If you want your teen to have healthy notions about sex, it is time to have ‘the talk’ and help them navigate this confusing topic.
As a parent, your biggest worry is that your teenaged child will receive the wrong information about sex. Your bigger worry is that they will experiment without your knowledge and land themselves in a world of trouble. You are open to discussing the subject with them, but you find that in typical teenage fashion, your child does not even make eye contact with you when you broach the subject.
Sex education for teenagers is an important subject; unfortunately, not many schools offer it is as a compulsory module in the syllabus. Sadly, many teenagers are getting their information about sex from their peers, pornographic material and boastful accounts from their seniors. Teenagers buying into these stories may end up with several wrong ideas about sex, and indeed, about the opposite gender and their approach to sex.
Sex education in school can clear up many notions about sex and its effects, but only if the subject is approached in an interactive, clinical manner. Teenagers have many questions but nobody to ask – most do not want to talk to their parents about it, and they hardly receive any useful inputs from friends. In this scenario, sex education for teenagers becomes an essential activity.
As a parent, you must insist on the school organising a few talks on sex education because:
- Teenagers undergo many physical and hormonal changes at their age. They grow in height, girls develop hips and breasts, boys experience their first erections and ejaculations, girls get their first periods…the list goes on and on. The heady mix of hormones in their systems also makes them curious about the opposite sex, and they may have many questions about sex and how to do it. Sex education can help them understand the basics of sex.
- Sex education in school provides early grounding for what the sexual act means, how a pregnancy may take place, what contraception means and what is safe, consensual sex. The educator will also emphasise on the legalities involved – that sex with a person below the age of 18 is illegal, that the legal age for marriage is 18 years for women and 21 years for men, and that consensual sex with a minor is still a crime.
- Sex education in school empowers teenagers to get equipped with the right knowledge about sex and why they should wait till they are 18 years of age to have their first sexual experience. They also get information on safe sex, and why it is important to use a condom during sex. Both girls and boys can get information on birth control methods for both sexes, and topics like sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, etc.