Opinions

SEX EDUCATION IS THE ONLY ANTIDOTE TO TEENAGE PREGNANCY

We are living in a precocious pre-teen, pregnancy among teenagers and rampant Sexually transmitted infections(STIs) and if you doubt this, check in your neighborhood.

By Guest Writer

OPINION: There is nothing simple especially sex talk with kids; it is pretty hard to discuss sex education at home especially given that the single parenting curve is menacing day in day out where a single father might be shy to talk about sexuality to his daughter or negative single mothers who have bias on men.

We are living in a precocious pre-teen, pregnancy among teenagers and rampant Sexually transmitted infections(STIs) and if you doubt this, check in your neighborhood. I praise the National

Curriculum Developers of our Ugandan syllabus for putting some of sex education in a few topics though limited to PIASCY messages and reproductive health; but a one-time chat about ‘bees’ and ‘birds’ cannot be sufficient enough. Pregnancy prevention and safer sex should be an ongoing process to appropriate age group.

As you are aware that the principle of ‘monkey see, monkey do’ is reciprocal to children as they are good imitators, the societal impression and social media influence might be putting us in a bad shape.

Ideally, children would get information from their parents but my point is that the schools should serve as important source of information.

Research has categorically proved from time to time that Abstinence – only education doesn’t work and neither does it affect the rate at which teenagers decide to have sex.

Teens also need to know safer options as evidenced that deviant sexual behaviors have their roots in schools. I have read articles about school going children confessing to have started lesbianism or homosexuality in schools from their perverted seniors.

If we had this as an independent lesson, we would give a breadth of knowledge about safer sex options (hope you know that a large number of teens are sexually active).

According to the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey (YRBSS), in 2015, 41% of high school children had had sex at least once, 11.5% had four or more partners, 57% of sexually active students had used condoms the last time they had sex, only 18% had used birth control pills.

In our culture, mostly girls take the lions share in sitting them down towards marriage by their aunties, grand parents or even well-wishers but nobody bothers to sit down boys.

Sex education which shall work past the helm of senior male teachers should look at grooming boys to become better men in the future. This might also answer the question of divorce and single parenting in the future.

If we truly give sex education a meaning, our children shall stop the freelancing of sex information from peers and media hence in case of any deviance from peers, their ‘KNOW’ shall mean ‘NO’.

The most effective sex education programmes tend to be the ones that try to steer teens away from specific activities that are particularly high risk.

The author is Moses Wawah Onapa, an educationist and a social commentator

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