An 18-year-old student jumped to his death because he was convinced his genitals were too small, a Singapore coroner’s report
said on Wednesday.
In delivering the verdict of suicide, state Coroner Tan Boon Heng said that the incident highlighted the importance of sex education in and outside schools.
The junior college student’s death showed that even intelligent young people can be “victims of misinformation,” Tan said.
“The deceased was so tormented by his unfounded (belief in his) inadequacy that it drove him to end his life,” the ruling said.
The doctor told him that his penis was normal. The case is being forwarded to the ministry of education.
Sex education in the city-state is delivered as a short series of lessons.
“If parents are aware of their children being tormented… they should seek professional help, lest such tragic deaths should happen again,” said the report, published in The Straits Times.
The student, a member of the school volleyball team and described as “cheerful and energetic,” jumped from a housing block on March 3.
The youth had confided in his mother in October that he was worried that his private parts were too small.
She took him to a clinic, where the doctor told him that his penis was a normal size for an Asian man and prescribed multi-vitamins.
The son told his mother in January that his life was “boring and meaningless” and that the only thing stopping him from suicide was his family’s love.
Despite strong emotional support from his girlfriend, he remained convinced that he had a problem. His sister sent him a text message on March 3 asking if he was coming home for dinner.
He replied that he would eat out. The next and final message she received told her and their mother to take care.
In a suicide note, he apologised to his girlfriend and family for killing himself.
He said it was not due to the stress of his exams, “but it was more about his physical development. … He still knew there was something wrong with his body parts,” the investigation report said