22 January 2007

Half of younger Singaporeans consider homosexuality "acceptable"

From their survey of 800 people under 30 years of age, the Singapore Polytechnic found that 50% said homosexuality was acceptable. How did it get that way? Full essay.


Teck Soon said...

"Minority opinion and preferences should be equally free until injury to others can be substantially demonstrated"

Alex, does this mean that you would also advocate decriminilisation of marijuana use? If someone smokes pot, on their own, without injuring anyone else (as anecdotal evidence from Amsterdam would indicate), then why should the Singapore government cane/jail/hang them?

Anonymous said...

With respect to the comment made by Teck Soon, and I do not answer for YB, I would certainly decriminalise the personal consumption of marijuana.

As to why should, as you put it, "the government cane/jail/hang them [marijuana users?]", I would have thought the question should have been put to the government instead of YB.

Broadly speaking, I fully agree with YB's view that personal preferences ought not to be the purview of governments or, for that matter, the majority to impose on minority "where practicable".

To me the test of "where practicable" is whether the act of one has cause harm to others in manner, as YB puts it, that can be substantially demonstrated.

If government intervention were required, I would necessarily restrict it to the issue of informing and ensuring that individuals were cognisance of the potential harm, it could inflict on him/herself. For instance, in the case of marijuana users, their could be compaign to notify of the potential harm marijuana could inflict. Much like smoking.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Teck Soon -

I do not know what exactly are the effects of marijuana, but if its effects are no worse than tobacco or alcohol, then I don't see why it shouldn't be legal as these two substances are, albeit regulated to an extent.

Singapore law is full of inconsistencies. We tend to be too lenient with violence, too strict with morality/sex offences and as for psychotropic substances, we're all over the place. These absurdities persist because questioning and dissent, that might have been useful to highlight them, is so strongly discouraged.

For an example of what I mean about absurdities in law, read the essay from 1999 called The pimp and the cabby

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

I don't know why the URL came out wrong. Here it is again
The Pimp and the Cabby

Anonymous said...

you were bang on target about coming out as an effective plu activist objective.

it's still a tremendous barrier to that other closeted struggle: the hiv/aids struggle

Anonymous said...

Homosexuality is the new 'Sexuality', as will Marijuana will be the future alchohol'.
The Kennedys did it with Bootlegging during the Prohibition years in America.
And V Maheantharan, the director of the School of Bus at the SP, should shut up. This man blames the media for putting the Singapore youth for being 'under the influence of...'
and Singapore youth increase in pre-marital sex.
He still lives in the stone-age, is in total denial and is the mouth of the ruling elite.
All of the above are choices that Singaporeans make.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous poster above 24 Jan, 05:05 -

I beg to disagree. I saw the newscast and the director of the School of Business in SP appeared to be entirely neutral in his reply. He was laying out the reasons for the changes in the thinking of youth, I think all of us agree on the reason that he mentioned (internet/TV) and I did not have any impression that he was laying blame.

In fact, I felt he was so neutral and measured in his reply that I'm unable to figure out whether he faults the answer of 50% of the youths who found homosexuality acceptable in the survey.

Although he did say there was no internet nor 100 TV channels during his young days, I read it as a statement of fact and cannot make any inference to his own preferences on the answer to the survey. I even thought that was very professionally handled, since he is presumably out of the survey age-group and so his answer to the survey question is not wanted.

Robert L

Dee/Yuri said...

(This took me over 4 hours to write. It had better not vanish! *Kicks firefox*)

Anyways, this post concerns information about marijuana and tobacco:

Recent studies on the brain have indicated that the effects of consuming a minor drug like marijuana and smoking are long-lasting and often, permanent. In turn, the development of the brain is often hampered or altered. For example: marijuana alters the nerve cells of your brain where memories are formed.

Marijuana also affects your immune system and long-term usage can result in greater risk of contracting mental illnesses. However, studies have shown marijuana can be beneficial for medical purposes as it is an effective pain reliever.

Smoking is not a personal choice, even though many claim otherwise. Sublimal messages and mass-media advertising come into play. Example: even though the Singapore television channels don't advertise smoking, how about the Malaysian television channels? Or how about the internet, even?

How many lives have been ruined just because someone took his first smoke and was hooked for life? It's a known fact that the tobacco companies have conducted many studies to produce the right combination which often addicts one for life.

Thus, I would criminalise tobacco. As for marijuana, it shouldn't be allowed for personal use but legislation should allow it to be applied for controlled medical use, though any use should be short-term, prescription only.

Often, many users start off with negligible amounts of marijuana and soon move onto larger amounts. And finally, stronger substances because the "kick" from marijuana is no longer enough.

However, it must be noted that marijuana is most commonly mixed with other drugs, when sold(causing one to be addicted to other drugs = more cash for the dealer). The most common form is of marijuana soaked in embalming fluid, PCP, or even paint thinner.

Also, mixing of marijuana with other household or commonly purchased substances is a common method should other forms of drugs be not available. One must also know that marijuana is often consumed along with alcohol, thus the effects experienced might be threefold or worse.

Many who consume marijuana have little to no sense of reality during their drug-induced state(though most can remember their actions clearly). Thus, they could cause/suffer an injury or a death with limited understanding of their actions. Similarly, they could engage in unsafe sex activities, thus contracting/spreading HIV/AIDS/STDS.

Finally, drugs are often consumed in the house(apart from social functions) and in an intoxicated state, one's reasoning and sense of responsibility are unlikely to prevent you from passing drugs to any minors in the house.

Various experts have recounted treating children(even babies) for drug addiction. In many situations, many of these children suffer relapses and turn to harder drugs and often, prostitution to support their habits. For example: Many adults actually prey on such children by establishing an exchange of "sex for drugs": the children sell their bodies or "introduce" their friends and/or siblings. Or often, it's the parent(s) who's encouraged to sell the child, in exchange for money to buy drugs.

Sources: Well, from reading various articles(medical, scientific, law/drug agency reports, eyewitness accounts, etc.) over many years.

By the way, I feel that the confusion between "legal" and "illegal" drugs has in part been influenced by some pharmaceutical companies. In other words, often a "legal drug" is legal only in many countries because the pharmaceutical company allowed for it(read: politics, bribery, etc.).