SEX EDUCATION: DIFFERENT ASPECTS
The value of Sex education is not understood in our country. There is a fear factor about it and a general discouragement to the free and frank discussion of sex and allied matters.
The young people should never be put in complete darkness about the physiology of reproduction and sex life of the married people. The young girls need to understand about the gradual body changes with the onset of puberty, particularly the menstrual cycle. The newly married couples need to be told by their elders about the healthy married life. Couples should be educated to be responsible parents of their wanted children.
What do we mean by Sex Education?
Whether it is called family life education or social relationship or by some other term the main purpose of sex education is to help young people to understand what masculanity is to boys and men, feminity to girls and women and relationship to each other. lf properly taught it deals not only with the facts of reproduction but also with the development of the proper attitude towards sexuality. Youngsters have to learn that sex is a function neither of the sex organs alone, nor of the body alone but of the whole human being in relation to his world.
The term human sexuality refers to the whole range of behaviour associated with psychological phenomenon of sex. The perversive influence can be found in the religious, artistic, social and economic expressions of man.
The requirement of society is different for each human group and what is accepted in one place and at one time may be totally irrelevant to another place and another time. Social and technological changes which have been taking place with increasing speed during the last hundred years such as emancipation of women, the technology of birth control and the genera) increase in education aboutthe sexual matters have eroded the foundation on which sexual behaviour was based and presented most societies with a situation in which the material facts are in conflict with social customs and philosophy.
Why sex Education is necessary?
Not knowing about sex may cause harm. This is seen when we look at the increasing rate of illegitimate pregnancies, abortions and venereal diseases amongst teenagers and the increasing rate of divorce in our country.
There is an evidence that popular literature, widely read by ill informed people can produce anxiety, distress and can lead to demands for unrealistic levels of sexual performance. This calls for an attempt to bring about responsible attitudes in the use of mass media for public sex education.
Aim of Sex Education
The purpose of sex education is to assist people in conducting their lives successfully. It may be individual or collective and cover the prevention or treatment of sexual difficulties. The concept of sexual health includes these basic elements.
A capacity to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behaviour in accordance with a social and personal ethics.
Freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs and other psychological factors inhibiting sexual response and impairing sexual relationship.
Freedom from organic disorders, disuse and deficiencies that interfere in sexual and reproductive function.
To provide factual information and make understanding with the opposite sex in order to promote positive relationship.
To bring about continuous process in which to prepare individuals mentally and emotionally for their biological development and maturity.
Cultural aspect of sex, marriage and the family.
Who should impart education?
To a large extent the health professionals have avoided involvement by the simple evidence of not providing sex education at the professional level in medical and nursing school.
Consequently the physicians and the nurses often lack essential
knowledge and naturally prefer not to become involved in a branch
of medicine in which they find themselves personally embarassed
and professionally not sound.
This trend is unfortunate. Human sexuality is a proper concern of health practitioners and treatment of sex problems is an integral part of preventive and therapeutic health care. This is well illustrated by the way in which these physicians who have developed family planning programmes in recent years have invariably become involved in questions related to human sexuality.
Health practitioners are increasingly being confronted by individuals and families with problems such as unwanted pregnancies, premarital and extramarital sex relationship, infertility, sexually transmitted diseases, marital disharmony and so called abnormal sexual behaviour. If human sexuality is recognized as a health component, services to people with sex related problems should become an integral part of the total programme of community health care.
When to Educate?
During teenage children want to ask pertinent questions about their physiology, because this period is linked with changing sexual feelings. Hence all kinds of relationship becomes important, specially among the boys and girls. It is during this period when boys and girls need maximum understanding and sensitive guidance in sexual behaviour. During this period they want to go to movies or an occasional late out, parents call their children up and dictate to them. They try to preach morals, rather than understanding the mechanics of change in them. The result is a curious paradox.
Level of Sex Education
Till puberty the child should know about menses in females and reproduction in males. Details are not needed. Some knowledge of the sex activities, and sexually transmitted diseases should) be given at college level.
Factual information through class subjects like physiology, hygiene or moral science could provide a wholesome attitude towards sex and its true, place in relation to life as such.
Sex education must skilfully combine love, sex, marriage and family life.