SOC209: Explain why so many parents in Singapore are uncomfortable to talk to their children about matters of sex. Gender Issues assignment

SOC209: Explain why so many parents in Singapore are uncomfortable to talk to their children about matters of sex. Gender Issues assignment

Module / Subject / School:

SOC209 Gender Issues

Singapore University of Social Sciences


In 2020, local gender equality organisation AWARE surveyed 564 parents on their views about sex education in Singapore. The survey revealed that while parents believe “they should bear the primary responsibility of teaching sexuality education to their children”, only half are comfortable to do so.
Article link: https://www.aware.org.sg/2020/07/parents-comfortable-sex-ed-consentabstinence-aware-blackbox-survey/

a) Explain why so many parents in Singapore are uncomfortable to talk to their children about matters of sex. Your explanation must involve sociological analysis that frames ‘sex’ as a social concern and considers local norms of relevance to sex and gender. (40 marks)
b) What would greater exposure to sex education at home and in school mean for women’s reproductive health? Adopt a radical feminist lens in your response by framing reproductive health as women’s right and note the limitations of doing so as well. (60 marks)

Write your responses to parts (a) and (b) as a coherent essay.


  • You are encouraged to apply relevant gender concepts/theory learnt throughout the course in your responses to both parts of the question. For instance – patriarchy, oppression, gendered roles and expectations (codes of conduct), socio-cultural norms, gender stereotypes, gender balance, gender equality, gender biases in education, are just a few possibilities.
  • You are particularly encouraged to draw from Chapters 2, 4 and 5 of your Study Guide to discuss the intersections of gender and family, gender and education as well as gender policies of relevance within Singapore’s context.
  • For part (b) you are encouraged to explore the implications not just for women even though they are central to their reproductive health. It is critical to note that sex education applies not just to girls or women but to everyone. You are therefore tasked with critically analysing the connection between sex education and reproductive health for its impact socially, keeping in mind the roles played by everyone.
  • Be mindful that you are engaging in this exercise as a sociology student and are expected to discuss sex education and reproductive health through a feminist, sociological lens. Refrain from moralising, such as labelling sex and affiliated concepts such as abstinence and contraceptive use as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. The aim here is for discussion grounded in sociological argument. Your essay will be assessed for your ability to apply course learning to current affairs and to critically consider the complexities of the given subject matter.
  • You are strongly encouraged to use course material as your core reference for gender concepts and theory

Please remember to provide the word count, and list of references. Be sure to use appropriate academic sources, including your course  materials.

What we score:


Our Writer’s Comment 

This assignment tests students on their understanding of gender concepts/theory.

Based on the assignment requirements provided, here are some comments to help students score well on this assignment:

Part (a):

  1. Sociological Analysis: Begin by explaining why many parents in Singapore feel uncomfortable discussing sex with their children. Use sociological analysis to frame sex as a social concern and consider local norms related to sex and gender. Draw on concepts such as patriarchy, gender roles and expectations, gender stereotypes, and socio-cultural norms. Show how these factors contribute to parents’ discomfort and hinder open discussions about sex.
  2. Application of Course Concepts: Demonstrate your understanding of the gender concepts and theories learned throughout the course. Incorporate relevant content from Chapters 2, 4, and 5 of your study guide to analyze the intersections of gender and family, gender and education, and gender policies within Singapore’s context. Use these concepts to provide a nuanced explanation for parents’ discomfort in discussing sex with their children.

Part (b):

  1. Radical Feminist Lens: Adopt a radical feminist perspective to explore the implications of greater exposure to sex education on women’s reproductive health. Frame reproductive health as a women’s right and discuss how comprehensive sex education can contribute to empowering women and ensuring their reproductive autonomy. Acknowledge the limitations of adopting a women-centric approach and consider the broader impact of sex education on all individuals.
  2. Critical Analysis: Critically analyze the connections between sex education and reproductive health, taking into account the roles played by everyone. Consider the social impact of sex education, including its influence on attitudes towards contraception, consent, and reproductive decision-making. Discuss the implications of comprehensive sex education on promoting gender equality, challenging gender biases, and fostering healthier attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health.

General Tips:

  1. Coherent Essay Structure: Ensure that your responses to both parts (a) and (b) form a cohesive essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Use appropriate paragraphing and transitions to maintain a logical flow of ideas.
  2. Use of Course Material: Draw on course materials, including readings, concepts, and theories, to support your arguments. Cite and reference these sources appropriately, adhering to academic standards.
  3. Sociological Lens: Approach the assignment from a sociological standpoint, refraining from moralizing or personal opinions. Focus on applying sociological concepts, theories, and analysis to the given subject matter.
  4. Word Count and References: Be mindful of the word count limit and report the word count at the end of your answer. Provide a list of references using appropriate academic sources, including course materials, to support your arguments.

By following these suggestions, you can effectively demonstrate  sociological understanding, critical thinking skills, and application of course concepts to score well on this assignment.

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