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Sexual development conveys various wishes and dreams of a different kind of relationship. A young person who is maturing is in a plethora of ways uncertain and lonely, hence, sensitive and vulnerable. Therefore, their self-esteem needs to be supported with sufficient and adequate sexuality education that will allow them to make informed choices that would help them protect and maintain their sexual health (Lindberg, Maddow-Zimet, and Boonstra 2015). Over the decades, the need for sexuality education has been elicited by a plethora of developments.
These include migration and globalization within religious and cultural backgrounds, the rapid spread of new technology such as mobile phones and the internet, emergence and spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, changing attitudes and behaviors towards sexuality among young people, and a growing concern about sexual abuse in children and adolescents. As such, this paper integrates social sciences such as philosophy and sociology and applied sciences such as education and health sciences to help understand the concept of sex education.
Further, it integrates an important aspect of religious diversity and their take on sex education.
Adolescent intervention through comprehensive sexuality education is the need of the hour yet society resists it in fear that it will instigate libertine ways and debauchery among young people. The paradox is also apparent in the hypocritical stance of the society that is propagating continence in midst of a culture replete with titillating sexual imageries and messages. While growing up, adolescents acquire knowledge and information; develop values, attitudes and skills related to body, physicality, sexuality and relationships from various informal and formal sources and agents.
Formally trained educators and professionals take active participation in providing formal school-based sexuality education using various effective teaching methods at present and along with parents who are an important informal source in the initial growing years.
Education and health sciences perform a complementary role in instigating the need for sexuality education within modern societies. Apparently, there seems to be a common ground within these fields that allow a comprehensive delivery of informed sexuality education. For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2008) indicated that among the American high school students, 47.8 percent had already had sexual intercourse. These statistics have over time changed increasing the number of students who have had sex when in high school. From these figures, 7.1 percent of this lot became sexually active before they could attain the age of 13. Similarly, 14 percent of this population have had intercourse with four or more partners.
The precocious sexual activities portrayed by these adolescents and youths continue to be worrisome especially when considering the early sex debut, heightened number of sexual partners, sexual engagement while under control of substances, decreased condom use, and involvement with risky partners. Currently, both education and health sciences are unanimously conveying the message that condoms serve as the surest way through which one can protect against pregnancies and contraction and spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Over the past two decades, condom use among young people has been increasing, with 61.5% of high school students reporting that they or their partner used a Faith-Based Sexual Education 3 condom at their last sexual intercourse experience (CDC, 2008).
Culture and religion offer an important aspect of sex education. Particularly, these two dimensions majorly delve into the informal aspect of sex education.
The information provided by the Catholic Church has been annulled scientifically since latex condoms have proved to be 98 percent successful in preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, the catholic religion provides its followers with exaggerated and incorrect information that has affected the perception of many adolescents, youths, as well as parents in regard to sex and contraception. According to (Reis, et al. 2011), the view of Catholics in regard to this information has been scientifically proven as wrong, because latex condoms are 98% on average successful in preventing sexual diseases, such as HIV.
The Catholic religion is giving their followers incorrect information and this is causing negative perceptions of sex and contraception. Another study completed, which looked into the Catholic churches’ view on condoms was quite intriguing. It was discovered, that even though the Catholic religion stands by the concept to always encourage pregnancy, they don’t want to encourage the spread of STI’s. This is quite controversial because condoms do both, they block pregnancies but also the spread of sexual diseases. The results showed how the Church still believes in condemning the use of condoms. It is believed that sex is no longer an expression of love, but more so resembles a drug and an addiction, (Benagiano, Carrara, Filippi, & Brosens, 2011). How can children who are brought up in religions that give them such a negative view on sex be properly prepared for their own sexual experiences? Religion is causing very negative diseases to spread by giving their followers incorrect and biased information. This is becoming a huge issue because many teenagers are having sex and a lot of which is without proper protection.
After a close look at the three disciplines, the information acquired was beneficial, inspirational, and educational. From the three perspectives, I saw sex education from a different perspective. That is, both formal and informal sex education is vital to the development of adolescents and young adults. Further, I became a great and strong supporter of extensive and comprehensive sex education. Particularly, looking at the religious perspective of sex education, I believe that condoms are very essential to youths and the upcoming generations. As previously seen in the context, premarital sexual intercourse has become a normative trend. Therefore, the use of condoms and the need to enlighten the upcoming generations to prepare them for their own sexual experiences an encounters is fundamental and at its best compulsory.
The future generations should be prepared to be able to fight the right way and to stand against the storms that result from personal sexuality and the resultant deathly disease. My perspective on this topic is that there is a need to deliver in-depth information regarding sexuality both at the national level and at the global level. Adolescents and young adults need to gain knowledge about sex and how sexually transmitted diseases could be minimized extensively. Through the knowledge acquired from the research, I have developed a more positive and open take on the idea of delivering more information to children and adolescents about their sexuality and what they need to use to protect themselves. Previously, I would say that I had some conservative thoughts about sex talks when it comes to kids. However, after conducting this research, I have apparently become aware that sex education is compulsory and that it’s always overdue.
The spread of sexually transmitted infections can never be any better unless we decide to work unanimously to stop the spread through sex education and proper use of tools such as condoms. While the research indicates that religion has given a tainted image about the use of condoms, formal education and media have come to the rescue of the same overriding the negative reputation and changing the perspective to one that sees the product as a positive one. Additionally, the relationship between parents and adolescents has over time changed allowing parents to offer intensive and extensive education regarding sex education.
Both formal and informal sexuality education is equally critical and should serve as complementary elements that bring out the holistic development of adolescents and youths (WHO, 2010) and neither one of them is restricted to sexual behavior alone but encompasses the transmission of broader socio-cultural values and norms related to relationship networks, intimacy, modes of communication and emotional skills. That is the reason why the more popular term ‘sex education’ has been replaced with the term ‘sexuality education’; the latter has larger implications as it includes socio-cultural diversity and psychological developments in understanding human sexuality and does not remain attached to physical dimensions only. Pro-active practitioners, experts, stakeholders, and policy-makers however prefer neutral nomenclature to refer to sexuality education programs.
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