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Senior Iranian cleric urges sex education

Tehran, Jan 25, IRNA -- A senior Iranian cleric has rejected speculation that sex education could lead to the promotion of moral corruption, saying it was vital to guarantee the society's health.

"We should not ignore this grave issue only under the illusion that education of sexual issues may destroy the decency of the eligion," press Saturday cited Ayatollah Youssef Sanei, a cleric based in the religious city of Qom, as saying.

"There are other factors which corrupt the society and experts' discussion of sexual issues is in line with the aim to protect the society's health," he added.

Iranian press are no more coy to touch on sexual matters which were long considered a taboo in the country and reports about the perils of unsafe relationship, amid fears of sexually-transmitted diseases, have become a rule.

"There were days when our youth, because of living in a closed society, did not even know how to use hair removers," the press quoted Ayatollah Sanei as saying.

"Today, we live in an open society in which thoughts have grown and the causes of corruption and health are distinguished from each other," the cleric added.

The Islamic Republic has made it compulsory for couples to attend sex education classes when they take nuptial blood tests. The measures are taken amid official warnings about the consequences of inattention to sexual matters, especially fears of an AIDS outbreak.

Experts have warned that ignorance about sex matters were condemning Iranian girls to an "unnatural" puberty and lifelong feelings of insecurity and resentment.

This is while Iranian parliament's efforts of raising the legal age of marriage for girls from nine to 15 have once received a battering.

Iran's health ministry last month warned its health officials against turning away AIDS patients, saying it would deal with any violations.

"Any refusal to accept those infected with the AIDS virus is against the law and because of the social problem which it creates, any violation will be dealt with," the ministry said in a directive, sent to the heads of the country's medical universities.

... Payvand News - 1/25/03 ... --

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