Sex education is a topic that one never misses to hear from time to time. It is a very integral topic especially within the quotas of the young adults. While others hold that the dissemination of sex education should be increased, others hold the contrary. Looking at both the conflicting opinions, there are evidently solid premises to support the conclusions drawn. This paper however, seeks to expose the importance of sex education both in school and home. It is from this foundation that the argument that sex education should be increased both at home and in schools, steams. Besides, it also points out the contrary opinion to the above argument and seeks to demystify it.
Sex education is the process through which an individual acquires information and forms attitudes and beliefs about a wide range of issues relating to sex. It is also referred to as sex and relationships education or sexuality education. Sex education include aspects such as human sexuality that include among others human sexual anatomy, reproductive health, sexual intercourse, sexual reproduction, contraception, abstinence, and other issues relating to human sexual behavior (Kristen 67).
When sex education should start
If sex education is to be successful among the preteens and the teens then it should start early in their lives. It should start as young as they have established patterns of behavior and have not reached puberty. The exact age at which this ought to start depends on the emotional, physical and intellectual development of the young people as well as their level of understanding. There is also need that the education is sustained through out as the child grows (Kristen 71).
The provision of sexual education for children at an earlier age gives the basis upon which more complex knowledge can be built upon over time. When a child is informed on how people grow and change over time for instance, they get a foundation upon which they easily understand more detailed information about puberty, which is taught in the pre-teenage years. If we talk to them about how germs and viruses attack the body then it would be very easy for them to understand how infections are caught through sexual contact.
There is curiosity however, that providing sex education at an earlier stage increases sexual activity. In fact the idea is that it leads to sexual experimentation. It is on this premises that the opposers of the above argument derive their conclusions. Unfortunately, it does not hold. A review done in the US showed that sex education in fact reduces sexual activity.
The provision of sex education
Sex education takes place in so many settings which include among others schools and homes. Parents or the care givers for example, have an opportunity to provide sex education to these teens at home. They get the chance to have a one to-one discussion with the children on specific questions, issues or concerns. This would go on for a long time until the child is an adult and would go and live on their own. There could be cases where the children are hesitant to open up, but this should not be perceived as there is nothing to talk about. There is hard proof that positive parent-child communication regarding sexual matters do lead to greater behavior change among the children (Kristen 74).
Teachers on the other hand, also have an imperative role to play. Teachers do a lot in terms of teaching sexual education. Many at times if their delivery is effective and the curriculum is suitable then a greater impact is achieved. It would be important to mention at this point that the most efficient sex education takes into consideration the different contributions each setting can make. It brings in a combination of the settings to deliver the necessary message on sex education.
The young people could also be involved in these programs to ensure relevance. This is important as through them the message would easily reach their pears. Consultation with them at the stage when the programs are designed is also helpful as it ensures not only relevance but also promotes delivery (Aggleton 42).
The contrary opinion
This section brings into focus the contradicting opinion that this paper seeks to discredit. There are others who hold that more sex education delivers no impact on the sexual behavior of our children. They argue that an increased sex education leads to sexual experimentation among the teens.
They add that the target age is a bit curious and teaching them sex education would push them to act on that which they have not been told. This opinion is defeatist and has no substantial proof at all. Besides, they also hold a perspective that sex education can not stop teens from having sex. This is true as sex education just makes the children to be better equipped to handle the decisions that they make.
According to them sex education in schools is a waste of time. The students in these schools are never enthusiastic to listen or find whatever the teacher. The way this school of thought regards this topic is irrational. It is sheer ignorance as they justify the teens have a right to sex because they are supposedly in love. There is utter need for an increased provision of sex education both in school and at homes.
The importance of sex education
It is prudent to discuss the reasons in a summary why sex education is important before looking at why its provision should be increased in schools and at homes. Sex education provides the teen with information about matters that affect them. This is their right .It also helps the teens build solid foundations and so they mature into sexually healthy adults. This education gives them with the opportunity to develop and comprehend their attitudes, beliefs and values, about sexuality (Wight 103).
Sex education reduces the risks of the negative outcomes that came with sexual behavior. These include unplanned or unwanted or pregnancies and infection with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. Sex education makes the young people able to make informed decisions over their lifetime and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices. It also helps them develop life skills that are useful and can be applied to sexual relationships (Guyatt 56).
An effective sex education would develop the skills of negotiation, decision-making, assertion and listening in these teens. In addition to the above, there are also other important skills that they stand to gain. These include being able to deal with and challenging prejudice, recognize pressures from other people and to resist them, and being able to seek help from adults including parents, careers and professionals. The help from professionals can be sought through the community and their families (Mellan 90).
Sex education as a course assists the teens to enhance their interpersonal skills and also relationships. It makes them to be in a position to exercise responsibility regarding sexual relationships. This includes dealing with pressures especially from their peers to engage in premature sexual intercourse, contraception use, abstinence, and other sexual health measures.
Sex education at home and why it should be increased
Parents and care givers ought to be the main teachers of sex education to their children. They should swing in and offer the necessary counsel in case of any opportunity. As the saying goes, ‘charity begins at home’ and so should sex education begin at home.
It has been stated in many research papers that the reason why many girls are having sex at such a young age girls is because they are in constant search for love that is not provided to them at home. The children do not feel loved and would want to be loved by someone. Thus, if it is not provided at home they go places looking for it. This would be one the reasons why there should be increased sex education at home. Parents are in constant pursuit of means to fend their children yet neglect the most essential duties to their children. There even cases where parents do not get to know about the pregnancies until the day their daughters are just about to give birth.
We do not get solutions by running away from the problem. Neither, does it come by rejecting the need for an increased sex education at home. It is in these homes that the children get to know how to show love, respond to affection, and learn how to react in different types of relationships. This makes them have solid relationships without being swayed to any side. It is also at home that the children learn about sexuality for the first time. This happens when their parents speaks to them, change their clothes, play with them or when they teach them about their body parts (West 116).
The argument that the more the parents teach their children on sex education the more the children are pushed to act on what they have not been told is void and null. It is by speaking about it that we instill in the children preventive measures. We help protect them from the hazards that come with unprotected sex (West 120).
It is parents to initiate this process. They should not wait for others to do it for them. This is because their children spend most times with them. These children are also most likely to believe them most than any other person. The society is going down the drain in terms of morality today because the parents do not take any responsibility at all. They have rested their ears on the shoulders of those that opposes of this topic. If the parents do a good job on teaching their children what is acceptable and right, we would be having reinforced morals and ideals in the society. This alone suggests fewer numbers of teenage pregnancies (Wight 43).
There comes a time when a child has grown into an adult and would receive formal sex education through schools and community-settings. At this time, parents won’t get the chance to offer any advice concerning sex. The time to increase sex education at home is now. Parents should fold their sleeves for there is still a lot to be done.
Sex education in schools and why it should be increased
Sex education in schools not only complements but also supplements the sexuality education that the children receive from their parents and even religious and community groups. It is very important that sex education is provided space in the various curriculums for high schools. That is, both senior and junior high school. Sex education need to be taught in these schools for the reasons that are expounded below.
Sex education is the solution to every sexual challenge that students face in schools today. In order to make progress in these lines, then we have to provide more of this education. This is because education opens up a new horizon in the mind and this makes the children be much careful and intentional with their lives. It is also in these schools that the children are under influence from their fellow pears. Thus, making schools the most appropriate place to disseminate sexual education. It is only in school that you find the teens and their friends together (Mellan 134).
Sex education should be taught in school just to breach the gap created by the parents who are so engrossed in the pursuit of making a living and do not get time to teach their children on this important topic. This goes in a long way to build a strong foundation that the parents do not provide. There are several problems that could be prevented if the children have a sexual orientation in their schools, since in their families do not want to talk about it.
Sex education also helps sensitize the teens on the repercussions of sex. Thus, it needs to be implemented in the high school coursework to make them aware of the consequences of unprotected sex. One of these consequences is teenage pregnancy. It hurts to hear that a child got pregnant at the age of eleven just because no proper sex education has been provided to them or the message was not properly delivered. Ignorance is a great disease especially among teens. Most of them especially the girls do not know first that they are fertile and that if they ever had sex, they would get pregnant (Coyle 19).
A close look at today’s society reveals that teenage pregnancy is very rampant. It has led to many school drop outs than ever. Others have to postpone their education and as a result end up being mothers at early ages. The causes of these pregnancies would be, in my opinion, incorrect education about sex from neighbors and friends. In other cases there is no sex education at all. If proper sex education was provided to these students right from their time of entrance into the high school program the result would be much different. Though, this is important sexual education may not stop teenage pregnancies. It may indeed just reduce them (NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination 14).
The other consequence is STD (Sexual Transmitted Diseases).We can achieve a more healthy society if STD is taught in sex education. Many have died because of these diseases. The cause of death may be having unprotected casual sex with other individuals. Other people kick the bucket because they did not know the disease they are suffering from is STD even when the symptoms were too evident. In my opinion, religion has masked so many people. Religion has made them to live behind wall yet they suffer a lot. Others feel embarrassed to go to the doctors (Kalichman 78).
Abortion is also the other problem that we can prevent if education on sex is increased in schools. Girls do no want to have babies and this makes them abort. When challenged with such a problem, the teenagers forget that the baby is a human being and deserves to live. There are different ways to prevent abortion. These include having protected sex, adoption and abstinence. These however, can never come not unless sex education is increased in schools (Bultman 44).
Sex education is also appropriate in school since the age of the students is. According to development psychology, it is at this time that the children do not care or listen to anyone. In addition to this, relationship is a norm especially among the teens. The moment sex education is scrapped from the learning educations. Then the children would not know better how to go about relationships. They will be left exposed to the media that gives not only conflicting but also confusing ideologies about the whole topic. The media for instance, would promote the idea that being sexually active makes a person more attractive and mature. Such ideologies many at times are not geared towards instilling morality in this teens, especially in this capitalistic world (Schinke 87).
Sex education instills a sense of responsibility in the students. It is in school that this can be well propagated since the essence of education is to make the student a much better individual than before. A responsible student will be sensitive about the consequences of sex (Guyatt 93).
Sex education in schools would also encourage heterosexuality among the teenagers. The teenagers interact with homosexuals almost on a daily basis, if not in their homes, neighborhoods, churches then in schools. They would easily be victims of the homosexuals who are lurking in the shadows of the society, if light is not shed to them on both heterosexuality and homosexuality. Sex education would teach students about sexual preference. It would bring them to an understanding that homosexuality is not hereditary (Holland 12).
It is probably how this education is delivered that determines its. The reason so many people are against sex education both at home and school is the claim that it did not have any impact in their lives while they were in school. The education got in through one ear and got out through the other. There also seems to be a greater urge among the teachers to bog the students mind with information about sexuality yet there is not even an impact analysis being done.
Sex education is an integral subject. Though, there are several attitudes and beliefs about it, it is necessary that it is increased in schools. An opinion like not having sex until one gets married does not imply withholding important information about safer sex and contraception.
Avoiding the issue of sex education in our schools and homes is not the solution. We should seek to continue providing effective sex education that enables young people to choose whether or not to have a sexual relationship taking into consideration the potential risks of any sexual activity.