What is Sexuality Education ?
sexuality education or Sex Ed is a means to develop the abilty of children and young adults to gain knowledge about the development of body during puberty and be positive about it, healthy sex and sexuality, consent,gender identity, relationships and to make young people comfortable enough to communicate and make well informed decisions about their sex life and sexual health without making it a vulgur or a taboo.
Why is Sexuality Education needed ?
According to a study by UNESCO,only 34 % of young people around the world can demonstrate accurate knowledge of HIV prevention and transmission? And that two out of three girls in some countries have no idea of what is happening to them when they begin menstruating? These are some of the reasons why there is an urgent need for quality sexuality education or Sex Ed. Also,too many young people receive unclear and misguided information from incorrect source about about sex and relationships as they go from teenage to adulthood. This has led to an increase in demand from young people for genuine information, which makes them ready for a safe, productive and meaningful life. When impertated well, Sex Ed responds to this demand and empowers young people to make well informed decisions about relationships and sexuality and steer a world where gender-based violence, gender inequality, early and unplanned pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) still pose serious risks to their physical and emotional health.
The lack of proper sexuality education may leave children and young adults exposed to dangerous sexual behaviours and sexual exploitation. Sex Ed also plays an important role in catering to the health and wellness of children and young adults.
What exactly is taught in sexuality education ?
An efficient sexuality education programme covers these broad range of topics –
- Human Anatomy,changes in body during puberty,sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Relationships with friends, family, relatives,health care professionals, romantic partners and even with the person themselves.
- Personal skills like communication skills, knowing boundaries,negotiations and making decisions.
- Sexual behaviour of people in a way they choose to be or not choose to be sexual beings
- Sexual health including abortion, STDs, birth control methods,safe sex and pregnancy.
- Culture and society along with literacy and stigma around it and it’s impact on sexual wellness and reproductive freedom.
What is the right age to begin sexuality education ?
This is something which can be a bit controversial as some people might feel that we should wait till our kids reach adolescence while others feel it should be started as early as four or five years of age.But, the correct way should be a mix of both. We should start imparting basic knowledge from an early age as some girls can start their menstruation cycle as early as nine, like the difference between male and female anatomy and the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. We may then gradually start imparting more knowledge about sexual health and sex when they reach adolescence.
What is the role of parents in sexuality education of children ?
Parents play an important role in educating their children in sexuality education. They have to show children the way the family thinks about it and make the children comfortable and open enough to talk to them about anything related to sexuality instead of hiding it in fear. The parents should also be in sync with the school and be open to any event or class related to sexuality education. In fact, according to research, children who are comfortable and open to their parents about sexuality are least likely to have intercourse before becoming an adult (18+).
Where to learn sexuality education ?
In this day and age there are multiple resources to gain knowledge about sexuality education but choosing the right source is very important.
The parents can talk to their children and share their life experiences and this will also help the children be comfortable with their parents and this will be very beneficial to the upcoming generations. Another important resource is their school where they can gain knowledge about sexuality education along with the other regular activities or if the school doesn’t provide it then the parents can talk to the concerned authorities of the school regarding the importance of sexuality education and convince the school to include sexuality education in their curriculum. The parents can also encourage their kids to enroll in a sexuality education workshop or webinar which will help in increasing their baseline knowledge and also help them in being comfortable with this subject.