The word ‘teenagers’ conjures up images of sulking boys and girls with their eyes glued to their cell phones, avoiding adults, defying authority and trying anything to seek the approval and acceptance of their peers. With the world shrinking, the advent of technology and their own burgeoning curiosity, young children and teenagers are exposed to explicit content at much earlier ages than before, leaving them curious and prone to experiment.
However, not all information and knowledge may come reliable and trustworthy sources. Most of the time, children and teenagers learn about sex from their peers who may not have their own facts right or from social media which tends to glamorise certain aspects of it while glossing over the informative or dangerous parts. Very rarely do the social media talk about the unpleasant side of sex like paedophiles, abuse, H.I.V. sexually transmitted diseases and so on. Neither do they mention the challenges and responsibilities that accompany forming a sexual relationship with someone.
But more tragic than either of these, is the fact that most of the time a child, teenager and even an adult aren’t even educated about their own growing or grown physical bodies and natural biological functions. Sexual education does not begin in just the teenage years but begins much earlier when a child is discovering how his / her body functions. It is important to teach children about good touch and bad touch as they begin toilet – training. This later becomes the foundation for sex education when they hit puberty.
Over the next few parts, we will be looking at the various aspects of sex education that need to be considered with children and teenagers.