Sex education- the need of the hour!!
The other day when I was trying to clear my messed up book-shelve (wondering how I manage to keep so many books under one roof?). Lost in the cleaning process, it was when my younger sister, 14 years old, came up to me to ask her endless questions that she wanted to discuss with me. Left with no other option, I dumped all my work aside, and sat down at the bay window of my room, with a cup of black coffee, to have the patience of hearing her blabbering.
The gossip was about a guy in her class, who out a mere fight, had teased her friend (Rina), mocking at her growing ‘breast’ , then how Rina started crying for being insulted in front of the entire class. And then, my sweet little sister told me, how uncomfortable she gets when boys in her class make fun of the girls.
According to me, Sex education should not be just an option but also a necessity for teens nowadays. Children past the puberty stage need to be informed not only about body parts and the reproductive system, they are supposed to learn something deeper about relationships and safe sex, as these will teach them how to act responsibly when the time comes.
Adolescence- a time of both disorientation and discovery now describes the ‘tween’ (due to early-onset puberty) as well as ‘teen’ years between 9 and 19. It is a transitional phase of physical as well as mental development-No longer children but not yet adults, adolescents struggle with issues of independence and self-identity.
Kids of this age are naturally curious. Who knows that in order to solve their unanswered queries, they might make use of ‘internet’, or other media. And internet, being filled up with information of every sort, not able to distinguish between whether an elder or a 10 year old is surfing, might give them the ‘not-so-required’ data and force them to ‘experiment’ with sexuality. Thus, a planned and a systematic learning process of making the teens aware of the basics of the ‘phenomenon of getting mature’ should be taught.
Most young people become sexually active during adolescence. In the absence of right guidance and information, they are more likely to have multiple-partners for sex, which will lead to a rise in STDs ( sexually transmitted diseases). India with 2.47 million cases of HIV infected persons in the country and with sexual transmission being the predominant mode of HIV transmission.
Sex education is not only about relationships and intercourse. Teaching it also includes the stages of a person’s physical development, his body image, gender roles, and even his emotions. Sex education will take away the ignorance that can lead young adults to commit errors in their judgments as far as coupling and sexual interaction is concerned. With proper sex education, the incidence of teen pregnancy and irresponsible parenthood can be controlled. Sex education will also boost the confidence and self-esteem of children, which they seem to lose as they enter the puberty.Those with inadequate learning about the changes happening in their bodies end up being either afraid or confused about the situation they are facing. And if this dilemma is not addressed right away, the child may grow up shy and intimidated amidst other people.
Sex education is a gradual and an evolving process. It’s high time when the need to make the growing children aware of the changes in their bodies should be acknowledged. Introduction of sex education will definitely reap an informed and a healthy Gen-next!