Prevention of early, unplanned pregnancy, abortions, as well as sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents is a main concern in the United States and Europe. School-based sexuality health education offers an obvious approach though evaluations of the success of such interventions, both in high and low-income countries have not been quite encouraging (Magoon 28).
Most of the studies to date have depended on self-reported behavioral outcomes like pregnancy and abortion. Self-reported sexuality behavior is disreputably prone to reporting inaccuracies, and there is considerable prospective for biased misreporting after an intervention that aims to change actions.
Regardless of the relatively weak proof of the effectiveness of sexual health education entirely, except to advance knowledge, such education is extensively implemented. This is justifiable on the basis that providing the youths with the knowledge and skills to develop their sexual health can be viewed as a human right, and because solid evidence suggests sexual education does not embolden increased sexual activity or sex risk (Reynolds 56).
The topic focuses on young people’s definition of relationships and safe sexual behavior. It has important implications for how we ought to deliver sexuality education and the forthcoming development of resources. The topic that young individuals consistently expresses interests in knowing more on, and which cuts across all themes, is having a clearer understanding of relationships (Allen 78).
Despite the doubts some people have concerning whether sex should ever be seen as wholly risk-free, every day this "safe sex" is promoted continually as a solution for the outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases amongst teenagers. Not examined is what if the promotion of "safe sex" presents opposite effect for which it was initiated in Sexual Education classes?
Opponents argue that nowadays sex education and promoting safe sex are typically considered the same thing, even though it isn't and ought not to be. They say it is one thing to enlighten teenagers about sex and its associated risks, and quite another to reassure and encourage them to adopt "safe sex" as prevention.
Other underlying issues include whether or not parents should have the capacity to ‘opt-out’ of sexuality education for their children or indeed if the children themselves ought to be able to opt-out; whether or not sexuality education should be handled with a particular focus like promotion of abstinence; and finally whether or not faith-based schools are to be compelled to teach elements of a sexuality education syllabus including those on homosexual relationships that run contrary to their faiths.
During studies, the word ‘relationship’ is frequently used by young people though they often struggle to define exactly what they believe a relationship is. A direct query about this is frequently encountered with silence, or when the question is answered there is a little consensus amongst young people (Mitchell 98).
Intimate relationships for young girls are characterized by their privation of autonomy and their insights that their boyfriends may move on to other partners if given sufficient opportunity. Girls risk their well-being, their security, and the relationship if they deny sex, whereas young boys are expected to move from one relationship to the other.
Inadequate formal sex education and power imbalances between the sexes influence understanding and expectations of relationships. There is minimal knowledge among the girls concerning Family Planning and even less among the boys. There is, however, a consensus among young people that they do not need to use protection since the boy can easily withdraw to reduce the probability of becoming pregnant (Allen 201).
Young people base their decisions about safe sex on a range of factors, which they consider to be rational in the context of peer groups and experiences, even if this is right or wrong. Poor interpersonal skills, low self-concept, and self-efficacy may make it difficult for a young individual to negotiate whatever they want and expect out of a relationship. Young women are always uncomfortable negotiating the use of a condom, and often boys think it is the girls’ responsibility (Chenhall 208).
Many young individuals become sexually active when they are still in school, therefore, school the best place to provide regular sex education. Not giving the education that will enable young individuals to make informed decisions further increases their vulnerability. Very few schools are provided with extensive instruction in sexuality education. However, students still feel there is too much focus on the negatives associated with engaging in sex. The fact that young people are curious to know more concerning relationships indicates they want the knowledge and skills to have an emotional relationship that is not just about the physical side of sex (Reynolds 87).
Researchers have shown that content preferences are similar between girls and boys. Many individual views have it that sex education ought to take place in mixed classes so that both sides can be heard. However, research on this topic indicates sustained debate on whether classes is to be single gender, mixed or a combination of the two. Bringing both sexes collectively for some topics allows young individuals to internalize better what the other may want from a relationship. Nevertheless, this should not be forced unless either group is comfortable with this. In some Native communities, mixed groups may not be proper due to a misalignment with cultural prospects.
Overall, sex education ought to be more gender sensitive. Females have been socialized to see males as being in charge of sex decisions when young men might also follow gender-normative forms of behavior that often propagate coercion and violence.
The need for education concerning what is acceptable and unacceptable within relationships, and where to seek help in difficult situations, is of critical importance. The curriculum must, therefore, include a clearer focus on date rape, relationship violence and the lifelong significances for both the victim and perpetrator involved in such acts. Education can be a step towards floating the cycle of domestic violence found in many Indigenous societies. The gender-normative conventions revealed through researches could be addressed through some mixed gender platforms. Creating structure and security, when at the same time discussing basic moralities and addressing gendered conventions, is vital (Mitchell 312).
Magoon, Kekla. Sex Education in Schools. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co, 2010. Print
Reynolds, Ruth. Teaching Studies of Society and Environment in the Primary School. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand, 2008. Print
Allen, L.Young People and Sexuality Education: Rethinking Key Debates. Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print
Chenhall R. D. Walking About at Night: The Background to Teenage Pregnancy in a Remote Aboriginal Community. “Journal of Youth Studies 11 (3): 269–281. (2008)
Smith, Mitchell. Sexuality Education in Australian Secondary Schools. Monograph Series No. 80. Melbourne: LaTrobe University, The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society. 2010