‘You don’t need much space for sex’, Singapore minister tells young couples
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‘You don’t need much space for sex’, Singapore minister tells young couples

A SINGAPOREAN Senior Minister seems to have ruffled feathers in the city-state after telling the young population they do not need much space to have sex, as concerns mount over their abilities to secure housing before starting families.

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo, who oversees the National Population and Talent Division, said this when asked about the government’s scheme to prioritize first-time married couples in obtaining homes.

In order to qualify for the Parenthood Priority Scheme, the couples must be expecting or have a citizen child below 16, the Straits Times reported.

However, some couples who did not fulfill the criteria say it was important to have a flat first before they can start having a child. This has fueled the ‘no flat/no child’ belief among the younger generation.

“You (only) need a very small space to have sex,” Teo was quoted as responding, with a straight face.

Teo was speaking on the nation’s parenthood issues in an interview with the paper last week. During the session, the mother of three teenage children touched on a range of issues including infertility, and why the government should not be too nosy in the private lives of people.

Many millennial couples have cited the lack of housing as the reason why they were holding off from having children.

“What if they can’t conceive? Take back the flat from them? How do you know they really tried to conceive? Can we check whether they use contraceptives? Cannot, right?” Teo asked.

SEE ALSO: Singapore: Have ‘safe sex’ or ‘no sex’ for 6 months to prevent Zika spread, WHO says

Teo said encouraging birth rates was better done with persuasion instead of having the “Government poke its nose into the bedroom”. Women, she said, should attempt to have babies when they are younger.

“You never really know that you’re not fertile until you try. Unfortunately, it is one of those things. There is no fertility indicator. As a woman you will know, if you have regular menstruation, okay, (there is a) likelihood. But maybe you have a major cyst and how would you know until you attempt to conceive, only to realize that you can’t?,” she said.

On cohabitation, Teo said Singaporean couples were different from those in the western countries.

“In our case, man meets woman, man falls in love with woman, man proposes to woman, they then plan the wedding and do the house,” she said.

“In France, in the UK, in the Nordic countries, man meets woman, tonight they can make a baby already. They love each other. Both of them partly have their own family, so it is a matter of living in yours or living in mine, and they also don’t have to worry about marriage – that comes later.”

The minister noted, however, that personal choice needed to be respected where marriage and children are concerned.

“In this day and age, it is not possible for us to say that you are somehow bad, you are not doing your part for society.

“No, there are many reasons why people remain single. Sometimes, (for) very good reasons. Why should we pass judgment on them?”

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