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Helping the youth understand himself through sex education

By Ozo Mordi
01 July 2017   |   3:47 am
Professor Prakash Kotari of India, after an extensive research that involved some youths of that country some years ago, underlined that sex education is acknowledgement an understanding of the process of sexual development and interaction.

The taboo that surrounds sex education arises from the era when the girl child was given away in marriage before she began to understand herself as a sexual being. We found out as much as this, when we wanted to revisit the idea of sex education. We want to try to get some idea why the topic of sex still remains an issue between parents and their children in the 21st Century.

What Is Sex Education?
Professor Prakash Kotari of India, after an extensive research that involved some youths of that country some years ago, underlined that sex education is acknowledgement an understanding of the process of sexual development and interaction. According to him, sex education starts at conception and affects the individual for the rest of his life.

His observation was that it encompasses biological, psychological and sociological aspects of a human sexual behaviour that are responsible for the development of a child into a healthy adult who is capable of using his or her sex instincts to the maximum without being obsessed by them.

Sex education, therefore, should include education about the anatomy and physiology of the human reproductive system, conception, contraception, psychosexuality, gender sexual differences and the constituents of love as they relate to sexual attitudes and behaviour.

Sex education, according to the author, enables an individual to recognize and be comfortable with his sexuality so as to help children to cultivate a healthy sexual morality acceptable to both society and themselves.

Why Sex Education is crucial in the 20th Century
The delay in marriage, the extended sexual life of an individual as a result of early onset of puberty and the increase in the lifespan because of the availability of better nutrition and healthcare, now makes it inevitable that the individual understands his sexuality.

Professor Kotari pointed out that although the adolescent behaviour had not changed much compared to the past, but post-pubertal sexual activities without a promise of marriage are increasing, he noted. Also, he said, the social environment these days provides constant sexual stimulation, noting that the rigid mores create a lot of conflict in the mind of the adolescent because a huge discrepancy exists between sexual drives and acceptable and respectable social norms. The result of the conflict is a feeling of guilt, anxiety. These are accompanied by a considerable amount of sexual frustration, which presents itself in promiscuity, casual sex relationships, unwanted pregnancies, teenage motherhood and increase in sexual crimes and sexually transmitted diseases.

When Do You Start?
Begin the talk when the child begins to ask the typical questions of how babies are made. Continue with the discussion when you see that the child has a grasp of what you say. But it is important to take it step-by-step so that the child is able to understand what he needs to know at his age-what is suitable for his or her age.

The author noted, however, that parents may have made some mistake much earlier in a child’s life without intending to cause any harm. Parents start the education immediately after a child is born, he observed, but without knowing that they were already training a sexual being. But the issue is that they may do it the wrong way. The way a mother touches and caresses a child during infancy-the way a parent relates to them lays the foundation of a child’s sexual conditioning, he stated, adding that if you are able to make a child accept his gender and show him love, it forms his attitude to sex and sexuality.

The parent’s style of communication gives a child a sense of self-esteem, body image, gender role; family role which gives him a good start and forms his ability to love, his desire to form intimacy and sharing.

Models You May Be Wrong
The author says that children first learn about sex and morals by observing their parents’ attitudes and behaviours. It is left to parents, therefore, to show that sex is not a forbidden area, by not omitting to tell them their curiosity is normal and part of the growing up process.

When parents themselves feel comfortable about sex, they will be able to promote a healthy and understanding parent-child relationship. Part of this is not telling scary stories about sex. Don’t give the impression that disease is the result of sex, teenage pregnancy, rape, and pornography and child molestation. Tell them the risks are real but stress that in the right time and in a good relationship that sex is good.

Ignorance Causes More Harm
The author says that ignorance can cause harm when you won’t inform them. Give the answers as simple as possible but be factual. The parents may worry that a child who is well-informed may want to try it out. But the opposite is the truth, he said, noting that by teaching sex education parents delay premature involvement in sex because the discussion satiates the curiosity.

Sexually ignorant adolescent may go through teenage years safely but may later find it hard to understand how love and sex relate.
To protect them from child sex abuse: Approach the topic without scaring the child. The author noted that ignorant children are more likely to be abused or prone to sex related crimes. The child needs to know in order to recognise abuse and potential abuser.

The Earlier the Better
Encourage young people to feel free to talk about sex with you before they reach puberty. They are already sexual beings, Professor Kotari pointed out. They need to know early enough because each person’s responses or moral boundaries of right and wrong, good or bad, conventional or unconventional are set prior to puberty as a differentiation in gender identity. “As Prof John Money of Hopkins University United States of America says; ‘the reassuring truth is that it is impossible to influence or train any teenager selected at random to be a sadist, a fetishist or peeping Tom or whatever else,” he stated.

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