Sex Education : Why is it important for children and teenager? - Seeker's Thoughts

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Sex Education : Why is it important for children and teenager?

 India has a traditional cultural background. The social environment is different- it is somewhere stuck between modern and ancient. There are some stigmas and taboos which are still prevalent in the society. And due to those stigma’s the conversation about sex is considered equal to a criminal act. Even if there is a chapter related to the sex education but teachers ignore to teach that.


This article intends to create awareness that why sex education is important?


Sex education is not for promoting sexual activities among children. It is to educate them about health, sexual abuse and give information so that children can decide.


No matter how much traditional a culture or nation is- child abuse still remains a cause of concern. Children mostly when first encounter with the sexual abuse, they do not understand it. Some of the children develop a psychological wound because of unawareness.


Without the sex education- children might be trapped in an unkind life cycle, starting from unwanted pregnancy, HIV , depression, Trauma etc.


Child sexual abuse is a major public health concern, affecting one in eight children and causing massive costs including depression, unwanted pregnancy, and HIV.


Understanding the role of Sex education in Child Sexual Abuse.

Worldwide, child sexual abuse is a massive challenge for public health, social justice, human rights, and gender equality.  The socioeconomics costs are profound, with the average cost for each victim estimated at 210 000US$. 

There are psychological, social and economic consequences when it comes to the sexual abuse. Among the health consequences include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social isolation.

The Child sexual abuse is also associated with subsequent sexual victimization, unwanted pregnancy, and HIV acquisition.


Do boys face sexual abuse?


The answer is yes.

Child sexual abuse is not restricted to the girls. Boys are victims too.

As per the data,

Child sexual abuse endemic worldwide: 12.7% of all children experience sexual abuse (18.0% of girls (16.4 to 19.7%) and 7.6% of boys (6.6 to 8.8%). 

However, girls are two to three times as likely as boys to be victimized in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America and higher prevalence for girls was recently found in five African nations.

Some countries like China, however, have reported a lower prevalence for girls.

The problem is – that the sexual abuse exists but at the same time in developing countries like India etc the sex education is one topic that even today attracts a few disapproving glances from grownups.

According to gynaecologists and obstetricians, there are still many people in India who don’t realize the importance of sex education.

They don’t understand that even if you don’t talk about something as normal as sex, kids will have questions in their minds as they grow up

Especially now when they are flooded with so much sexual content on the internet where they spend maximum time.

Why sex education is important?

There is a common thought process that sex education means only talking about sexual intercourse between two people. But that is not the case.

Sex education is a comprehensive process of providing information and helping young individuals from attitudes and beliefs about sexual intimacy, relationships and one’s sexual identity. 

Understanding the consent

It also helps develop an understanding among children about consent and the importance of making informed choices and being confident about them.

Understanding about their bodies

Sex education makes kids aware of the changes taking place in their bodies (puberty) and also teaches them how to make safe, healthy choices as they grow up because healthy relationships and healthy sexual life are the keys to happy adult life.

Sex Knowledge helps them in opening about the sexual abuse

Children do not know how to speak about sex, if adult around them do not educate them. Many victims as a child, wanted to speak but did not have courage.

Many times children are abused by someone known to them. It is easier to threatened children, if their guardians do not educate and assure them that children will remain safe and Certainly sex education helps them manage sexual advances encourage them to speak up if they are abused sexually and also spreads social awareness by telling them about the right age to have kids, the importance of using protection while having sexual intercourse and the consequences of having children before or outside marriage.

Child Abuse Happens everywhere

Most people would agree that the child abuse is a heart-breaking issue, yet many believe it’s not something that could happen to anyone they know or love.

On the contrary, child abuse happens everywhere – in all types of homes families, neighbours, schools, churches and communities. 

None of the population, culture, or socioeconomic group is immune. Chile abuse is likely to present somewhere in your very own network.

People who abuse children are not just creepy strangers who lurk behind bushes or abduct children in vans.

They often include people we encounter every day, people their victims know love, and trust... people who abuse can be grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, mom’s dads, teachers, coaches, mentors, neighbours, and family friends.

How sexual abuse affects the child?

The effects of child abuse are devastating and typically long-lasting, including a lifetime of potential struggles with mental health issues, low esteem, increased risk of drug abuse/addiction, and pattern of dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships.

The realities of child abuse are alarming but developing an awareness of the problem the increased ability to prevent or learn to identify when child abuse occurs.

Why Children need to learn the name of body parts?

Children need to learn the names of body parts instead of using euphemisms.

 After being sexually abused, most of the time in trial proceedings, defense lawyers ask specific and inappropriate questions, which require child witnesses to describe the details of abused including the behavior of the accused.

Not knowing how to narrate what exactly happened to them, children typically provide vague and sketchy responses (he hurt me thereof I dint feel right or comfortable when he/she touched me there) instead of using standard terms that describe body parts.

There is a compelling need to increase the awareness of the legal system about child-sensitive communication.

 But more essentially, children should be provided sexuality education so they can be equipped with the right vocabulary to talk about sexual abuse, without either trivializing it is obfuscating judicial actors.

Teaching them the correct names of private parts will also reduce the shame and stigma associated with talking about them.

How can we raise awareness of child abuse?

As an adult first, educate yourself on the statistics of child abuse and understand that even your own children could be at risk.

Many parents feel that giving sex education is just a one-time discussion which they can get over with quickly by just telling them how the sexual act takes place and how they go through puberty, but it is much more than that.

It becomes easier and more efficient when parents treat it as an ongoing process and use everyday moments to discuss the different aspects of sex education.


“For instance, if there is a commercial for female hygiene products coming up on television while your child is watching TV, you can take that opportunity to introduce the topic of puberty and menstruation to her or him.


Be open and honest to your child about every topic you talk about. If you feel uncomfortable in sharing sexual information, you can share that with them too. 

If you don’t know the answer to any question they ask, tell them that and help them find the answer. 

But make them understand how important it is to talk it out. Adolescence is a period that is like a roller coaster ride for your child. They are undergoing many changes physically and emotionally which they have no idea how to deal with.


 Parents, need to understand your child’s feelings regarding puberty and comfort them. Don’t lecture them about how talking about these things is bad and uncultured. This way you will only discourage them from talking about such topics which will force them to look for answers in unreliable sources instead. 


Improved awareness of these factors would greatly assist the response to child sexual abuse.

However, awareness alone may not reduce child sexual abuse. It may not by itself produce appropriate responses by adults to disclosures and suspected cases, which is doubly important since survivors are often deeply traumatized through the indifference of bystanders.

It may not catalyze institutional reforms or influence broader societal change to undesirable social norms, legal frameworks, gender inequalities, and constructions of masculinity which facilitate child sexual abuse.

Greater gains require enhanced awareness allied with a second attribute.

Children nowadays are under immense pressure from peers and face many challenges during the adolescent period. 

The least you can do to help is to make them feel you are there for them. Motivate them to come to you without hesitation and share their concerns with you.

This way you can guide them better. Sex education is not just about explaining to children how babies are born and what periods are. It is meant to instill the right attitude in them regarding sexual intimacy.


Parents  should ask from their teenage kids about how they feel about sex and having intimate relationships with people. It is important to tell them about the emotions, feelings, and values behind having sexual intercourse.



One of the main roles sex education in India plays is to develop sensitivity in today’s children and make sure they grow up to be broad-minded individuals with respect for everybody. 

Therefore, parents should deal with topics like homosexuality and sexual abuse with care. Also, avoid giving negative responses to your child’s doubts because that might reinforce the fact that you aren’t supposed to discuss these things, or these things are bad.


Early-onset of puberty in boys and girls and increasing exposure to sexual content via television and the internet makes it necessary to introduce sex education to students at a reasonably early age. 

Many schools nowadays prefer to address sexual abuse and its prevention in classes II and III so that young children have the basic knowledge to identify if they are being sexually exploited and can seek help at the right time.


Comprehensive sex education courses can be introduced from 7th to 9th grade onwards when most children have entered puberty.

Sex education. Still, be a less-talked-about topic but its importance can never be undermined. Proper sexual knowledge not only empowers young minds but also ensures that they always make the right choices in life. 




United Nations’ and other community’s initiative to prevent child sexual abuse

The gravity of this global issue is reflected by the United Nations'
 New effort to respond to sexual abuse in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

The United Nations’ 2015 Sustainable Development Goals has set an agenda for global human development efforts from 2015–2030. 

Significantly, these Goals have added two new targets acknowledging child abuse as a fundamental obstacle to health, demanding concerted action. 

Target 16.2 aims to end the abuse and exploitation of children, and Target 5.2 aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual exploitation. Governments will be required to report on progress against these targets.

A way forward

Worldwide, there is a need for new advances to better prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. At individual, institutional, and societal levels, developing awareness about child sexual abuse and empathy towards victims is necessary to enhance healthy behavior, responses, and societal change.

 Levels of cognitive capacity and intrinsic motivation to respond prosaically can be increased through multidisciplinary education and innovative methods of building empathy. Awareness gains may be more readily achievable than empathy gains.
 However, both are required to promote a stronger social fabric to protect children. Enhanced awareness and empathy are key attributes to facilitate a cascade of beneficial outcomes in violence prevention, humane responses, policy reform, and the development of healthy social norms and communities.


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