Background: Parents have an important role in delivering sexuality education to their children. However, Asian parents are reluctant to discuss sexual matters with their children owing to the sensitivity of the topic and their lack of sexual health knowledge. This study aimed to examine Malaysian parents’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices in providing sexuality education to their children.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was used to conduct this cross-sectional study featuring 200 Malaysian parents. Descriptive and univariate analyses were performed using Statistical Package for Social Study (SPSS) version 23.0.

Results: Among the majority (79.5%) of the parents having good knowledge, 82% agreed that sexuality information helps their children recognize and avoid sexual abuse. Most (91%) of them perceived that they have good practices in providing sexuality education to their children. There is no association between the parents’ gender and their knowledge of sexuality education. However, there are no links between age groups, educational level, and the parents’ knowledge of sexuality education.

Conclusion: Malaysian parents believe that sexuality education should be provided by the parents to their children at an early age. Hence, a comprehensive sexuality education program for parents consisting of sufficient information, motivation, and strategies, is needed to develop children’s sexual literacy.


1. Nambambi NM, Mufune P. What is talked about when parents discuss sex with children: Family based sex education in Windhoek, Namibia. Afr J Reprod Health. 2011;15:120–9.

2. Dyson S. Parents and Sex Education: Parents’ attitudes to sexual health education in WA schools. Western Australia: Department of Health, 2010.

3. Robinson KH, Smith E, Davies C. Responsibilities, tensions and ways forward: Parents’ perspectives on children’s sexuality education. Sex Educ. 2017;17:333–47.

4. Goldman JDG. Sexuality education for young people: A theoretically integrated approach from Australia. Educ Res. 2010;52:81–99.

5. Sharma S. Parental role in imparting sex education to adolescent girls in Noida. The Rights. 2017;9096:1–5.

6. Hazariah AHS, Fallon D, Callery P. An overview of adolescents sexual and reproductive health services provision in Malaysia. Compr Child Adolesc Nurs. 2020;00(00):1–17.

7. Makol-Abdul PR, Nurullah AS, Imam SS, Rahman SA. Parents’ attitudes towards inclusion of sexuality education in Malaysian schools. Int J Parents Educ. 2009;3:42–56.

8. Weiss JA. Let us talk about it: Safe adolescent sexual decision making. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2007;19:450–8.

9. Athanasel R. Parents’ knowledge attitude and practices (KAP) towards comprehensive sexuality education in secondary schools in Rwanda. Rwanda: Heal Development Initiative, 2018.

10. Janković S, Malatestinić G, Striehl HB. Parents’ attitudes on sexual education - What and when? Coll Antropol. 2013;37:17–22.

11. Hamid SHA, Fallon D, Callery P. Influence of religion on healthcare professionals’ beliefs toward teenage sexual practices in Malaysia. Makara J Health Res. 2020;24:27–34.

12. Latifnejad Roudsari R, Javadnoori M, Hasanpour M, Hazavehei SMM, Taghipour A. Socio-cultural challenges to sexual health education for female adolescents in Iran. Iran J Reprod Med. 2013;11:101–10.

13. Baku EAk, Agbemafle I, Kotoh AM, Adanu RMK. Parents’ Experiences and Sexual Topics Discussed with Adolescents in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana: A Qualitative Study. Adv Public Heal. 2018:5784902.

14. Baku EA, Agbemafle I, Adanu RMK. Effects of parents training on parents’ knowledge and attitudes about adolescent sexuality in Accra Metropolis, Ghana. Reprod Health. 2017;14:1–14.

15. Caal S, Guzman L, Berger A, Ramos M, Golub E. “Because you’re on birth control, it automatically makes you promiscuous or something”: Latina women’s perceptions of parental approval to use reproductive health care. J Adolesc Heal. 2013;53:617–22.

16. Harris CM, Lazuta G. Placing patients at the center of patient-centered care: A healthcare provider system perspective of a powerful new technology-enabled “language". In Grando MA, Rozenblum R, Bates DW. Eds. Information Technology for Patient Empowerment in Healthcare. De Gruyter, 2015, p. 23–38.

17. Kennedy EC, Bulu S, Harris J, Humphreys D, Malverus J, Gray NJ. “These issues aren’t talked about at home”: A qualitative study of the sexual and reproductive health information preferences of adolescents in Vanuatu. BMC Public Health. 2014;14:770.

18. Erhamwilda E, Suhardini AD, Afrianti N. Analysis of early childhood teacher perceptions of sex education in an islamic perspective. Jurnal Sosial dan Pembangunan. 2017;33:81–9.

19. Harris AL, Sutherland MA, Hutchinson MK. Parental influences of sexual risk among urban African American adolescent males. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013;45:141–50.

20. Hamid SHA, Fallon D. Healthcare professionals’ perspectives on the provision of sexual and reproductive health to young people in Malaysia. Int J Care Sch. 2020;3:3–10.

21. Irwin CE. Beyond abstinence: What we need to do to decrease the risks of sexual behavior during adolescence. J Adolesc Heal. 2006;38:165–8.

22. Raju NV, Harinarayana NS. Online survey tools : A case study of google forms online. Paper presented at the National Conference on "Scientific, Computational & Information Research Trends in Engineering, GSSS-IETW, Mysore; 2016. p. 1–12.

23. Liu W, van Campen KS, Edwards CP, Russell ST. Chinese parents’ perspectives on adolescent sexuality education. Int J Sex Heal. 2011;23:224–36.

24. Rahmani A, Merghati-Khoei E, Fallahi A. Perceived advantages and disadvantages of sex education in young women: A qualitative study. Int J High Risk Behav Addict. 2018;7:0–4.

25. Ganji J, Emamian MH, Maasoumi R, Keramat A, Merghati Khoei E. Sexual health education at home: Attitude and practice of Iranian parents. Iran J Public Health. 2018;47:146–7.

26. Mutalip SSM, Mohamed R. Sexual education in Malaysia: Accepted or rejected? Iran J Public Health. 2012;41:34–9.

27. Zain NM, Low WY, Othman S. Factors associated with pregnancy among unmarried women in Malaysia. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2015;46:526–38.

28. Siti-Haidah MI, Susan MKT, Bujang MA, Voon YL, Chan LF, Abdul-Wahab N, et al. The relationship between exposure to sexually explicit material and teenage pre-marital pregnancy. Pertanika J Soc Sci Humanit. 2017;25:1059–72.

29. Rothman EF, Daley N, Alder J. A pornography literacy program for adolescents. Am J Public Health. 2020;110:154–6.

30. Kumar R, Goyal A, Singh P, Bhardwaj A, Mittal A, Yadav SS. Knowledge attitude and perception of sex education among school going adolescents in Ambala district, Haryana, India: A cross-sectional study. J Clin Diagnostic Res. 2017;11:LC01–4.

31. Bello BM, Fatusi AO, Adepoju OE, Maina BW, Kabiru CW, Sommer M, et al. Adolescent and Parental Reactions to Puberty in Nigeria and Kenya: A Cross-Cultural and Intergenerational Comparison. J Adolesc Heal. 2017;61:S35–41.

32. World Health Organization. Adolescent pregnancy. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2018.

33. Pop MV, Rusu AS. The role of parents in shaping and improving the sexual health of children – Lines of developing parental sexuality education programmes. Procedia - Soc Behav Sci. 2015;209:395–401.

34. Ajibade BL. Knowledge and opinion toward sex education among selected secondary school in Ejigbo Local Government Area, Osun State, Nigeria. IOSR J Nurs Heal Sci. 2013;2:5–8.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.