Most parents in our country identify sex education with an evil and the famous Gandhian principle-"See no evil, hear no evil, think no evil" is attributed to sex and sex education. As far as sex matters are concerned, most parents feel justified in keeping their child away from the realities of life . Such parents generally believe that their child (even at the teenage ) is still a child, denying any evidence to the contrary. This attitude may not injure your child as long as everything well with him or her but it leaves the teenager perplexed, confused and at a loss when he is confronted with a plethora of intriguing questions concerning sex matters.
The outcome is ignorance all around . Teenagers are seldom comfortable about their own sexuality. Little girls burden themselves with worry and anxiety on the onset of menstruation, while young boys fail to handle the most natural phenomenon like ejaculation, masturbation during adolescence and feel guilty about such aspects .
Menstruation, ovulation, conception,
child birth, nocturnal emissions in boys, increase in the size of genital organs are certain biological and physiological aspects that demand immediate attention during adolescence because major psychological problems arise out of misconception about these sex matters.
Sex Education: Vaccine for HIV, AIDS
A recent report says that venereal diseases are spreading at an alarming rate especially among those belonging to 15-30 age group . Here comes the importance of sex education programme . It not only helps youngsters to conduct themselves with dignity and restraint but it also educates them as to why so much of importance is attached to socially responsible behaviour, thereby promoting emotional stability and sound character .
What is Sex Education.
Before explaining the meaning of sex education, let us understand one thing - sex education does not make your son a villain or your daughter a vamp . Sex education program covers a wide range of issues that affects the life of the growing children . These include:
This further brings us to the question-
- Biological aspects
- Psychological aspects
- Social factors
- Knowledge pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), AIDS, etc .
What does sex mean?
How does it differ from the sex act?
Sex basically means - Gander Identity. i.e. male/female.
Beyond this is the difference in boy structure that separates both the sexes.
It is this attraction between two individuals that introduces us to the 'Sex act", which involves, intercourse, pregnancy and childbirth .
Sex education through right channels enables the growing children to conduct themselves with dignity, restrain and responsibility . On the other hand it makes adolescents more confident as it clears the cobwebs regarding taboos and misconceptions concerning sex matters . For example - nocturnal emissions give rise to guilt among adolescent boys because they consider it abnormal . Ignorance about menstruations causes shock in females and they sometimes go to the extend of rejecting womanhood.
Sex education is a scientific and healthy way of inculcating moral values in the younger generation . Sex education aims at strengthening the moral values of the youngsters by making them realise that sex means responsibility i.e. social responsibility and responsibility towards our own self .
What are the crucial physical changes in boys and girls ?
Girls reach adolescence about two years before boys. Generally changes appear in girls at the age of nine. In boys changes are noticed on an average at the age of twelve. almost all changes during adolescence are caused by hormones.
What is the first noticeable physical change ?
Shooting up in height is the most obvious sign which shows that your daughter has stepped into adolescence . In girls too growth is controlled by the growth hormone which interestingly is a male hormone or androgen. This male hormone performs two functions. firstly, it starts the growth and secondly it stops growth. Next you will notice your 'nipples budding'. This is followed by hair growth on the genital region (also called pubic hair). Around this time even underarm and body hair appear. Your breast begin to grow and quite often you will begin to notice a clear, slippery discharge onto your panties. This comes from inside the vagina and even the size of the genital organs increases. There are some changes a girl cannot see , as these take place inside her body. The uterus, vagina and ovaries also develop (see Helpline) and then-periods begin.
But in boys the first change that introduces them to adolescence is that their testicles develop i.e they increase in size and descend. The main function of the testicles is to produce certain hormones that boys need to become a grown up man and this includes making sperms.
Boys gain more height and become taller as compared to girls for the simple reason that the growth hormone is essentially a male hormone and boys produce more of this hormone . This growth hormone in boys is also responsible for broadening of shoulders , deepening of voice, and in some cases and it is in this phase that boys actually step into their fathers' shoes.
Normally even the weight is mainly muscle, but in girls it is muscle as well as fat, deposited in the breasts, hips and shoulders. This contributes a lot in giving the girls a rounded shape.
On the contrary, some boys and girls mature at a later stage as compared to their companions. Generally boys and girls who are late maturer are somewhat complexed . Some react very strongly and remain tense and anxious all the time .
You have to help your child through this phase of life and help him understand the basics. Don't think that telling all this will spoil your child. This will only make him know the reality and give him the power to understand what is right and what is wrong.
In the nutshell
Owing to the intimate nature of these problems plus the communication gap that exists between the parents and the adolescents, these growing children face, unpredictable, bewildering contradiction or mood and they helplessly question themselves .
"What's happening to me?"
Before passing a judgement we should first look back at those much forgotten years of turmoil, when we too suffered from the same kind of problems. We all are a part and parcel of a society in transition . As a result of which rules and regulation are undergoing rapid changes . The result is that we don't have a fixed code of conduct for ourselves and the new generation . Our teachings are tentative. We lack conviction and this complicates each and every aspect of our child's life .
Keeping in mind the new order, we all realise the importance of a sex education programme . But the old order pulls us back with such a force that we succumb to its mighty power .
The net result is frustration all around . Parents fail to help their children and after all frantic efforts growing children don't succeed in gaining factual knowledge regarding basic topics like sex and its related aspects .