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Comprehensive Sex Education in School
Education helps to develop a better understanding for the self. Educated person perceives self and society. Education develops the ability to think independently, rationally, critically and creatively. Education imparts conscience. Conscience helps us to live a meaningful life. In fact we know a conscious person develops a better understanding for self and surrounding.
Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is need of 21st century globalized children for living a healthy life. It is time to empower children and young age people without making differences among caste, creed and culture. Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is one of the unrecorded fundamental rights of children. We have rights to accept the thing as it exists.
Great philosopher and international spiritual ‘guru’ Rajnish quoted “truth is truth, and nobody should debar from it”. What is wrong with comprehensive sexuality education (CSE)? Tell it the way it is. What can we hide from our children? Children are very perceptive. Even if we do not tell them, they will discover it on their own. They are smart, intelligent and equipped with Smart phone.
World Wide Web dissolves all the layers and differences between caste and creed, educated and uneducated, literate and illiterate elite class and down trodden, poor and rich. World Wide Web has brought one of the greatest revolution. We are witness of this revolution.
Can we stop our child inquiring about sexuality? We cannot stop the natural flow of a river? Water always finds out its way to move ahead. It goes towards down and down. If we cannot stop natural journey of water, so what should be we do? A wise person channelizes the strength of water and gives it right direction. Sexuality possesses the nature of water. Comprehensive sexuality education channelizes intrinsic impulses of children in right direction.
Parent and teacher face a big question when it comes for educating their child about comprehensive sex education. We do not find a big difference between developed countries and developing countries. Only on difference I could find out that is legalizing age for giving consent for sex and marriage, other than this we work as moral police. Asian countries’ legal age of consent for sexual activity varies from age 12 to 21. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_consent_in_Asia).
|Countries||Age of consent for sexual Activity|
|13 years , 15 years||South Korea, North Korea|
|14 years||Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Prorogues|
|15 years||Greece, Poland, Sweden|
|16 years||Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and Russia|
|16 years||United Kingdom|
If globalized citizen consider that 13 years old boys and girls can give consent for intercourse then we need to think to provide comprehensive sex education to our kids’ right from tender age to save them from several unwanted diseases. Growth of a child from ignorant child to a smart child is changed due to prosperity in our life, better living standard and different food habits. Scientific research study reveals that maturity of a girl child can happens at the age of 7 years. (https://www.aap.org). It is necessary to develop a comprehensive curriculum to develop appropriate knowledge and skills to love a healthy sexual life.
UNESCO recognized comprehensive sexuality education as an age-appropriate, culturally relevant approach to teaching about sexuality and relationships by providing scientifically accurate, realistic, nonjudgmental information* (UNESCO, 2009. International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education).
What are common advantages of comprehensive sexuality education?
- Develop physically and mentally a healthy citizen
- Keep away from sexual transmitted disease/infections i.e. HIV,
- Reduce teenage unwanted pregnancy
- Reduce domestic violence
Education is the greatest remedies for coming out from several catastrophes in our life. Comprehensive sexuality education will empower children and young age people to take necessary precautions for living a healthy life. Precaution is better than cure.
Sexual desire and sexual intimacy are intrinsic and impulsive in its nature. We can hide and we can forcefully stop it but we cannot efface it. Rational education imparts skills, values and knowledge among us. Sexuality education addresses most sensitive aspects of human life. Comprehensive sexuality education programme should sensitize the young age people for developing positive values towards gender differences and awareness for own physical and mental development at this stage.
Age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education
Educated world citizen considers importance of age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education. What should be taught at particular age group children? How much should be taught at particular age group children? We are living in a data world. Children smartly handle smart phone at the age of 5. Children become smart at the age of 8 and develop sensitive nature towards opposite sex. Comprehensive sexuality education curriculum should cater the need of these smart children.
Scientifically accurate comprehensive sexuality education
Generally children inquire different information with the materials available on Web World Wide (WWW) which may or may not be written by expert people. Web World Wide (WWW) has fathomless resources written on sexuality education. Expert people know the technical and scientifically importance of different physical development and different physical and mental need of human beings. To be Ignorant is better than incomplete knowledge. When we don’t know about something, we show hesitation to do experiments in our life due to various reasons but when we know something incompletely, incompleteness gives us a sense of achievement and confidence which leads us to experiment with the ideas that possibly leads to bad health i.e. (a) how to keep ourselves neat and clean during periods, (a1) myth and facts about periods (b) how to use contraceptive pill or other available medication to avoid pregnancy,(c) how to use condom to avoid unwanted pregnancy and other transmittable diseases i.e. HIV , (d) when to consult doctor for discussing different bodily changing symptoms, (e) how to keep hygiene during oral sex, (f) why to avoid doing sexual activities at age between (8-15-16-) (g) with whom should we discuss sex related problems at first, (h) What are dos and do not before indulging in sexuality, (i) how to share it with other, (j) other myth and facts about sexuality. Scientifically based education will help our children and young age people to live a healthy life.
Cultural appropriate comprehensive sexuality education
Human beings are socially connected to each other. We accept and respect the existence of other family members and society members. We are unique but we are culturally dependent on each other which help us to live in a peace and harmony. Sexuality is big taboo word for the society. It is universal truth but we are hiding so many things to other person due to cultural connection. Game of hide and seek leads to health hazards. Parents and teachers avoid healthy discussion on sexuality. We face a great question before starting a healthy discussion on sexuality with our children and young age people,(a) how to start it (b) who will start it. We face same dilemmatic situation as “who will bell the cat” due to cultural perspectives.
Cultural limitation and restriction are big hurdles for imparting comprehensive sexuality programme at world level. If comprehensive sexuality education programme is developed and customized to address different cultural limitation, then only we will be successful in imparting it for common people. Comprehensive sexuality education programme has a great vision to sensitize young generation, “how to keep ourselves healthy”. Comprehensive sexuality education programme sensitizes world citizen to be protective, active and alert for own healthy life.
Comprehensive sexuality education on realistic ground
Sexuality is a taboo word for each one of us. We know its reality but we avoid decorating in words. We cannot neglect the reality to keep our young age general healthy. Sexuality related education programme will help our child to take a wise step. If we fail to educate them, then it will be more hazards for them. They inquire and investigate it through several unreliable sources i.e. friends, World Wide Web (www) and other cheap resources. Comprehensive sexuality education helps children to grow wisely and keep themselves healthy.
Comprehensive sexuality education with nonjudgmental information
Healthy and integrated children can think and perform better. How to impart comprehensive sex education is the biggest challenge for different policy and educational stakeholders? What are the specific words chosen for imparting sex education? Do words create negative impact on child? Wise educator and parent use appropriate words to impart sexuality education. Wise educator use simple and concrete words to describe essential facts and concepts. Educator avoids a situation where child confuses himself with complex and confusing words. Essential truth of life should be shared in nonjudgmental form and our words and phrases consist of deep meaning based on facts.
Wise parent and educator express truth of life in as simple as sexuality “is”.
We think ! so we want to know each and everything in our life. We wish to explore our knowledge in different directions. We face different difficulties at different stages in our life. If there is a difficult situation; certainly there is a solution. Living in a globalized world, thinking in a globalized way and changing life styles put different challenges before us. Our life essence is actively involved, engaged and incorporated in a new world (World Wide Web). Life style has been changing. There is no full stop. We do understand it but sometime and somewhere we stuck in a dilemma. We could not make a final way to get solution. We stuck with personal values, religious values, social as well as national cultural ethics.
Sex education is a crucial issue before us. We have initiated to impart sex education right from childhood but we have a long way to go for preparing, planning and execution at right time and at right age. Sex education is demand of time without making a difference among several cultural and national issues. I firmly believe that a child remains a child in all four corner of the world. Their instinct and passion to learn new things, investigate new things and explore new things are almost same. It does not matter that a child belongs to Washington, Paris, London as well as remote part of developing nations. Their parent may be well educated and may be illiterate but they are using more or less same technology. Integration of technology in our life fills the gap among different culture, caste and creeds.
When it comes to provide “sex education”, we have different views, concepts and perspectives. The word “sex” becomes a big headache for parent and society. No doubt at all, almost all of us may have faced same dilemma but we have to accept this challenge to educate our kids, to aware our kids and sensitize our kids about the value of word “sex” in a wider perspective. It is essence of life. We can cover, conceal and hide about “sex” but cannot ignore and avoid it in our life; therefore global citizen needs to develop global perspective and global acceptance for providing “sex education” for the welfare of 21st century young generation.
The word “sex” has magnetic effect. It attracts every single living being. We can sensitize about the effect of a magnet. We can sensitize about nature of a magnet but we cannot stop the magnetic effect when iron comes near to a magnet. The word “sex” itself is very attractive and attention seeker from the time of our origin. To educate globalized children about “sex’ is the sole solution of various problems. Education leads all of us from dark side of life to bright side of life.
Mrs. Sharma was talking to her 9 years old son Mr. Ashu about school tour. Ashu was talking very excitedly and describing each and every moments in details. He was confused. He was baffled after watching a movie just before 20 minutes. Leading lady character of movie gave a birth to a new baby. Ashu was only one child of his parent and requested his mother to give him a sister. Ashu was confused and wanted to ask his mother about how a baby comes on the earth. Mrs. Sharma faced doubled dilemma to give a rational answer. Simply she said, “God sends the baby on the earth”. She was not satisfied with answer but thought that he will forget it. Ashu was a brilliant child. He searched on Google about born of a new baby. He watched so many videos and shared it with his mother and father. Parent has no answer to give but to avoid eyes contact with his son.
We handle 21st century Android apps enabled generation. Kids love to spend more time on Electronic gadgets. They know intentionally and unintentionally so many existing facts. Parent tries to hide it but child tries to explore it. We are unique individuals. We have instinct of learning. Can we stop our child to investigate and explore the world of knowledge? Nowadays, 21st century apps enabled generation inquires first on internet than consult a parent.
Ms. Sobhna studies in class 7th. She was studying about Mammals. There was a context of breast feeding. She typed breast feeding and the moment she entered the key words, so many links were before her eyes. She was sitting beside her classmate Rohan. She was completely shocked and could not make eye contact with her classmate. It was very disgusting and embarrassing situation for her.
Living in an era of globalization, we need to understand the changing trend across the world. Technology has become fundamental need for human society. In fact, technology is the best companion of today’s world. Earlier parent was the main source of knowledge but integration of sophisticated technology in our life changes our life styles. Basic life concepts do not change at same speed as we get most updated version of apps in a short span. Parent, elder members of family, teacher, principal, and counselor still struggle to talk rationally and reply relevant answer, if a child from age 5 to 13-15 asks “sex” related questions. It may be related to child’s physical changes or it may be related to sex i.e. intercourse, sex, breast, bra, puberty, condom, period etc. Parent and teacher feel awkward, embarrassed, surprised, shocked and hatred. Parent and teacher do not give rational and relevant answer. We do not know; to whom we are trying to hide/ to whom we are trying to deviate from center. Technology opens the dark doors of life. Parent may be poor, illiterate, intellectual and educated but their child has access of high internet speed enabled smart phone. Several questions hunt in our mind. Do you think so?
What do we want to hide? Do we ignore the fact that child explores his doubt faster than us? Do we keep ourselves in an illusionary world? It may be possible that if you hide sex related facts from child, they may visit wrong sites on World Wide Web (WWW). Do we not wish that our child should safe and secure? Do we not wish proper health and hygiene for our child? What is wrong if we satisfy the quest of our child in a proper manner? Can we stop the hurricane?
Sexual world is like hurricane, typhoon and twister for a child. It is burring Volcano within a child. Children are looking forward towards us to get rational and relevant answers and we assume that deviating from the topic will create forgetfulness. Volcano can be explode and may create a negative impact on physical and mental strain on child’s mind.
Children are very inquiring, inquisitive and curious to explore all the facts which their parent tries to hide. Wise parent develop a sense of trust to avoid major mental strain on child’s mind. We had have faced mental trauma, when we had faced pain and pangs of physical changes. We were unable to share with someone. We were innocent to feel the reason behind our pains. We used to share with our friend with loads of hesitation and we had not got rational and relevant answer. Sex and sexual life were a big charm for us; although we had not known so much. Our Friends were only source to share right/wrong information/issues related to sex and sexual life; either personal or others. 1990s decade child used to explore sex and sexual life related issues from a low cost magazine (cheap literature) and a special corner of newspaper which used to deal especially with sexual problems once in a week. We used to read it very carefully so that elder members in the family could not find us. We are 1980-90s born parents. We have our own kids. We belong to a generation who were not aware about a condom. We used to buy a condom (20 paisa each) from a Gupta General Store for using it as a balloon. We used to puff it or fill the water in the Ganaga River and playing like a ball. We enjoyed the essence of childhood. No one reminded us that what we were using; was basically a condom not a balloon. We should reflect on our own confused state of mind. We should develop our ways and means to impart sex education at personal level, because family is the best place for learning. 21st century kid watches sensuous advertisement of a condom, contraceptive pills, pregnancy test kits and effect of Viagra on different television programs. They watch different programmes and read different articles about sex. When they watch it on television or on internet, they want to ask a number of questions but could not get right person to question. Can we work like catalyst for our kids to impart “sex” education appropriate to their age? Nowadays child loves to see real fact and has less trust on fiction shared by parents and teacher. Could be avoid this situation for preparing not a conflict personality but an integrated personality?
A child is child whether he was born in 90s or he was born in 2010 but life styles have been changing very fast since the evolvement of smart phone, 4G/5G internet Data Speed and other different sophisticated appliances. Parent wants to hide What apps chat with smart lock but a smart kid knows how to unlock it. A class 3rd student watched a blue film accidentally in his parent mobile. He watched it several times and accidentally but unintentionally shared that blue film with 3-4 students of his classmates. How can we handle this situation? Parent was feeling ashamed but for a child the game was over. That video could have probably created an interest to explore the world of sex very often. 1990s kids had less scope but 2020s kids have fathomless scope in his hand to explore the word “sex”. Life styles changes every moment. Our basic instincts and problems are same as 20-30 years back. A child’s mind grows in proportionate to his age.
How can be minimizing the stress, pain and pangs of a child?
- Do we think that sex education at right time will help to solve the individual’s problem?
- Do we think that rational and relevant sex education will help to solve the individual’s problems?
- Do we think that proper awareness about individual’s physical and mental status will solve our problems?
- How can we help 21st century kids to become integrated personality rather than a conflict personality?
- How can we aware people from different caste, creed and country to think for the welfare of 21st century globalized kids?
- How can we prepare parent to share right information related to sex and sexual life with his kids without hesitation?
- What can be the means and ways to provide proper sex education for 21st century globalized kids?
- Do we think that a child’s holistic development depends on proper knowledge about self?
When we talk about imparting sex education; we need to consider in a wide perspectives; we need to think; we need to think that how we are going to cater the need of 21st kids. A thousand of barriers may exist in reference to imparting sex education in globalized village. Imparting and inculcating proper sex education are demand of time. Sex education in school will help to develop integrated individual rather a conflict individual. We need to rethink and reshape our own way of thinking for the bright future of 21st generation.
I firmly believe in great educationist ‘Chan’ philosophy of learning. He quoted, “People can only know through learning and are not born with knowledge” and people should “have an insatiable desire to learn”. Desire for learning is a crucial factor. Interest to learn something is most important. Since learning is a complex phenomenon, I firmly believe that “any learning is good” if it caters the need of individual, family, society, state and nation positively.