Adolescents have little to no accurate information about their reproductive organs and their functions. Our culture limits the discussion of such a topic between the adults in the family and the younger members making the whole concept taboo. Teenagers thus seek out information from unreliable sources like their peers, entertainment magazines, media and porn.
Adolescence is a time of great change and stress, both physically and mentally. With so much going on in the teenage brain, the challenges and potential repercussions that may come with being in a sexual relationship with anyone can easily be overlooked.
That’s why, being informed about sex and contraception becomes important, and the best way to ensure that the right information is presented in the most structured yet open manner is to conduct sex education programs in schools.
Sex education is an idea still very much tossed around, but people are starting to see its benefits. People have started to realize that ‘sex’ should not be swept under the carpet, but rather spoken about maturely with accurate facts and advice.
Contraception, also known as birth control, is a crucial device that people, mainly adolescents, need to be informed about. It is known to prevent pregnancy. But there is much more to it.
– Contraceptives prevent unplanned pregnancy, both teenage and otherwise.
– Contraceptive measures like using condoms prevent the exchange of body fluids, and this reduces the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
– An adolescent’s body is often not ready to hold a baby and provide it with the nourishment it requires. Pregnancy and labour can be precarious for both the mother and the baby, sometimes even leading to fatal consequence.
– It becomes easier to provide nourishment to a baby when our own body is fully developed. Having children at a later stage in life is a way of ensuring healthy babies.
– Oral contraceptives are known to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
Contrary to what some people think, informing adolescents about contraceptives is not a way of asking them to have sex. It is a way of informing them about the consequences of sex and how to deal with it in the safest way possible. Sex education in schools has become increasingly important as the age of physical maturity among adolescents have dropped down.
Counselling adolescents on matters of contraception should be done by well-informed adults like parents, teachers or counsellors. Different forms of contraception can be discussed, along with their effect on the body. Questions from the teenager shouldn’t be shot down. Instead, it must be rather answered without any prejudice.
Just like charity, open conversation about sex and contraception should begin at home. Teenagers should be encouraged to talk about their feelings, their distress in school or among friends. They need to know that their family is there to help them out and not steer them in the wrong direction. Teenage pregnancy or sex should not be portrayed as a bad thing. It should be explained as what it is and the challenges that come after it.
Thus, sex education in an educational setting empowers adolescents to make informed decisions for themselves.