The Importance of Sex Education in the Modern World

03.06.2019

In many countries, the cultivation of sex and the erotization of life, which modern youth perceive as symbols of a new morality free from taboos, has become commonplace. Today, freedom of sexual behavior is sometimes associated with the possibility of achieving personal freedom. The sexual information that has come down from the pages of books, newspapers, magazines as well as from the TV screens and movies, influences the process of the formation of the moral position of the youth and their values.

comprehensive sex education

Fundamental changes in the life of American society, associated with the so-called "sexual revolution," have contributed to the destruction of the previous system of values, the formation of sexual permissiveness, so many Americans are supporters of the sexual education of young people. History of sex education in the USA dates back to the early 1940s, but only about 25-30 years ago sex education programs were implemented in public schools. Many people don’t understand the vital importance of sex education in schools since the talks about sex are still perceived as something indecent and forbidden. Nonetheless, to deal with such prejudices, it is necessary to study the issue in detail.

What Is Comprehensive Sex Education?

Let’s start from the very beginning. What is sex education? Any training course, where people talk about intimate life falls under the definition of sex education. It can be both about pure physiology, and in conjunction with the psychology of relationships or with a story about gender roles. Why is sex education important? Contrary to popular notions, sex education lessons should be held not only for high school students, but also for people of different ages, starting with young children who should understand the ideas of consent and rejection, privacy and bodily boundaries, and to adults who learn to communicate with partners and fill in the gaps in knowledge, connected with intimate life. And such lessons can save people from many problems.

Comprehensive sex education is one of the programs, aimed at inculcating a healthy perception of the issues of physiological difference between sexes and their sex life. One of the reasons why sex education should be taught in schools is that it helps young people develop themselves in the right way, creating strong foundations for healthy relationships in the future.

Why Sex Education Should Be Taught in School?

The world's first sex education program was born out of practical necessity – the fight against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted (especially early) pregnancies. However, it’s not only about sex themes since it involves other personal and social spheres as well. Let’s take a closer look at American sex education.

1. Core knowledge

Contrary to prejudice, children in elementary school aren’t taught the intricacies of intimate relationships: sex education programs in elementary school much more often include talks about feelings, as well as basic explanations of sex differences between boys and girls and the answer to the question, “Where do babies come from?” In addition, children are told about the "rule of underwear." Thus, they are explained that all those parts of the body covered by underwear are intimate, and no one else can see and touch them. As they grow older, children begin to explore other topics. Teachers don’t talk with young children about sex directly, but kids are gradually brought to this topic: by the age of seven, schoolchildren know the names of the male and female genital organs, and at the age of eleven, they are familiar with such topics as sexual harassment and erection.

2. In-depth knowledge

At the age of 9–11 years old, schoolchildren get information about puberty and how their body is changing as well as learn more about peer pressure and how to resist it. At the age of thirteen and older, kids get information about body image, pregnancy, abstinence, contraception, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections as well as talking about how to build relationships. history of sex educationSo, in many ways, it prepares for commitment in partnership and marriage. It helps understand their role and responsibilities in the family. Abstinence-only sex education doesn’t take place there. Sex education for adolescents includes talks about puberty, sexual orientation and the importance of contraception and visits to the doctor. Sex education lessons can be divided between several subjects, such as biology and social studies.

Should Sex Education Be Taught in Schools?

Nowadays, sex education in the United States is aimed at familiarizing different groups of students with the basics of relations between the sexes. Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize that their children have already grown up, and the sooner they find out answers to their questions, the better.

In recent years, the necessity to speak frankly with teenagers about sex has grown primarily because modern teenagers have access to a lot more pornography than previous generations, and they often perceive porn as a study guide. Some experts say that sex education works best when children discuss important issues for them in a comfortable environment, and not just talk about the structure of the genitals. They believe that a trusting atmosphere and an honest conversation about the ethical and psychological aspects of relationships — respecting personal boundaries, harmony, pleasure, sexual orientation, and ideas about your own body — help achieve better results.

As the taboo on talking about sex is removed, schoolchildren start asking more questions. The right lessons can help teens cope with complexes about their own appearance and body, and sometimes with harassment from classmates. In addition, some modern specialists say that sex education classes should not be divided by sex: not only girls but also boys should know about women's health and menstruation. In their opinion, such an approach forms a simpler and healthier attitude towards women's health. So, teaching sex education, they provide children with “right” sources about sex, including cognitive books and videos that form a positive understanding of sex.

Disadvantages of Sex Education in School

It’s necessary to highlight that such education should focus on the social and emotional causes of sex as well as their consequences, raise issues of establishing clear expectations and personal boundaries, help cope with feelings of shame and embarrassment and, of course, teach to take responsibility. Sex education is about accepting oneself and a partner. It’s about respect, harmony, comfort, and security both physical and psychological. However, sometimes some crucial moments are not considered in the process of education. Here are some disadvantages of sex education in a school that should be improved.

Teachers are not always experts in this area

Most teachers who talk about sex with their students are not experts in this field. Moreover, they don’t have enough knowledge about sexual health, and as you know, incorrect information can be extremely dangerous. Young people can get the wrong understanding.

Students don’t perceive such lessons seriously

Of course, they can be confused or excited by the subject first, but very often the situation changes dramatically over time. And if the subject is not taught properly in a school, students don’t show much interest in it and can even skip classes.

Lessons are taken after school

One of the wrong things about the process of education is that most lessons are held as extra-curricular activities. If the authority doesn’t take this seriously, then, most likely, neither students nor teachers will show much interest in it.

It can have problems with religious ideologies

If someone’s worldview doesn’t coincide with what they are taught, then such a program can only worsen everything. And this situation is quite common, unfortunately.

Types of Sex Education

In general, these educational programs are focused on the very fact that modern kids will be able to create harmonious and healthy family relationships in the future. The realization of such a big goal requires special conditions, involving the necessity to overcome the disunity of boys and girls, to be able to make friends, to learn the culture of communication and to respect other people. This goal has become the basis for the creation of the two main types of sex education, which represent two totally different ideas.

Comprehensive Sex Education

Children begin to study this program in a very childhood and finish it in high school. Comprehensive sex education brings up the subject of sexuality and involves the topics about safe sex, STDs, contraceptives, masturbation, etc. It shows that sexuality is an ordinary thing, which can easily be described as a normal part of every person. In addition, it tells about such things as relationships between genders.

what is sex educationAbstinence Program Only Until Marriage

Mentioning this type of sex education, it’s necessary to say that specialists pay special attention to abstinence. Abstinence-only sex education involves all types of sexual behavior. The program doesn’t include information about contraceptives, STDs, masturbation, etc. It brings the idea that sex before marriage can be really dangerous in different aspects. These types of education contribute to the right development of modern youth, forming a sense of responsibility for their health and well-being, that is, strengthening the future marriage and family.

Sex Education for Married Couples

Numerous taboos around sex and the inability of parents and teachers to talk on this topic with children leads to a lot of problems in adulthood. Although it is believed that an adult person can understand their problems and find the right specialist, this is not always the case. According to Kate McCombs, sex education specialists from New York, without having received the necessary knowledge at school, adults face the same problems as teenagers: there is a huge amount of pornography, advertising of sex toys and courses on how to please a partner, but many adults do not know how to discuss their preferences with a partner or suffer from psychological trauma. And if you can read about the proper use of sex toys on the Internet, then a specialist should deal with serious problems. Adults who have not received any sex education suffer most. This is also indicated by migrants who have moved to more progressive countries, having already finished school. Young people who have immigrated to the USA, tell about the prejudices that are common in their home countries.

Creation of a family is one of the most serious decisions in everyone’s life. Agreeing on living together for the whole life, you accept the person as they are, with all their drawbacks and advantages. And sexual life is an integral part of any marriage. Do you know why sex education for married couples is of great importance?

Safe sexual intercourse

This term includes not only physical health and protection against unwanted pregnancy but also a psychological comfort as well. Protection of personal boundaries is a big issue, and many adults cannot cope with this task. Any sexual intercourse should be consensual, and none of the spouses should be afraid to refuse.

Physiology

It’s extremely important to be aware of anatomy and physiology to not find yourself in an awkward situation. You should know what brings you pleasure and how you can satisfy your dear partner. Mutual understanding in sex helps create harmonious and healthy relationships.