Does sex education encourage children to have sex?
By Karuana Mwai
Are you ever curious about how much your children know about sex? Do you worry that talking to them about sex will make them more curious or adventurous?
You are not alone. Many parents share this concern. There’s a widespread fear that talking to their children about sex will make them curious and eager to try it. But this is not true. Sex education does not encourage children to have sex. It helps them build self-awareness and make informed, safe and responsible choices about their sexuality and relationships.
First, the sex education we have now is quite limited in scope thus not addressing the needs and realities of young people, yet young people are still having sex. The sex debut in Kenya at the moment is low as Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) data shows that over 50% of young people have sex before the age of 18. The sad reality of high teenage pregnancies and significant HIV infections among teenagers is additional proof of early sex debut.
Sex education is not just about teaching children about sex. It is also about teaching them about their bodies, how to respect themselves and others, how to communicate effectively, protect themselves from harm, and deal with the emotional and social aspects of sexuality. It is about giving them the skills and confidence they need to navigate the complex world of love, sex, relationships and everything in-between. By doing so, your child is better prepared to take charge of their sexual and reproductive health.
In today’s world, children can easily access information about sex online, you want to be their trusted source of guidance and support or at least direct them to trusted sources. And the best way to do that is to talk to them openly and honestly about sex. You are not blaming yourself or your child for anything, you are simply giving them the tools they need to navigate their sexual and reproductive lives in a healthy and responsible way.
So, next time your child asks a sex question, don’t be afraid to talk to them. It is one of the best things you can do for them. And we are here to help you. On our website, you will find useful tips and resources on how to start and continue the conversation with your child. You will also find stories from other parents who have gone through the same journey as you.
Remember, you are not alone. You are part of a community of parents who care about their children’s well-being.
If you want to learn more about sex education and how to talk to your child about it, go to the Sex-Ed Resources on our website and follow us on social media. We would love to hear from you and answer any questions you might have.
What are your thoughts on sex education specifically about its benefits or risks?