a year ago
Nowadays, sex is a staple subject of news, entertainment, and advertising so it is hard to avoid this ever-present topic. Unfortunately, it appears that it is missing out from the most important place where it should be integrated and that is in high schools. Whether some people want to admit it or not, sex is a natural occurrence. Since it is so natural, the negative aspects of sex can only be prevented by teaching students at a reasonable age about its dangers and how to protect themselves. Not discussing this topic with teens does not delay the moment when they start their sexual life. On the contrary, their curiosity regarding this topic is not satisfied in a controlled environment so they either decide to start their sexual life to see what they might be missing out or they inform themselves using wrong resources that leave them with misconceptions and poor sexual education.
Awkward as it may be, sex education is not only a parent’s responsibility but also the responsibility of schools and their educators.
What is sexual health education?
Sex education is wrongly believed to only teach teens about what the act of having sex implies. However, there is a multitude of related topics that students need to learn in order to start and maintain a healthy sexual life. From bodily development, sexuality, relationships, and sexual health, teens need to learn how to make informed decisions that will ensure their health and wellbeing. Sexual health education should include information about puberty and reproduction, contraception methods and sexually transmitted infections, relationships, sexual violence prevention, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Sex education needs to treat sexuality and sexual development as a normal part of human development. Educators can purchase sex toys for sale and teach teens how they can satisfy their sexual needs without having intercourse until they feel ready to do so.
Teaching abstinence is not effective
Unfortunately, instead of providing young people with complete and honest information about sex, they are taught abstinence. The idea that teens should say no to sex until marriage is promoted instead of teaching teens how they should have a healthy sex life. Abstinence-only education isn’t effective with lowering the rates at which they decide to have sex. Comprehensive sex education is also not aiming to discourage adolescents from having sex either but it does teach them how to do so more safely.
Abstinence-only education seems to be problematic as it does not give the chance to adolescents to learn about other acceptable options other than abstinence. Also, other studies say that providing condoms in schools does not make kids practice sex more safely unless they are though why they should wear protection during sex. Although parents and educators fear that providing teens with condoms might encourage them to start their sex life, in fact, studies suggest that this does not encourage them to do so and only choose to use the condoms only if they would be having sex already.
Addressing tough topics to teens
Sex education should provide teens with more information regarding other topics that they will later have to deal in life. This will set the stage for a lifetime of healthy sexuality. Date rape, sexual orientation, and other tough topics should be part of the sex education taught in high schools.
Knowing when they are ready for sex
Nowadays, there are various factors such as peer pressure, curiosity, loneliness, and the things they see online that steer some teenagers into early sexual activity. Teens should be taught that it is acceptable to wait until they feel entirely ready to start their sex life. They should understand that sex is an adult behavior and that they should wait until they are able to have sex while accepting all the responsibilities that come with it. In the meantime, teens can be taught that there are other ways to express affection such as intimate talks, holding hands, kissing, touching, and hugging.
Sense of obligation or fear
In today’s modern world, adolescents enter a relationship at very young ages and they might deal with the pressure from their partners to have sex although they are not ready to do so. They should be explained that they should not have sex out of a sense of obligation or fear. Any form of forced sex is rape whether the perpetrator is a stranger or someone they are dating.
Sexual orientation is another tough topic that teens should be taught about at sex education in high schools. As they start to explore their sexual attraction, many teens wonder at some point whether they are gay or bisexual. They need to be told that those feelings may change as time goes on and they discover their sexuality more and if they do not, that it is perfectly fine. A negative response to teens’ questions regarding sexual orientation can have negative consequences. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth whose family does not show acceptance are at increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, depression, attempted suicide, and depression.
Respect others’ right to bodily autonomy
Unfortunately, the lack of sex education in high schools seems to be a cause for forced intercourse. Studies show that many high school students have been forced to have intercourse and that one in ten students has committed sexual violence. Sex education taught in high schools teaches young people what constitutes sexual violence and that it is wrong.
Parents need to be taught how to provide their children with honest information about sex education and sexuality. Parents should be alert to warning signs that a teen may be a victim of rape, may have been infected with a sexually transmitted infection, or may struggle with understanding their sexual orientation.
Sex education in high schools is important to ensure that students get the information they need to live healthy lives, build healthy relationships, and take personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing.
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