Friday Future Lister: Kanticha Chumma- A New Wave of Sex Education

Tara Abhasakun

05 Apr 2024

Kanticha Chumma is shaking up Thai taboos around sex.

Thai actor and model Kanticha Chumma is on a mission. The 2016 winner of “The Face Thailand,” Kanticha, widely known by her nickname Ticha, wants to make sex education more accessible in Thailand. The 29-year old hopes to dissolve Thailand’s long-held taboos around sex.

2016 UNICEF review of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in Thailand stated that sex education in Thailand often focuses on the negative consequences of sex, without covering positive aspects or teaching students to think critically. The report found that half of 692 teachers surveyed had not been properly trained in sex education.

Meanwhile, a 2019 survey of 3,000 Thai youths by The Child and Youth National Council of Thailand, Thai PBS, and UNFPA Thailand found several areas of Thailand’s sex education needing improvement. This included the need for age-appropriate sex education on social media, especially for ethnic groups lacking access to such information.

Ticha’s online content is making conversations about sex easier.

A YouTube channel tackling the elephant in the room

Ticha’s YouTube channel, “I Kan Teacha,” is bringing a different vibe to conversations about sex in Thailand. The channel, which has 755,000 followers, is fun and light-hearted, even though serious matters are discussed. The videos’ introductions begin with Ticha whispering “I can teacha,” in a seductive voice, and the videos’ guests sit on a bed with Ticha wearing comfy clothes, as though they are having a sleepover party.

On the channel, Ticha chats with guests about a range of topics. These include the first time they learned about sex, the first time they had sex, pain during sex, and more. Many guests go into detail quite explicitly, but Ticha doesn’t wince. Instead, she remains comfortable, and her fascination with her guests’ stories even grows. Ticha also includes scientific research about some of the nitty gritty topics her guests bring up, such as the benefits of masturbation.

To watch an episode, click on the Youtube link HERE.

While Ticha and her guests speak Thai on the channel, it contains English subtitles so that English-speaking viewers can also get informed on the ins and outs of sex.

What sparked Ticha’s taboo interest?

Ticha grew up in Phuket and Sweden.

Ticha has said in interviews with Thai media that growing up in Sweden from the age of seven, sex education was presented to her in a way that she could understand as a child, step by step. The topic of sex was therefore not surprising or embarrassing when Ticha grew into her teenage years. While she says it’s natural for conversations about sex to provoke excitement, she doesn’t feel embarrassed about it because she was introduced to the topic at a very young age.

While Thailand’s sex education curriculum has been noted to focus on the negative consequences of sex, Sweden’s curriculum has been noted to have a cheerful and positive view of sex and relationships, emphasising highlights such as sexual pleasure.

Sex education begins in Kindergarten for Swedish students, based on the belief that learning about sex at a young age will help students have healthier attitudes toward it later in life.

Sweden generally has an open attitude towards talking about sex, including LGBTQ+ issues, in contrast with Thailand’s taboos. Thailand’s approach to sex education, which mainly focuses on anatomy and reproduction, has been criticised for not adequately preparing young people for real-life challenges related to sexuality and relationships. 

When she returned to Phuket as a teenager, learning about sex in school was no longer exciting, because she already understood it well. She therefore received top grades when studying the subject in school, which made her very proud.

 Ticha says that sex education is important for five things: knowing how to be safe; understanding yourself and others; respecting your body; embracing diversity; and morality.

An approachable personality

Ticha is not afraid to be silly, funny, and herself. On top of her YouTube channel, fans are also able to watch Ticha on IG and TikTok, where she creates entertaining content. This includes videos of Ticha and her friends and family doing dances and funny skits. Many of these videos include Ticha’s mother.

Watch one of her TikToks by clicking the link HERE.

Ticha’s approachable personality and entertaining content are bringing a bold and different approach to the taboo topic of sex in Thailand.

To learn more about policy recommendations by young people in Thailand on sexual health and reproductive rights, click here.