Sex Education, as the term clearly indicates, refers to education based on human sexual behavior. Parents, schools, or caretakers offer it in some parts of the world to educate the children who are stepping into their adolescence. If formally received, sex education is either taught as a full course at high school or junior high school level or in biology, health, home economics classes. Teaching sex education is rather a controversial issue; debates have been going on for several decades, discussing if it should be taught formally in schools or not. Sex education in schools should exist without any doubts and apprehensions as it offers many benefits.
Adolescence is called the “age of storm and stress.” The young teenagers, during this phase of life, are under deep psychological pressure. This psychological pressure is mainly the result of one’s growing sexual needs and the biological changes and hormonal effects on the individuals. During this time, most of the children are observed to become easily irritable. They find it difficult in most situations to deal with the family members.
They might not want to talk to them about the natural changes taking place in their body and mind. In such circumstances, one highly suitable option is that of the teachers who can teach them to control their urges until a proper age. In schools, trained teachers would help the students to know how to deal with their sexual impulses. Parents or other entities can not replace this role. A classroom discussion and lesson would make them feel natural, and they would also feel that someone understands them. However, taking them individually to psychologists or other trained educators would not help. In such a situation, they might consider themselves different and misunderstood by family and people around them. Therefore, it becomes crystal clear that the best way to offer sex education is always in school.
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It is a psychological phenomenon that children at a young age are under immense peer pressure. They learn in the class with their peer group what makes a better impression on their minds than otherwise. They are more focused on the lessons teachers offer and are more eager to ask questions to clear their ambiguities. They might feel embarrassed and uneasy questioning their parents about it, but it always differs in the teacher’s case in the class. This is because everyone in the class is going through the same stage. A class discussion becomes a healthy source of learning as it enhances the knowledge on the subject.
Many people advocate that sex education should only be restricted to families, that is, that parents should personally educate their children. This view is totally illogical and holds complications and questions. The first point is that not all the parents would be willing to do it or would be able to do it. Secondly, this education needs a proper channel through which it should reach its required learners. There could be many possible problems in the families, so they might not be able to take a teacher’s role in educating their children regarding sex. The demand for annulment of sex education from the schools is highly conservative.
Most importantly, there are many single parents; how would they take up this challenge of educating their children independently? Parents can not properly educate their children about sex because they lack details that qualified sex educators convey in schools. Thus, the stance of abolishing sex education in school is not a favorable thought. In many observed cases where parents or children are embarrassed about talking about sexual matters with each other, it is most likely to be an uneasy situation at both ends. This keeps the children from learning the answers to the questions they might have in their minds. This can be a great flaw in shifting the duty of sexual education from teachers to the parents. It will leave the children only half or less educated about the issue, and as they say, “Little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” this might end up in grave situations.
According to research, most parents also feel uneasy because they know that they are not equipped to provide the apt sexual information to their children. They also fail to comprehend what details and information should be concealed and what should be revealed, keeping in mind their children’s age. On the other hand, there might also be parents who would feel comfortable talking to their children about sexual matters, but only when they bring the matter up.
Most parents worldwide may also lack role models to look up to as they would not have talked about sexual issues with their own parents in their adolescence. This makes them inefficient to trigger their roles of educating their children effectively as the assigned teachers can do in schools.
Sex education is not limited to only a single branch of knowledge. This education focuses on several significant sexual matters offered with specially designed courses and programs. Sex education covers the education of relationships, sexual abstinence at a certain level, and teaching to practice safe sex to the level of children who are thought to be sexually active. Therefore, its claim for being appropriate and guiding holds a strong base.
At a certain age of adolescence, growing children have problems facing relationships and controlling their personal emotions. Conflicts related to such matters persuade many youngsters to commit suicide or take part in other immoral activities. Proper sex education in schools also concentrates on making the youngsters emotionally stronger and educating ways to cope with relationship problems. This argument strongly shows the immense benefit of sex education in schools.
Sex education is an important health strategy, and this cannot be denied. AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases can only be controlled if people are aware of precautions and have vast knowledge in this case. This knowledge is conveyed through sex education. If sex education is banned in schools and parents have to educate their children, it would not be as beneficial to the individuals and society as teaching in school.
Sex education does not exist in all parts of the world. Asians are commonly regarded as conservative when compared to westerners. It is not a part of their course in schools; this does not mean that their teenage pregnancy rate is any lower if they are not exposed to sexual matters openly. In fact, this is one way peers can mislead most youngsters and persuade them to bask in young age sexual relationships without any attempts for safety. This has resulted in serious problems such as the spread of fatal diseases like AIDS and has also increased illegitimate births.
Researches have shown that the cause for ramification of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) in the eras of the 80s and 90s in the US and the UK is the lack of knowledge and information about sex in schools or at home. Home and family never have and will never play an integral part in conveying sex education to teenagers; therefore, to rely on the home’s option is to deceive your own self from the expected exigency in the future.
Some conservative groups assert that to discuss sexual issues openly is to devalue religion. No religion in the world abstains its followers from spreading the information that is so essential for human lives. Sexual behavior is natural and takes place through biological changes, and this cannot be questioned as this is a part of human life. Thus people who take refuge under the religious shelter, to make their arguments strong, are misinterpreting religious ideas and laws.
Modern time is the time of the internet and powerful media. Teenagers are exposed to Hollywood, TV, and the internet. These sources offer a demonstration of sex, which is highly thoughtless and casual; it is almost illogical to leave the teenagers on their sexual choices in this situation. They are young and fully excited; therefore, they can not make a favorable choice. Sex education in school offers the information and knowledge they need to understand to know the responsibility of sexual relationships. The teacher in school helps the students to know the difference between thoughtless and thoughtful sex. Having an urge for sex is not a problem; it is a natural process showing that young people are developing to become adults; however, the problem is having unsafe sex and hurting people through sexual choices.
According to them, people who claim that sex education in schools has more cons than pros often come up with statements suggesting that sex education in the classroom should be avoided because the most effective tool for offering sex education, according to them, is TV, films, magazines, and media. Such people fail to understand that trained sex educators under especially designed programs teach sex education to children in schools. They are thus able to handle children’s problems and clear their ambiguities in the best possible way. In contrast, magazines, films, TV, and other channels and mediums of providing sex education are reliable. Most of the time, they urged the young people by encouraging their sexual promiscuity rather than effectively teaching and educating them. This wrong approach damages the society and the individuals in disguise of ameliorating them.
People contradicting the notion that sex education always makes the learners have sex and experience it personally once they learn about it in school. The reality is that sexual urge for any human being is a natural occurrence. When children reach a certain age, whether they find people to educated them about sex or not, they do have instincts about it, and therefore if provided a chance, they would surely want to satisfy their urge. This natural reaction can not in any way be related to the outcome of sex education in schools. In fact, the best time for letting sex education play its role is when the sexual urge increases and the teenagers want to find a source for its satisfaction. It offers individuals the required knowledge so that they are careful. It is only then that they understand the consequences of sex leading to childbirth and sexually transmitted diseases. Thus sex education is basically a warning and a caution for such children who are stepping into the phase of life where they would need to know all this.
Some people who go on the topic also argue that even though sex education exists, it has still not decreased teenage pregnancies. I would rather not go deep into the topic’s moral issue, but it is important here to discuss and point out the shortcomings of our society. Social values insist that being single, pregnant, and teenagers are fine to have to be changed. Through educating the children and making them aware that it is just not ‘cool’ to be pregnant when single or teenager, and just because ‘others are also doing it’ does not in any way justify their actions, this change can be achieved. Many sexual education programs teach the learners about the grave consequences that can result in having early sex. This type of sex education in schools helps the learners be responsible and mature enough to understand the difference between morality and immorality.