On lockdown and every day, my three teens always want a piece of the story that has long been buried. They have a lot of questions about their dad about me, about my parents, and his parents. No, we are not divorced, but he is not around. He is not around anymore. My husband was a hero, one of the firefighters who died in 9-11, and I always tell our children that he was the most honorable man I have ever met and had the privilege of loving.
The 2019 Peer Pressure Seminar discussed different issues concerning today’s youth. One of the most controversial topics was school-based sex education. Sex education is the process of providing information on sex, sexuality, and reproductive health.
Notwithstanding the evidence-based advantages of sex education among the youth, some people still doubt its importance. Adults, especially parents, are concerned with the possible adverse consequences of sex education on children’s values and behavior. These concerns are commonly a result of misconceptions about sex education in schools. Debunking these myths is essential in promoting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of the youth.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions about sex education in schools.
- Sex Education Encourages Young People To Become Sexually Active
Many people think sex education means teaching young people to engage in sexual activity. What sex education programs teach is the biology of reproductive organs, among others. It tackles pregnancy and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. Sex education does not encourage sexual activity but merely helps young people to make responsible and healthy choices. Additionally, research shows that comprehensive sex education may delay sexual initiation among teens.
- Sex Education Increases The Risk Of Unwanted Pregnancies
The purpose of sex education is to avoid, not to promote, unwanted pregnancies. Knowing about reproduction and safe sex practices helps the youth become more cautious with their choices. The truth is, unintended pregnancies are the result of misinformation and lack of information. Through sex education, young people become more aware of the possible consequences of their actions.
- The School Is Not The Right Place To Talk About Sexual Health
Some people acknowledge the importance of sex education but disagree for it to be taught in schools. For them, teaching sexual health is the sole responsibility of the family. Sex education is not a linear process. It requires the cooperation of the individual, his or her family, and the entire community. Both the family and the school have essential roles to play in promoting sexual and reproductive health among the youth.
School-based sex education does not only help the youth make the right decisions. It also develops and instills the values of responsibility and self-acceptance. We can only achieve these objectives if we debunk the misconceptions about sex education in schools.