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Should Sexuality be Taught in Schools?

A tutor involved in children's education
Many years ago our generation didn't know too much about sex education, this was considered a taboo topic.

Sexuality education, in the twenty-first century, is a fundamental part of our life. In addition to teaching young people how to talk about sex and their sexual health and make crucial decisions about these topics, sexuality education also gives information about body development, sex, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships with people of the opposite sex. Children and teenagers have the right to accurate, thorough, scientifically based information on this topic. Therefore, sex education protects children and contributes to the create a safer and more inclusive society.

Living in a non-European country (in the 2000s), I remember that there was no sex education in schools. The only information, regarding the human body and human body development, I received from biology and anatomy lessons, which were not sufficient and relevant information for sex education. Also, at home, my parents did not discuss with me on this topic. Sex education was a taboo subject at that time, and still continues to be in many countries, even in 2023.

Today, comprehensive sex education (CSE) in schools is very important and necessary as, in most cases, children can get information through other sources, especially through the Internet and social media platforms. While they can be reliable sources of pertinent information, they can also present an incorrect view of sexuality and omit to discuss its emotional and legal implications. Through websites or social media platforms, children can receive confusing and conflicting information about puberty, relationships, love, and sex.

However, sex education in schools is a delicate subject. Ever since it was first introduced into school curricula in Europe in the 1970s, parents, religious leaders, and politicians have disagreed over how much and what should be taught and at what age. According to UNESCO, the learner's age and developmental stage are taken into account when developing CSE. Lower-grade pupils are introduced to fundamental ideas like family, respect, and kindness, while older students get to study deeper ideas like violence based on gender, sexual consent, becoming pregnant, and testing for HIV.

What do the facts say about CSE?

Contrary to what some who oppose sex education assert, national and international research has shown that comprehensive sex education has several advantages, including a postponement of sexual activity and a decrease in risk-taking, increasing use of contraception, and improving attitudes toward sexual and reproductive health.

Sex education is most effective when it is combined with school-based programs that engage parents, teachers, training facilities, and youth-oriented services.


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