Sex education and parental responsibility

Children are the most valuable assets in human life. They are active, dynamic and enthusiastic. The puberty stage changes their life. At that time, they are curious about the changes in their body. They may be sexually harassed, open to domestic violence and intimidation. In this sense, there is need for a child to be guided, nurtured, honed, cared for, and counseled by the parents and teachers.

Islamically, sex education is more broadly understood as a set of wise rules that children/adult can use to protect themselves from the unacceptable such as adultery, masturbation, fornication, deviant sex, among others. It tends to explain the ethics, morals, religion, social and other knowledge needed by someone to be able to understand themselves as sexual beings. More so, Islam has set some rules guiding the association between men and women.

Sex education in the western world is often associated with the understanding of sexual relationships between men and women to meet the needs of sex and regeneration. Schools in Africa, precisely Nigeria, teach subjects like Biology which discusses some topics that are related to sex education, such as puberty stage, reproduction, sex organs, unwanted pregnancies, among others. But this is not enough to educate our young ones on sex.

Jonathan Zimmerman notes that “adolescents get most of their sexual ideas from the mass media.” Hence, parents and teachers overwhelmingly support sex education on a broad range of topics in American schools. Parents and teachers should instill a culture of shyness in children as early as possible. Parents should also teach their children that the spirit of masculinity is only to male while femininity to female. In addition, children (boys and girls) should be advised not to mingle freely without social etiquette, as well as not to seclude themselves in quiet places without caring about others.

More so, children should be educated on wet dreams experienced by boys as a sign of maturity. For girls, they often experience menstruation as a sign of maturity. The need for sex education is pertinent and imperative in this 21st century, for it has brought globalisation to our fore; such that children are exposed to internet, child abuse, electronic gadgets and social media which easily breed the moral decadence we experience today among youth.

Topics surrounding what children need to know about healthy relationships and the role of sex, puberty stage, sex organs, what hymen really is, contraception and proper use of contraceptive techniques should be taught. They should be told that they should not have sex to prove anything to anyone. This will really help the children to avoid being sexually harassed in schools, homes, markets, worship centers, among many other places.

Abdulazeez Alhassan,  [email protected]

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Sex education and parental responsibility