Sex education is a form of special education that concerns itself with developing young people’s skills so that they make reasoned choices concerning the way they behave. Sexual feelings are erotic feeling and experience as sexual beings and the awareness of themselves as males or females.
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Although most people have failed to address the issue of sex education, the failing nature of the gospel of abstinence and thus increased rates of teenage pregnancies has led to a new awakening for all stakeholders to evaluate the position of sex education among the youth. Due to this awakening this topic has attracted the attention of various newspaper articles as well as other forms of editorials.
Most relationships go through difficulties where there are chances that things may go contrary to the expectations of the couples. In such a situation, the solution to solve the differences is through communication and knowing when and where to seek help if need be. In sex education, key tips towards solving such issues are provided. However, sexuality needs not be confused with sex and procreation.
Sexuality is the entire expression of who we are as human beings, male or female. It constitutes our moral values, mental attitudes, our beliefs, emotions, spiritual and physical selves, as well as social and cultural beliefs and aspects of relating to one another as male and female. Sex education also aims at reducing the risks that may result from irresponsible sexual behaviour such as early pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDs among many others.
To procreate means to reproduce and thus procreation is the process by which a new “offspring’’ or an individual in this case, is brought forth. Traditionally, sex was only meant for procreation and not for pleasure unlike the current situation where some people engage in sex for pleasure.
Although all human relationships involving people of the opposite sex are inevitably sexual, any situation involving both man and a woman is experienced partly as a function of their respective sexual identity and in terms of the distinct role that each one is called to perform. Sexuality is thus the energy for our relationships to reaching out to other people. For instance, sexuality in indigenous communities was looked upon as sacred and mysterious and it was believed that if it was misused, evil would result.
In order to bring up good mature people in our society, there is a need to provide sex education since this will help the children grow up understanding what is expected of them and at what age. The most appropriate people to provide sex education to the young include the parents or guardians, teachers, doctors, nurses, and public health officers.
Whereas the importance of sex education cannot be underscored, the subject has remained one of the least discussed subjects in the society. This problem has been attributed to the lack of the courage by the concerned parties to talk about sexual matters to the children. This has further been affected by different social cultural beliefs that make conversations concerning sex and sexuality highly secretive (Lewis, 2011). Nevertheless, lack of sex education in the society has led to increased cases of teenage pregnancies (Beil, 2007). These teenage pregnancies results from being sexually active and engaging in premarital sex. Limited access and high cost of contraceptives such the emergency pills is also a major cause of unplanned pregnancies.
One possible measure that can be used to curb the early pregnancy menace is accessibility to contraceptives. The government should subsidize these items to make them affordable. Most religious churches like the Catholic Church are sensitive to the issue of condoms, which is a way to safe sex.
Low levels of education and high rates of poverty in many communities are also a major cause of early pregnancies. In most cases, parents gives up the hope they have on their children the moment these children get pregnant at an early age. Some who could continue with their studies and perform well put an end to their studies at that.
Parents should not leave the duty of disciplining their kids to the teachers at school. Most parents make the mistake of taking the children to boarding schools from the time they are young and thus they get no time to nature their kids. It is upon the entire society to educate teenagers the need to wait until they are mature enough to engage in mature and loving relationships which will make better homes and avoid wasting time in love-hate relationships. This time would otherwise be used in learning or working to achieve their objectives.
In view of the fact that early childbearing can protect women from breast cancer, the reality is that many teenage pregnancies are unplanned. In all cases of teenage motherhood, the parents are neither prepared nor in a position to take care of their children (Lewis, 2011).
Besides this, they are mostly still in their education, which is interrupted by the unexpected pregnancies. Lewis, (2011), further asserts that teenage motherhood leads to social exclusion and exacerbates the chances for increased poverty which also leads to poor health for both the mother and the child. Unprotected sex often poses the danger of the teenagers contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or even HIV/AIDS.
This is because most young people are not well-informed about sex or otherwise ignore the advice given to them. Ways in which these diseases can be passed on is important to the teens in order to know the ways they can safeguard themselves. If sex education was offered all through from the childhood state to post teenage age, things could otherwise be different. Some underrate the education offered on sex and get the curiosity to know the hidden fact.
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The problem of teen pregnancies and other effects of early sexual activities by the adolescents can be traced from the conflict between traditions and modernity. Traditionally, adolescents were not given any form of sex education, despite the fact that adolescents are curious about some or all the aspects of their sex and sexuality in general.
In most communities, this was considered a taboo and matters relating to sex were often put off until just before a child’s marriage. In the contemporary society, children get to know some of the matters relating to sex through the media and even the internet sources. The deficiency of sex education increase incidences of teenage pregnancies as a result of the desire to know by oneself (Hope, 2010).
Sex education can be formal or informal. The most common and probably most effective form of sex education is the informal, which is in the form of conversations between the young and the elderly and more so, the parents back at home. This is where sexuality education begins and parents ought to be the primary educators of their children.
From birth, children learn about love through touch and the way they relate with their parents, siblings and other people around them on a daily basis and this is the right time that the parents should start teaching the infant about sex and family issues. These infants learn about sexuality when their parents talk to them, dress them, show affection, play with them and teach them the names of the parts of their bodies and as they grow into teens and young adults, they continue to receive information about sex.
Parents and their children have a wide range of comfort when it comes to discussing sexuality irrespective of the age, race, color, tribe or social class. However, despite this added advantages, most parents and guardians feel ashamed of providing too much information to their kids. Parents are the adult mentors and their role cannot be underestimated. Others feel embarrassed of not responding to questions directed to them.
This jeopardizes their ability to offer effective counseling to their children on sexuality. Some fear that this may hasten the onset or increase the frequency of sexual intercourse among the children. Research on sex education provides evidence that sex programs neither hastens nor increases this. Parents should be honest and openly communicate with their children through childhood and early adulthood in order to lay strong foundations of sexually healthy adults.
Regarding the matter of alcoholism, drugs and substance abuse, children need more education on their side-effects. Most teenage pregnancies come about as a result of alcoholism where adolescents engage is unprotected sex due to lack of know-how. Afterwards, they opt for abortion and others end up losing their lives.
Sugden, (2010), notes that the fight against early pregnancies cannot be won if the drug menace is tackled in the first instance. In agreement, Adams, (2010) notes that most of the girls who get pregnant engage in sexual activities that lead to the pregnancies while they are too intoxicated to take charge of their decision making process. It is a fact that most teenage girls who get pregnant can’t remember much about the night in question. Some did it out of their senses or were raped.
In view of the fact that most children spend a lot of the day’s time in school, traditional norms are either dying or are not there, and in addition to this, the parents are ever absent or so busy to spare some time for their infants, teens, and the young adults.
Schools and other learning institutions should take the responsibility of teaching sex education and teenage pregnancy as well. In this way, we shall have a healthy, respectful, responsible and a pleasurable approach to sexuality and marriage life at large. Doctors on the other hand should intervene where girls experience too many unplanned pregnancies.
The government should ensure that the youth have access to adequate and appropriate contraception and contraceptive services in all schools and health centers. However, it is important to note that such an enormous task of dealing with infants, adolescents and young adults require competent teachers. Teachers Training Colleges should hire qualified lecturers in order to produce competent graduates.
Adams, S., 2010. Sharp rise in teenage pregnancy rates. The Daily Telegraph. August 25. P. 11
Beil, L. 2007. Abstinence Education Faces an Uncertain Future. New York Times. July 18. P. 16.
Hope, J., 2010. Teach us parenthood, not just sex, say teens. Daily Mail. December 2. P. 16.
Lewis, R., 2011. We must educate young people about the risks of being sexually active; Dr Richard Lewis asks whether Wales’ high teenage pregnancy rate means we’re failing young people. The Western Mail. February 14. P. 22.
Sugden, J., 2010. Teenage pregnancies fall to lowest rate in a decade as campaigners warn over cuts. The Times (London). November 24. P. 21