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Monday, October 10, 2016

The need to Enlighten Children about Sex

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor Bsc


“Sex Education entails enlightening people on issues related to human sexuality, including emotional relations and responsibilities, human sexual anatomy, sexual activity, sexual reproduction, age of consent, reproductive health, reproductive rights, safe sex, birth control and sexual abstinence” - wikipedia

Biologically, a child [children – plural] is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty. The legal definition of child generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority.
It’s of great importance that children should be enlightened on issues pertaining to sex.

Sex education is a fundamental issue that requires resilient and flexible tackling starting as early as possible. While growing up, children undergo physiological and psychological changes that the more they understand, the better they handle the situations accompanying the different stages of their development.

As soon a child approaches the age of nine, the child should be taught both at school and at home, the basics of sexuality and this should be done in accordance to the child’s age and need. They should be taught so that even when they grow old they will not depart from it.

Children have a number of questions for which they need appropriate answers. They would like simply to know. But most of the time discouraged because adults are cloaked in conservative coats which save them from questions.

The number of children born out of wedlock is on the rise and thus stands as an evidence of improper sexual orientation in children. Despite all crimes and social problems traced back to the lack of inadequacy of sex education, still sex is a subject that is encapsulated by lot of ambiguities, and shame.

The need for awareness is immense in this respect, primarily at school and at home, the first seeds of awareness need to be implanted in order to break the ice on this taboo.

Reasons why you should enlighten your children on Sex Education.
Enlighten your Child on Sexuality - image credit wikihow
1. Explicit Contents is now everywhere:
Today in the world we live in, our conversations, advertisements, movies, books, song lyrics, TV shows, texts, games, bill boards, phones and computer screens are usually laced with sexual imagery, language, innuendo that  many [teens, preteens, and even young children] must conclude, at least unconsciously that sex must be… the absolute most important thing. And when they see people who indulge in it, they won’t bat an eyelid to yield to sexual persuasions whenever the opportunity calls.


2. Fashion is partly to blame too:
Today, the fashion world has revolutionized the nature of dresses children wear, training them from an early age to put undue emphasis on appearance and cultivate the habit of indecent dressing. Even advertisers and retailers peddle sexy clothing for children, ignoring the fact that they awaken the sexual consciousness of innocent children at very early stages in life. And this is what most parents try to avoid, but still it’s not preventable unless they take the bull by the horn.

3. Information is Power:
Just as there is a difference between knowing how a car works and being a responsible driver, there is also a difference between having knowledge about sex and using that knowledge to make wise decisions. A child who is informed will hardly be deformed, and thus is expected to make wise decisions because he/she has being enlightened by the guardians.

The Challenge of Guardians
At home, it is hard for parents to talk with their children about sex, and obviously children are not so at ease doing so. So, if it’s not taught at home and then at school only a very shallow and superficial explanation is provided, then who teaches children about sex?
Are the children left alone, on their own to learn it their own way?
Are they left to the pedophiles to teach them?

What is the chief culprit in our inability to embrace sex as openly as we embrace other natural instinctive needs?

Don’t we need to know what is happening inside our bodies, what is the nature and origins of the deep feelings and urges and how to cope with these?

 What do we do about them? And countless are the other questions that cannot be answered solely from a religious standpoint, or relying only on a cultural background, or the two combined.

Ways by which Guardians can face these Challenges

1. Get Involved:
No matter how awkward it may be, talking to your children about sex is your responsibility. Accept it.
Remember a portion of the holy book which says –
Train a boy [or, child, youth] in the way he should go; even when he grows old he will not depart from it.

2. Have Small discussions
Instead of having one big talk, take advantage of casual moments to communicate, perhaps while the two of you are travelling in your car or doing a chore. To help your child open up, ask viewpoint questions. For example, rather than saying, “Are you attracted to adverts like this?” you could say, “Why do you think advertisers use those types of images to sell products?” After your child answers, you could ask, “How do you feel about that?”


3. Keep it age appropriate
Preschoolers can be taught the proper names of the sex organs, as well as how to protect themselves from sexual predators. As they grow, children can be told basic facts about reproduction. By puberty, they should have come to understand more fully about the physical and moral aspects of sex.

4. Impart values
Start teaching your child – at an early age – about honesty, integrity, and respect. Then, when sex is discussed, you will have a foundation to build on. Also, state your values clearly. For example, if you view sex before marriage as improper, say so. And explain why it is wrong and harmful. “Teens who say they know that their parents disapprove of teens having intercourse are less likely to actually have sex,” says the book Beyond the Big Talk.
5. Set the example
Live by the values you teach. For instance, do you laugh at obscene jokes? Dress provocatively? Flirt? Such actions may undermine the moral values you are trying to teach your children.

6. Keep it positive
Sex is a gift from God, and in the right circumstances – in marriage – it can be source of great pleasure. Let your child know that in time he or she may be able to enjoy that gift, without the heartache and worries that come from premarital sex.

Conclusion
Sex education when taught in good and appropriate manners could yield good results but very harmful when it is the other way around. Let’s have good faith in our children and equip them with the necessary knowledge to understand themselves and their bodies, if they hold good grasp over the functioning of sex, for sure, there would not be such misuse, repression, and violence, or at least not to the extent that we see nowadays. Sex is important for the survival of human beings, thereby, it is a natural gift not a curse.

References:
1. Awake. (2016). Teaching Your Child about Sex. In Did Jesus really exist (pp. 8-9). New York.

2. Child. Undated. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 9, 2016 from Child

3. Sex Education. Undated. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 9, 2016 from Sex Education

4. Why students Need More Open, Accurate, and Comprehensive sex Education. October 9, 2016. Morocco World news. Retrieved October 9, 2016 from Sex Education

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