The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many ills in our society. Among them being rising numbers of teen pregnancies which has been a scourge to our living society.
Majority of the affected teens are to continue with learning but the government has not put in place proper mechanism to solve the problem.
However, some education stake holders and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have suggested that sex education in schools can help fix the problem.
The big question is, what happens when sex education is proposed as a way to reduce the Teenage pregnancies?
Our curriculum begin teaching sex education when the students are already teenagers. The subject is taught under Life Skills Education and not examinable.it is under taught at times not taught at all.
UNESCO recommends teaching the subject when children are five years old.
The reasons why the government is hesitant in designing a comprehensive sex education curriculum can be summed up in six criticisms, voiced by parents, teachers, politicians and religious leaders.
Read also: `TEENS NEED SEX EDUCATION’ FIDA SAYS
The misconceptions have been listed below
1. It encourages sex
Parents fear that sex education in schools may encourage children to have sex at a tender age. However, they forget that our modern world is already saturated with sex and teenagers are at it
Facts: A research done by Guttmacher Institute says that “there is now clear evidence that sexuality education programmes can help young people to delay sexual activity.”
Again, a UNESCO report found children who are taught Comprehensive Sex Education tend to have less sex, fewer sexual partners and reduced sexual risk-taking.
2. It normalizes teenage sex
Many Parents believe that speaking openly about sex, will make it normal to the teenagers, so they are brought up to view sex as a dirty word.
Facts: Societies have to talk about sex as a normal and healthy act, opening the door to frank education so children don’t need to find things out by themselves.
3. It takes over parents’ role
Some people suggest that it is the role and responsibility of parents, not the government, to educate their children about sex.
Facts: society, parents typically avoid talking to their kids about sex. Traditionally, that role was entrusted to aunts, uncles and grandparents. And even if parents were willing to talk sex with their children they feel embarrassed, uncomfortable and have neither the skills nor the knowledge to do so.
4. Its not meant for children’s ears
Many parents and teachers believe it is premature to talk to children about sex.
However, as family therapist Michael Ungar noted: “The parents who are most hesitant to let their children hear the truth about sex have children who are the most at risk of becoming victims of abuse, or unintentionally causing, or having, an unwanted pregnancy.”
Sex education sensitizes kids to their body parts and teaches them what is appropriate and not. It prepares them to recognise potential abuse by adults.
5. It goes against religious values
Some people argue that sex before marriage is a sin, so the only thing children should be taught about sex is abstinence.
Studies suggest that abstinence-only programmes do not reduce teenage pregnancies. Furthermore, they leave children uninformed about the risks of sex and sexually transmitted infections.
Comprehensive sexuality education does, in fact, teach abstinence, it also covers the “what if”. It recognises that premarital sex happens.
6. It imposes foreign cultures
Some parents have raised fears that it will lead to behaviours that they deem to be foreign and unwelcome in their societies.
Making sex education culturally appropriate is also not just about leaving some things out, but also about making sure certain topics are included.
In Our country, many of the biggest threats to sexual and reproductive health; such as FGM, early marriage and male shame around sexual abuse derive from local cultures.
The government has tried to tackle teenage pregnancies through a new National Campaign against Teenage Pregnancies and by bolstering efforts to combat sexual abuse. It is now time to give comprehensive sex education a chance, too.