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On sex education
June 10 , 2013

Born and raised in a family where love and care isn’t negotiable, she grew up morally upright and was aware of the importance attached to her femininity. Sonia exhibited her caring nature right from childhood but an incident changed all these—she was 10 at the time. She visited a friend who was diagnosed to be mentally ill, which made her friend to be left with a male cousin who was about 16 then; she loved him like her brother and even trusted him. She recalled her friend was hungry; she was in the kitchen to find out if there was food available for her hungry friend and there she met her friend’s cousin. He grinned at her and asked her if she would like to sit on his laps, she said no, he repeated the statement twice and twice she said no. Angrily, he grabbed her and pressed her to his body and forced her to kiss him, and then he threw her violently across the room to hit the wall on the other side. Picked her up, slammed into the ground and undressed her after pinning her against the floor; he did it violently with her and after sometime, she struggled to get away from his grip and ran all the way home without looking back. She has just been abused, hurt, and sexually molested and this was her worst experience ever and she had to live with this for the rest of her life.

Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the application of force depicting undesired sexual behavior by an individual on another. If such force is inconstant or last for a short period of time, it is called sexual assault. Sexual abuses often involve an untoward behavior by an adult towards a minor or likewise another adult to stimulate either the adult or child sexually. In an instance where the one that is assaulted is young and cannot give consent to such sexual advances, it is called child sexual abuse.

Foremost philosopher, the third president and a founding father of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson, said, and I quote, “I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way”. Inspiring knowledge to the hitherto exposed minors will equip them with power to stamp their authority against sexual abuse. Growing kids need sex education if they must survive in a sexually-aggressive world.

Though sex education is part of some elementary school’s curricula, studies have shown that  

young pupils are more interested in knowing about puberty and the changes they experience in their bodies, instead of the  sex and reproduction stuffs been drilled into them. If a three-year-old kid in elementary schools can be wise enough to ask where babies come from, a six-year-old browses the internet to connect with friends, and a seven-year-old technically pushes to be popular with his buddies, then sex education is compulsory.

Children feel more comfortable talking to their parents about the changes happening in their body, relationships and sex, hence sex education starts from home, but in spite of these, it is disheartening to know that many parents lack the confidence to give frank answers to questions pertaining to sex. It is also necessary to know that secondary sex education matters much in secondary schools and should be given a special priority because this is the beginning of the age range when young boys, girls and teens come under immense instability due to peer pressures, and hence, crave for more freedom. This is when they want their voice on love and romance to be heard.

Educating wards, then, about sex requires proper dissemination of relevant information depending on factors such as age and exposure rate. At 18 months, a child should be taught proper names for their body parts, and as they progress to the age bracket of 3-5 years, they need to be informed about their obviously growing private parts and how they can resist sexual advances. Also, ensuring their own safety whenever they are far away from home and how to differentiate between comfortable approach and sexual advances should be the focal point of sex education for ages 5-8 years. The importance of personal safety should be stressed at ages 8-12 years and how to behave with family members to avoid sexual compromise. And then, at ages 13-18, advance discussion on rape, sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy should be adequately dealt with.

If the appropriate sex education is not given to wards when due, they may eventually get unwholesome information from wrong sources which might lead to decisions wrongly taken. 

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Learn more about this author, Odunayo Iyiola.
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