Importance of Sex Education for children

Sexuality is an aspect of total personality that refers to one’s thinking, feeling, and behaviour as a man or as a woman. Importance of Sexuality Education or Sex Education is a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs and values about identity, relationship and intimacy.

Why Sex Education is required / important for our society?

  1. To understand the physical and psychological changes in the body.
  2. Positive attitude towards sexuality and relationship
  3. Freedom from sexual inhibitions / over activity
  4. Freedom from STD/AIDS
  5. Freedom from fear, guilt, shame
  6. Avoidance of unmarried motherhood
  7. Awareness about sexual abuse / rape
  8. Freedom from myths and misconceptions
  9. Promotion of sexual health
  10. Awareness about social issues related to sexuality e.g. Gender discrimination, child marriage, female infanticide, quackery.

Will Sex Education make the child curious and have bad impact on his/her thinking?

Sex education does not excite or arise curiosity, but does exactly the opposite. When their parents, teachers and peers talk freely with them about the facts of life, the kids / children are less concerned about this subject than other children.

Will Sex Education to children promote a need to experimentation?

Honestly speaking, there is no evidence to support this view. Several researches have proved it to be the other way. Sex Education encourages young people to delay sexual activity and to practice safer sex.

Will Sex Education distract the students from their studies?

Researches have shown that by giving correct information and knowledge about sexuality, children overcome guilt, shame and fear and start feeling more comfortable than otherwise. Not giving them Sex Education may create anxiety and distract their attention from studies.

Some parents / teachers say, “What will children think of me if I tell or educate them about Sex Education?

Such fears are needless. Parents and teachers are no ore responsible for nature’s way with man. Sex Education, if given calmly and truthfully, will not shock young people.

If animals do not need Sex Education, then why it is required for human beings?

Animal sexual behaviour is governed by instinctive pattern, while social conditioning and individual learning profoundly influence human sexual behaviour. The animals do not face several problems as the human beings. Human beings have the ability to modify the sexual behaviour depending upon the individual or social need; the animal cannot.

Nobody cared about Sex Education before. Then why it is necessary to give now?

Sex Education was given in India even before the times of Vatsyayana, which is 400 A.D. It was only after 17th century that “obscenity” came into existence and people started talking about it in a different way. Comprehensive sex education is desired for better quality of life.

When should Sex Education to teenagers / adolescents start?

Sex Education to adolescents / teenagers is a continuation of sex education to children at home and later at school. It is a life-long process. Parents should answer the questions when they come up, regardless of age. Would it be dangerous to speak to him prematurely? Not at all, better a year too soon than a minute too late. Children should be given information in a scientific and objective manner, using standard terminology, without making the child feel embarrassed. If a child is found touching its genitals, ignore, distract or substitute with a toy or with a sweet. These activities are harmless and normal. We should never scold a child.

Why adolescents / teenagers need Sexual Education on a priority basis?

  1. Adolescents / teenagers have a maximum sex drive.
  2. They form a high-risk group, meaning they tend to get trapped in wrong notions, perceptions or people if they are not educated.
  3. They are eager to get information because of physical, psychological and physiological changes.
  4. Their common source of information or rather misinformation, are their friends, blue films and porn magazines/literature if they do not get scientific information.
  5. They are easily influenced and therefore likely to go astray and land in problems.
  6. They are the responsible citizens of tomorrow.
  7. With right kind of Sex Education, they make a better and safe society.

When is the right time to implement Sexual Education to adolescents / teenagers?

It should start around when the child is 10 years old. The aim is to provide information and guidance before they become curious, start facing problems due to physical and psychological changes or become sexually active. Sex Education should be given in a graded manner. It should be need-based. The messages once introduced should be reinforced repeatedly.

Should girls and boys be taught or given Sexual Education together or separately?

Some aspects of Sex Education are gender specific and hence gender relevant. Therefore, separate sessions for boys and girls give opportunity to discuss the concerned topics at length and avoid embarrassment while discussing the subject. Girls feel shy, embarrassed and uncomfortable, and do not participate in the open discussion. Girls and boys have different problems too. However, general topics on sexuality and on health could be discussed in male-female mixed group. The advantages of combined sessions are saving of time and repetition, fostering interpersonal relationship between boys and girls, developing mutual respect and reducing inhibitions and anxiety about the subject in the presence of the opposite sex.

Source: News & Views Magazine

More FAQs to come on the subject…