Sex Education? For Kids? Really?
Define a teenager! Someone who is very curious, high on energy, wants to discover and try out a lot of new things. Someone who is not really aware about consequences of their actions yet very eager to follow what the throng around them does!! And now imagine them not having proper education about physical and hormonal changes happening in their bodies, hygiene, sexual health and diseases, reproductive organs, contraception, gender and sexual diversity and pleasure. Yes, sex education entails far more than talking just about penis, breasts, vagina and “when a sperm meets an egg, it fertilises and that’s how babies are born”.
Ahhh! Sounds disastrous right!?! But isn’t that how we all live our lives, left to figure out everything on our own! I remember back in the school, how eager everyone in my class was to learn the biology lessons about puberty, reproductive organs and those were the only lessons skipped because our teachers felt awkward to talk let alone educate about the term sex and the pictures of reproductive organs. Why do we hesitate so much to talk about something that gave us life, body parts that each and every one of us possess, touches and looks at every day!!
The popularity and ratings of Netflix Drama ‘Sex Education’ for youth is the proof of how today’s millennial relate with all the issues discussed in the web series.
Dr. Anita Sabherwal, Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital says, “sex education makes kids aware of the changes taking place in their bodies (puberty) and also teaches them how to make safe, healthy choices as they grow up because healthy relationships and healthy sexual life are the keys to a happy adult life. This would help them manage sexual advances, encourage them to speak up if they are abused sexually, the importance of using protection while having sexual intercourse and the consequences of having children before or outside marriage”.
How do knowing things help?
1. Sex education plays most important role in shaping young minds. In an age when any information is at our fingertips, it is very crucial that right and holistic information reaches the youth. It aids in the development of social and emotional skills in young individuals. They need to become caring and empathetic adults.
2. Early sex education often leads to better understanding, awareness, appreciation and acceptance of gender and sexual diversity. It reduces stigma associated with sexuality.
3. Makes young people aware of the consequences and risks of their choices. It also helps avoid unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. They will not only understand why to use a birth control/contraceptive but also how to effectively use it.
4. It teaches youngsters importance of consent, respecting body space. Helps differentiate between good touch and bad touch. They can realize importance of developing comfort and trust before giving into peer pressure.
Let us try and create a world where kids, adults do not feel ashamed to speak up and ask questions about their bodies, get the right advice and are confident to take right decision for themselves because Knowledge is the real power.
by Gayatri H Yadav