Let’s admit it, even though sex education is now a part of the school curriculm, it’s too late by the time it is taught.
A sixth grade student who should be aware about puberty and the changes in the body gets to learn about it in the eighth or ninth grade. Not only the subject teaches about physical development but it can protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
A CEO of Wonderize, believes “The sex education must be made compulsory in all schools and the topic should be taught to all pre-adolescent and adolescent children. This blog post discusses the seven reasons to teach sex education at the right age and the right time in all schools.”
1. Helps children to become aware of their body at the right age
When children approach puberty and notice some changes in their voice and body, it raises hundreds of questions in their minds. Many feel ashamed and anxious while they are experiencing the changes. The hoarseness in their voices and other body changes can be traumatic for some. Apart from the physical changes, the onset of puberty brings several emotional and mental changes such as mood swings, irritability, sleepiness, and more.
In such cases, sex education enables children to become aware of their bodies at the right age. The age-appropriate education can help them understand the undergoing as well as impending physical changes in their body. As per research, educational institutions should start formal sex education for children aged 10 and above.
2. Provides correct information from a trusted and credible source in a safe environment
When children experience changes in their bodies, they are curious to know what’s happening to them. Most hesitate to discuss it with their parents and some parents are so conservative that they don’t take the initiative to educate their children about puberty and physical changes. Due to the absence of the right education, they may turn to unwholesome and unworthy sources to satisfy their curiosity, which will give them wrong information and set a wrong precedent.
But when students get the education from their teachers they receive all relevant and accurate information from the most credible and expert source. Their biology teachers are extremely knowledgeable about the subject and have the right approach towards teaching. The classroom provides a safe and secure environment where children can get all relevant information about sexual development and other body changes without feeling awkward or shy.
3. Removes the stigma associated with sex
Sex is a natural process in the body like eating, drinking, sleeping, and other bodily functions. But there is a massive stigma associated with it. The topic is taboo when it comes to discussing with a trusted family member, who can guide and provide the right information. Some conservative people think that imparting sex education to children can corrupt their minds and make them immoral.
By imparting sex education, educators not only remove the stigma associated with sex but make them aware of the consequences of bad choices and help them in making better decisions.
4. Helps children in making sound decisions and taking the right choices
Without the right sex education, children can have a negative approach to sex. When exposed to the wrong source of information, it will increase the chances of making wrong decisions and making harmful choices. That’s an extremely dangerous situation to be in.
But a carefully-planned sex education program will help children make the right decisions and make healthy choices. It will help them get the right information and values from their teachers. It will teach them how to take care of their body as well as maintain the best hygiene; make them aware of safe sex and contraceptives. It will also make them realize the value of self-control and help them channel their energies in the right direction.
5. Busts myths associated with sex
Ideally, parents (or teachers) should be the first source of information about sex to children. But unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Formal sex education is taught in grade eighth or ninth. By then, some children get to know about the topic from unreliable sources, which provide them with wrong information and cause misconceptions.
But a well-structured formal sex education will help in dispelling myths associated with sex and provide them with a complete, unbiased, and scientifically strong understanding of the topic.
6. Can protect children from abuse and sexual exploitation
Child sexual abuse is a prevalent problem in India and around the world. Each year, millions of children are victims of abuse all over the globe. A survey revealed that more than 50 percent of children have faced some form of sexual abuse and one in five children don’t feel safe of the fear of being abused.
Sex education can prevent sexual abuse, exploitation, and sexually transmitted diseases. With the right education, children can know more about abuse, good touch and bad touch, rape, violence, and other dangers. Apart from that, students can also protect themselves from unwanted sexual activities. The right education will teach them how to stay safe and raise a voice against any discomfort.
7. Makes students know their rights and respect the rights of others
A well-designed sex education program helps students know their physical development and needs. It helps them know their rights as well as respect the rights of others. This helps in the development of students into graceful ladies and considerate gentlemen and builds an inclusive and safer society.
As children approach their adolescence, they experience many physical and emotional changes. At such a juncture, it is natural for them to know the reason behind the changes. In the absence of the right teaching and correct information, they can turn to the wrong ones. Sex education is extremely crucial to make them aware of the changes and help them cope with them. It must be compulsory in all educational institutions.