Monthly Archives: October 2014

Providing Sex Education To Our Adolescents and Youth

 

 October is Let’s Talk Month, an opportunity for parents to speak with and provide sex education for our adolescents and youth.  However, for parents and children alike, speaking about sex is super uncomfortable. Some parents would rather not do it at all and others let their children’s school curriculum do it for them. Children do desire to speak with someone about sex; for some, that might be their parents and for others it might be entirely someone else. 

 

 

A few days ago, I participated in a tweetchat called #mysexed which encouraged youth to tweet about how they had received sex education. If you don’t know what a tweetchat is or have never participated in one, please read about it here. The #mysexed tweetchat was enlightening. There were some great positive stories on how youth received sex education but there were also some touching (and negative) ones as well. If you have a twitter account, I highly encourage you to log in, search twitter using #mysexed and read for yourself what youth from across the globe shared about their sex education experiences. For those without twitter accounts here are few excerpts from the tweetchat. I have highlighted some tweets in red to bring them closer to your attention:

 

 

After reading these tweets from youth across the globe, how do you think we us adults (parents, teachers, religious leaders, and healthcare professionals) are doing in terms of providing sex education to our adolescents and youth? We can see that relying on schools and religious institutions might not satisfy adolescents and youth’s desire to know more about sex. Telling them lies or partial information leaves them confused causing them to seek out information for themselves. We can also see from the tweets that some of the sources adolescents and youth use to find out more about sex are not where we would like them to access this crucial information from. 

 These youth tweets lead to some compelling questions that we need to ask ourselves (especially parents). If you let someone else provide sex education to your child, how sure are you that it actually occurred? Was enough information provided? What was actually covered? How was it relayed to your child? Did it match your parental, cultural, or religious preference on how you would want it done? How difficult a situation would it be if you did not speak to your child about sex and he or she got an incurable STD, became pregnant, or impregnated someone?

 


 

Children face many temptations that make it hard for them to abstain from sex, so providing sex education to our adolescents and youth prepares them to be ready when the times comes. Yes I know we don’t want that day to arrive, but what if it already has? It is hard for us to acknowledge that children are having sex but yes they are and at earlier and earlier ages. I have written on the importance of regularly providing sex education to our adolescents and youth before. Please access those posts below:

 

1. Millennium Development Goal 6: HIV, Adolescents, and Young People

2. 2014 International Youth Day: Youth and Mental Health

 

We can make it easier for our adolescents and youth to go through life by speaking to them regularly about sex, HIV/AIDS, STDs, teen pregnancies, and contraception. There are so many STDs and some like HIV/AIDS are incurable. Additionally, a teen pregnancy can change the course of a teenage girl’s and boy’s life forever.

 

                         

 

By providing sex education to our adolescents and youth, we let them know about the risks of having sex and what accompanies it. It’s already the middle of Let’s Talk Month. Lets promise ourselves as parents and healthcare professionals that we will speak to our children about sex this month or at least start gathering the information we need to initiate the conversation. Here are some great resources I have amassed and brought together in a Livebinder to help kick start providing sex education to our adolescents and youth.

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