Sex education should be looked on as an integral part of high school curriculum especially in a country like India that suffers from a litany of health and population related issues. School children are the future of this nation and thus, educating the younger minds can actually help us in making a fresh start. Sex education shouldn’t only be imparted in school; it should be part and parcel of every family equation. To pacify your doubts and trepidations, it is best to go through a list of points that state why exactly it is necessary to provide sex education to adolescents.
Reasons why sex education should be imparted to adolescents:-
- To prepare them for an adult world- The adult world perplexes teenagers. Most times, they fail to strike a balance between their bodily changes and the kind of behavior expected of them on attaining puberty. Sex education is directed towards these conflicting feelings and ideas. It also makes a person aware of the practical hazards of adulthood.
- To help them bring up their anxieties- An adolescent is curious to know more about his or her own changing body as well as about the body of a person from the opposite sex. It is during adolescence that a person comes at close quarters with sexual urges and mostly doesn’t know how to deal with these desires. They are anxious about intercourse, pregnancy and about sexual attraction in general. Formal sex education addresses these areas.
- To prevent them from facing despair in case of an alternative sexuality- An adolescent may recognize oneself with a kind of sexuality that is not acceptable by the society at large. Alternative sexuality; homosexuality and bisexuality can make a person suffer from severe stress and despair with respect to his or her surroundings. Sex education will help sort out such psychological pressure.
- To make them aware of sexually violent acts- Rape and molestation are rather common words in the present day scenario. A teenager needs to be made aware of the sexual threats he or she is vulnerable to and therefore, self- defense tactics are also essential.
- To teach them the importance of consent- The idea of sexual intercourse being a mutual decision arrived at by two consensual beings should be wrought in adolescents so that they too learn to respect their sex partners in future.
Most parents are uneasy talking with young people about issues relating to sexuality. They want to be involved in educating children about sex but they don’t know how to go about it.
Much of the discomfort comes from inadequate information. Many parents feel that they themselves do not understand sexuality well enough to be comfortable talking about it. They often lack facts about anatomy, physiology, menstruation, puberty, wet dreams, masturbation, conception, contraception
and other reproductive health issues.
Some think that if they ignore the topic, it will go away. Others use myths and scare tactics to discourage their children from early sexual experiences.
Unfortunately, neither silence nor scaring works. In fact, studies indicate that misinformation or lack of information about sex simply increases sexual confusion and vulnerability. It stimulates curiosity and leads to more, not less, early experimentation – often resulting in a premarital pregnancy, rape, sexually transmitted infections or AIDS.
What does work is honest, informed communication. When parents and other adults responsible for rearing children have access to the facts. When they learn to express them and to become comfortable talking about these subjects in groups with other adults, then their task as sex educators becomes easier.