The debate on whether sex and sexuality education should be taught in our schools is gaining momentum. Some groups are championing for the introduction of sex education and its awareness. Another group led mainly by the church is strongly opposed to the subject. As we wait for both the parties to agree, where does the school teacher stand?
Is there a need for sex education to be taught to our children? Well, due to increased cases of teenage pregnancies, Sexually Transmitted Diseases STD’s, and many other consequences related to sexual activities, the society is being pushed to realize the necessity of incorporating sex education in school syllabuses. Being part of society, teachers have to move with the flow.
What is Sex education?
According to Online Wikipedia, comprehensive sex education is the teaching of matters related to human sexuality. It also deals with emotional relations, sexual activities, sexual reproduction, reproductive health, birth control, abstinence, age of consent, reproductive rights, to mention but a few. In short, it is the provision of information on sexuality.
Traditionally, in most cultures, discussions on sex were completely private and confidential. This is because such discussions were considered taboo.
Is Sex Education Really Necessary?
To our generation, is sex education really necessary? With the excessive information currently present on the internet relating to sex, pornography, and emotional relationships, sex education is no longer escapable.
Arguing as a teacher and a parent, sex education should be made compulsory in all school years. Just like it is with mathematics. It’s obvious that sex comes naturally with or without sex education. But our children need to be cautioned and taught regarding the topic. Just because we don’t talk about it with our kids doesn’t mean that they don’t do it.
Is it possible that some of our students somewhere are unaware that they can be exposed to early pregnancies or STD’s? Especially after engaging in irresponsible sexual behavior? I’d say, yes. Some of our children are totally in the dark on these issues.
STD’s Deaths is Alarming, Study Shows
Diseases resulting from unprotected sex are the leading cause of death every year. Research shows that at least 1 out of 4 sexually active teenagers gets infected with an STD every year. We don’t expect our children to know how to protect themselves when we don’t mention this.
Teenage Pregnancies is Out of Control
We also need to talk boldly to our children concerning early pregnancies and birth control. If students are made aware of the difficulty in raising a kid not planned for, or dealing with the adverse effects of unsafe abortions, they would definitely think twice before having sex or unprotected sex.
Let Sex Education Secure our Children’s Future
I know that sex education will help to secure our children’s futures. The girl child in many instances has had to discontinue their education due to early pregnancies. This has dimmed their future thus hindering them to become self-reliant.
A recent study by the Ministry of Health has shown that about 13,000 Kenyan girls dropped out of school due to mistimed pregnancies. While teen pregnancies remain the leading cause of abortions, the use of contraception among the youth remains relatively low. Last year the country recorded a high number of teenage pregnancy cases. Most were students sitting for their national examinations.
While not most teens will choose to abstain, with sex education they will be well educated on birth control methods.
The Big Question: At what age should the children be taught sex education?
To answer this question, let us look at some other important questions. At what age do our children start to engage in sex? Is there an appropriate age to engage in sex?
The age of consent to any form of sexual activity in Kenya is 18. Any sexual activity between an adult and a teen below 18 years is a criminal offense. This is regardless of the teen’s gender.
Our students should also be made aware of their productive rights. Productive rights refer to the rights of individuals to decide whether to reproduce and have reproductive health. This right may involve decisions to plan a family, access reproductive health services and terminate a pregnancy.
However, keep in mind that pregnancy termination is a crime. It is legal only when a trained health professional indicates the need for emergency treatment, or if the life of either the child or the mother is in danger. In a rare case, abortion may be procured in the event of permission by written law.
Sex education should be made a societal obligation. It should take place in our schools, churches or even online platforms.
As teachers, let’s talk about sexual health, sexual behavior, talk about relationships and romance, for our children – who are our dear students – need to be made aware. Let’s be on the forefront to educate our communities on the need to have sex education.
- Elavarthi, M. (2019). Debating Sex Education in schools – The Companion. [online] The Companion. Available at: https://thecompanion.in/debating-sex-education-in-schools/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2019].
- En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Sex education. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_education [Accessed 25 Apr. 2019].
- Greensprings School. (2019). Should Sex Education Be Taught In Nigerian schools? [online] Available at: http://enrol.greenspringsschool.com/sex-education-taught-nigerian-schools/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2019].
- Imedpub.com. (2019). Insights in Reproductive Medicine. [online] Available at: http://www.imedpub.com/insights-in-reproductive-medicine/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2019].
- Un.org. (2019). paper3. [online] Available at: https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/issues.htm [Accessed 25 Apr. 2019].