In some parts of the world, two out of three girls did not know what was happening to them when they had their first period. Similarly, only 34% of young people know about the prevention and transmission of HIV, according to information given by the UNESCO. This is due to the lack of comprehensive sex education in schools and society in general.
Children, adolescents and young people all over the world will need to make important decisions about their sexuality, according to their age and development, then a big problem arises: How are they going to make the right decisions when they don’t have the right information to guide them?
YOU CAN SEE: First menstruation: what should be the role of mothers and fathers with their daughters?
What is comprehensive sex education?
To begin with, it is important to highlight and explain these terms. Following this line, comprehensive education is a teaching process that is based on the cognitive, psychological, physical and social aspects of sexuality.
It seeks to provide children, adolescents and young people with information backed by science; as well as promote the development of their skills, attitudes and values that will prepare them to establish social and sexual relationships full of respect.
It is a staggered process in which the topics will be treated according to the age of each student so that they become aware of their body and how to take care of it.
Why is comprehensive sex education important?
Young people often consume information about sexuality from unreliable sources, which could lead them to form misconceptions and therefore be vulnerable or coerced in the event of a sexual attack or harassment. In addition, they may not protect themselves when having sex, which could lead to sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies.
The United Nations Population Fund It tells us that comprehensive sexual education is vital to have full bodily autonomy, which will allow making the right decisions about it. And not only that, but it will promote gender equality and the rights and empowerment of young people.
YOU CAN SEE: Project that puts the approach of gender and sexual education at risk
Angelica Mottaan expert on sexual education issues, sheds light on why it is so important for children and adolescents to know about these topics.
“Quality education needs to include all dimensions of the human being and comprehensive sexual education is a fundamental component for people’s well-being,” said Motta.
Myths about comprehensive sex education?
Despite its countless benefits, many parents and even the most conservative part of society tend to have many prejudices against the idea of teaching children and adolescents about sexuality in schools.
The specialist explains to us that, contrary to what you may think, comprehensive sexual education becomes more crucial than ever considering the challenges we face as a society.
YOU CAN SEE: Conservative parties in Congress seek to control textbooks
“In Peru we are experiencing an epidemic of violence against women and sexual violations. This type of thing is prevented with comprehensive sex education,” Motta said.
In addition, with the recent cases of sexual abuse of minors that occurred in the national territory, Angélica explains that one of the things that is taught in comprehensive sexual education is “autonomy over our bodies.”
“Boys and girls from an early age learn the autonomy of their bodies, respect for their bodies, what touches are due, what touches are wrong, and thus they can have resources to prevent and detect violence and talk about it,” said the specialist, who argues that these teachings are a tool for preventing sexual abuse and harassment.
This is supported by the Code for Children and Adolescents, which determines that “basic education should include the development of our personality to its maximum potential and access for all children and adolescents to sexual education.”
YOU CAN SEE: Why is sex education important in schools?
What is the truth about comprehensive sex education?
Outside of the prejudices that may surround sexuality issues in minors, the reality is that teaching these topics to children and adolescents not only achieves a better understanding of their bodies, but also encourages them to have better socio-affective relationships.
“It is important that Peruvians teach us to have healthy relationships and also to end a relationship in a healthy way and thus avoid so many femicides and to live free of violence.Motta said.
In addition to this, UNESCO published the conclusions it reached after investigating the issue of comprehensive sexuality education:
- Has positive effects on improving young people’s attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health and behaviors
- Does not increase sexual activity, risky sexual behavior, or rates of STIs and HIV
- Programs that combine delayed sexual activity with the use of condoms or other contraceptive methods are effective.
YOU CAN SEE: Lack of comprehensive sex education contributes to the persistence of gender-based violence
“If comprehensive sex education were taught in schools, we would have a different societymore peaceful, with more harmonious relationships of families, couples, boys and girls, “says the specialist.
We want to say thanks to the author of this short article for this remarkable content
Sex education: why is it important and protects girls and boys from possible abuse?