Singapore. ASIAN sexologists have called for more sexual education to beat the economic slump.
The view is that if people have sex more often, they will be happier and more motivated to work and, consequently, the economy will improve.
"When the economy is down, sexual activity is lower as people get depressed and have less sex," said Emil Man-Lun Ng, president of the Asian Federation for Sexology, at a four-day conference in Singapore last week.
"Their quality of life will decrease, with an increase in family violence and divorce."
Singapore is a city-state of four million people known for its strict social controls. The government bans gay sex and routinely censors films, television programmes and popular songs with sexual themes.
Professor Ng, who teaches psychiatry at the University of Hong Kong, said governments should introduce "very broad" sex education campaigns for children of all ages. These should cover topics such as sexually-transmitted diseases and how to have sex.
They could include portions of the Kama Sutra, the book about sexual positions from ancient India, he said.
Education is particularly important in Asia, he said, as people in the world's most populous continent are more ignorant about sex than westerners because of low literacy rates.
Beverly Whipple, vice-president of the World Association for Sexology, said it is also important for women to learn more about their sexual rights, including the right to sexual pleasure.
"Sexuality isn't all about genitals; it affects us throughout - psychologically, behaviourally, socially and culturally," she said.