Sex Education, a widely known and debatable topic people in all walks of life converse with each other. Some people would say that it is just very right to conduct this kind of education for it is a necessity to unveil the reality of “sex”, how it can greatly affect an individual if it is done illicitly, and with promiscuity. For us to have a more vivid understanding about sex education, let us first define what is this all about.
Sex Education, which is sometimes called sexuality education or sex and relationships education, is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. It is also about developing young people’s skills so that they make informed choices about their behavior, and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices. It is widely accepted that young people have a right to sex education, partly because it is a means by which they are helped to protect themselves against abuse, exploitation, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. Sex education has been implemented in some College and High schools, but to think about having it in elementary schools? I think it is just very right and I firmly stand on it. For at this early stage, the naive minds of the school age children are already susceptible of absorbing the knowledge required to have this kind of education a successful one.
Conducting this kind of education amongst elementary students and if it is successful it will likely develop opportunities for young people to develop skills, as it can be hard for them to act on the basis of only having information. The kinds of skills young children develop as part of sex education are linked to more general life-skills. For example, being able to communicate, listen, negotiate, ask for and identify sources of help and advice, are useful life-skills and can be applied in terms of sexual relationships. Effective sex education develops elementary kid’s skills in negotiation, decision-making, assertion and listening. Other important skills include being able to recognize pressures from other people and to resist them, deal with and challenge prejudice, seek help from adults including parents who is the most important person in the lives of the school age children during this time, careers and professionals through the family, community and health and welfare services. Sex education that works also helps equip them with the skills to be able to differentiate between accurate and inaccurate information, discuss a range of moral and social issues and perspectives on sex and sexuality, including different cultural attitudes and sensitive issues like sexuality, abortion and contraception.
Elementary children can be exposed to a wide range of attitudes and beliefs in relation to sex and sexuality. These sometimes appear contradictory and confusing. For example, some health messages emphasis the risks and dangers associated with sexual activity and some media coverage promotes the idea that being sexually active makes a person more attractive and mature. Because sex and sexuality are sensitive subjects, elementary kids and sex educators can have strong views on what attitudes people should hold, and what moral framework should govern people’s behavior ,these too can sometimes seem to be at odds.
During this stage and at this generation, Elementary Students are already very sexually active and has already in their minds some knowledge about sex and are very interested in the moral and cultural frameworks that binds sex and sexuality. They often welcome opportunities to talk about issues where people have strong views, like abortion, sex before marriage, lesbian and gay issues and contraception and birth control. It is important to remember that talking in a balanced way about differences in opinion does not promote one set of views over another, or mean that one agrees with a particular view. Part of exploring and understanding cultural, religious and moral views is finding out that you can agree to disagree. Attempts to impose narrow moralistic views about sex and sexuality in elementary schools through sex education have failed.
People providing sex education have attitudes and beliefs of their own about sex and sexuality and it is important not to let these influence negatively the sex education that they provide but they should focused more in the side of the students that are the main reason why sex education is being conducted. For example, even if a person believes that people should not have sex until they are married, this does not imply withholding important information about safer sex and contraception. Attempts to impose narrow moralistic views about sex and sexuality on young children through sex education have failed. Rather than trying to deter or frighten elementary students away from having sex, effective sex education includes work on attitudes and beliefs, coupled with skills development, which enables young children to choose whether or not to have a sexual relationship at their present age or in the near future and taking into account the potential risks of any sexual activity.
Effective sex education also provides young children with an opportunity to explore the reasons why people have sex, and to think about how it involves emotions, respect for one self and other people and their feelings, decisions and bodies. They should have the chance to explore gender differences and how ethnicity and sexuality can influence people’s feelings and options. They should be able to decide for themselves what the positive qualities of relationships are. It is important that they understand how bullying, stereotyping, abuse and exploitation can negatively influence relationships even they are still very young. It is only for them to be guided on how to respond to any sexual activities that they will encounter in the future or whatever time they have decided to do so. It is believed that sex education that works starts early, before young people reach puberty, and before they have developed established patterns of behavior.
The precise age at which information should be provided depends on the physical, emotional and intellectual development of the young people as well as their level of understanding. What is covered and also how, depends on who is providing the sex education, when they are providing it, and in what context, as well as what the individual young person wants to know about and these criteria’s is already existing among the elementary students It is important not to delay providing information to young people but to begin when they are young. Providing basic information provides the foundation on which more complex knowledge is built up over time. This also means that sex education has to be sustained. For example, when they are very young, children can be informed about how people grow and change over time, and how babies become children and then adults, and this provides the basis on which they understand more detailed information about puberty and sex provided in the pre-teenage years, and these just entails that Sex Education can already be done among school aged children in their elementary years.
1. Sex Education. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_education