“Sex education is very relevant in today’s world where children have access to adult content across media. So it has become all the more important for parents to educate kids about sex and talk to them about it.”-Tejaswi Madivada
Alert! the below names are awful, don’t try to read them aloud, it might make you feel ashamed and embarrassed in public.
In today’s world, we have understood complex conflicts, and with a vision of clarity, we have reached conclusions. We built bridges to bridge the distance, we invented telephones to overcome the gap of communication. Though with time we have invented technologies and new inventions to ease our life but one thing that is still unchanged and unfortunately considered uncommon in our society is “Talking About Sex Education”.
What is Sex Education?
Firstly, what does education mean? Education is the process that nurtures and navigates our thinking, perspective, and actions in such a way that we can differentiate between what is right and what is wrong.
The same meaning stands when we add the prefix sex in education, with some broad changes sex education covers the understanding of human development (changes in body parts), relationships meaning (value one’s body and personal health), the importance of sexual health and behavior, safe sex (use of a condom or other protection method to prevent from STD, AIDS, HIV) and other sexual awareness that an individual ought to know.
Sex education never aims and results in appealing sex in teenagers but rather makes them understand the consciousness about sex diseases, emotional and physical feelings in a relationship.
Sex education stands and functions differently as per age group. For a child of 8-9, gaining sex education means understanding friendship, emotions, and different parts of the body. For adolescents, this topic becomes broader and focuses on covering aspects like puberty changes, sexual diseases, prevention from sexual diseases spread, communication and importance of relationship, and family planning.
Wait, but what’s the need for sex education? We have and we are growing, bagging new achievements, new technologies without emphasizing much on sex education. So, what’s the relevance of preaching youth about sex education?
Why Do We Need Sex Education For Youth?
As a human, we all are affected by circumstances especially when we are young, one event could be the reason for our good mental health and one could be of our worse. Now keeping that thing in mind, let’s consider another fact that in our surrounding factors such as society dilemma, too sensitive to talk about, etc. makes us not much comfortable talking about Sex Education.
Now these facts from here can lead to three things in the younger age group
They could be sexually abused without being aware
When the adolescents are unaware of human development, concerned with sex education (ie there are some private body parts that others cannot touch without our consent) there could be a possibility that they are being sexually abused without knowing that.
Mostly the younger age group children become the prey of such cases. Because they are never being a part of sex education in a school where they can learn about the aspects of sex education. And eventually, fall into the category of easy targets for sexual predators.
If they are sexually harassed, they are helpless
Considering the second fact that the younger age group aren’t comfortable in their surroundings in explicitly sexual matters, they could be sexually abused and they can’t do anything rather than accepting it.
Why? Because whom do they approach when someone without their consent touches their private body parts? And how will they be able to differentiate between it comes under the consideration of guilt? Where could they go when they want to talk about the mishappening that happened last week in the playground and affecting their mental health since now?
Talking and sharing is the way to let all these out but how they are supposed to come openly for communication with their parents especially when from childhood they are nurtured in an environment that runs on society dilemmas, consider too sensitive to talk, and have never been communicated in an understanding way.
There are n numbers of questions that arise from the lack of proper sex education in youth and remain with the title of unanswered.
When puberty hits, it affects their mental health
Puberty means a change in both physical and physiological maturity in a child. For the girls, puberty starts from the age of 11 earlier than the boys, and they develop their breast and start period. Whereas the boys enter puberty at 12 and they develop a deeper voice and facial hair.
Now, in the beginning, everyone feels uncomfortable with their body changes and it’s all normal. But what makes it abnormal here is sometimes the child who hasn’t been aware of these changes before or doesn’t know that this is part of the growing. Eventually, they fail to cope up with these changes maturely as others, and that what makes them vulnerable to puberty depression.
A girl who has never been taught that after a certain age they will face changes in the growth of their pubic hair, breast development, and after a while will also have to undergo the period. For them, puberty becomes challenging and difficult to cope with, they become shocked as they see the blood for the first time, and above that those who are being teased for such changes among peers, end up harming their mental health and become more vulnerable to depression because of the lack of help on
sensitive sexual changes.
Whereas a boy also feels unexpected ejaculation and erection at their puberty, which makes them ashamed and embarrassed in the public. They are also teased because of this and the changing shapes of their bodies. Eventually, the presence of a lack of sex education among them either leads to the emergence of a bully out of them or making the prey out of them.
They will process and learn from their surroundings
The fundamental process of our life is we learn from our surroundings, as a child, we observe that crying too loud fills the presence of our loved ones around so whenever we need something we indicate by the gesture of crying. We observe that smiling around makes everyone happy so we always try to laugh hard to put a smile on others’ faces.
The process is now the same but the directions are different. A child of 11-12 years who has never been familiar with his body developments and doesn’t have the proper sex education could nurture his/her mind in a destructive way by engaging with the wrong content more like internet pornography.
It can differ his/her perspective in such a way that can eventually create a greater risk for them to be a porn addict.
How Can Parents Talk To Their Kids About Sex Education?
Parents are the only ones who seek their child’s benefit, therefore, they always try their best to bring the best to their child.
Here are the three basics to work on for teaching the child about sex education
Learn and understand first, then communicate
Though by sex we mean sexual activities, including specifically sexual intercourse but when we channelize its importance it becomes a broader term to process. Sex doesn’t only remain what it means but does include respecting other sexuality, making responsible choices about sex and love, understanding and accepting your own body.
So what’s the gist that parents need to first understand is, one can easily make something easier to understand for others if he/she would have an entire knowledge of the topic. Therefore what’s come as a crux is teach yourself first and then pass the knowledge to your child. The more you will know, the better you will communicate and make them understand.
Be Their Surroundings
The basic requirement that one’s can fill for his/her child’s proper sex education is by “being their surrounding”. The fundamental universe rule is what we see we learn, we preach we serve. The child consumes and learns whatever is present in the surroundings therefore one can educate him/her easily via being their surroundings and make them understand the aspects in a more faithful way.
Create a Bond
Usually, when a child cries he expects and needs his mother to be around. Because they both have the strongest bond together and therefore when something happens the faith is always in the mother. The same concept can be improvised in teaching the child about sex education, create a bond, a trust so that whatever the problems he/she is going through or in case has the possibility of future occurrence, he/she is assured and confident enough to approach you and share it with you.
When it comes to sex, things do become personal but sex education doesn’t mean nor reflect or promote sex in teenagers, in contrast, sex education makes the peer learn more about understanding and respecting their physical body, educates them to make healthy decisions about sex in their life and believing gender inequality.
Sex is considered taboo in our society therefore we always prefer to conceal it and hesitate to come openly in our surroundings. But if a child perceives sex education he/she becomes mentally mature and can also impact the mentality for breaking the sensitive chain of sex education in society.