understanding of a range of sexuality-related issues
This review of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE1) in Thai educational institutions collected data from students, teachers, guardians, school directors and national policy advocacy stakeholders. Standard international data collection tools were used, with the hope that important information could be gathered to guide the development of school-based CSE implementation in Thailand.
The findings indicated that nearly all general secondary and vocational institutions provide CSE instruction, either as an integrated or standalone subject or both.
Although diverse topics are covered in the CSE curriculum, many institutions teach about sexuality from a point of view that emphasizes the negative consequences of sex and does not cover positive aspects or promote students’ analytic and critical-thinking skills related to sexuality. Topics related to the prevention of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV, as well as sexual anatomy and development are emphasized most, while topics related to gender, sexual rights and citizenship; sexual and gender diversity; gender inequality; safe abortion; safe sex for same-sex couples; and bullying are less often taught.
Many students still lack a correct understanding of a range of sexuality-related issues. When asked to self-assess their knowledge, students indicated that they had a good understanding of contraception and menstruation, but only a minority gave correct answers to multiple-choice questions about menstruation or the menstrual cycle. Many sexually active girls mentioned emergency contraceptive pills as their main method of contraception, whereas many boys indicated an unwillingness to use condoms. The findings indicate that many students lack understanding and awareness about contraception and lack communication and negotiation skills that they need in their sexual lives.