Stuff you must read today (Sun, 11 Dec 2016) – The Psychology and Politics Edition

Unprotected sex – not single-parent benefits – causes unintended pregnancies

Dear Madam/Sir,

I respectfully disagree with “Unequal benefits for single unwed mums a matter of deterrence” (Aug 3).

The writer argues that benefits for single parents is an incentive for people to have children out of wedlock.

Children are not born out of wedlock as a result of benefits for single parents.

It is unprotected intercourse between heterosexual couples which causes unintended pregnancies.

As a matter of public interest, unprotected sex occurs for myriad reasons.

It ranges from the thrill of making love in the raw to ignorance about reproductive cycles.

Unprotected sex can also inadvertently take place when prophylactics fail.

Couples most assuredly do not have unprotected sex while thinking about the benefits that single parents will obtain.

It is the furthest on the average person’s mind before and during the deed.

Unplanned conception can be deterred through holistic sexuality education programmes, such as those already being carried out in educational institutions.

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry; there will be people who fall through the cracks, as well as accidents that happen.

Single-parent benefits will address these unfortunate scenarios – not incentivise more women and men to make the beast with two backs.

Thank you.

Best regards,
Laremy LEE (Mr)

(Published as “Unprotected sex, not state benefits, causes unintended pregnancies” on 4 Aug 2015 in TODAY.)

Let singles own HDB flats at 25? Why, of course!

Oh my gosh, Lau Geok Theng – the problematics of “urbanised Western attitude” aside, I totally forgive you for giving me a C+ in Asian Markets and Marketing Management back in the summer of 2006!

Let singles own HDB flats at 25

WHILE it is gratifying to read that the Housing Board is reviewing the rule governing co-sharing of flats by siblings (‘HDB to review rule on siblings’; Jan 18), the HDB should also lower the age for flat ownership by single citizens by a decade to 25 years of age.

As Singaporeans adopt a more urbanised Western attitude, it would make sense to accommodate their obvious desire to live on their own.

Such a move should not be seen as a lack of filial concern for their parents. My two children do not live with me, yet we have healthy relationships.

Staying out enables young people to grow up and be more independent. It prepares them to be better partners and parents in the future.

Many parents in our Asian culture still mother their adult children and make decisions for them. Many even impose curfew hours for their single adult children when the latter are well into their early 30s.

We can encourage these young single people to get married by providing generous incentives when they upgrade their flats to get married.

Young adult citizens at an early stage of their careers form a large proportion of the group of Singaporeans who face the middle-income squeeze and they would certainly welcome assistance, given the stiff property prices.

Dr Lau Geok Theng