Sex education: How to teach your children

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : When it comes to educating children about sex, it becomes the toughest job to perform. The topic is controversial yet there is a strong need to initiate sex education in every schools of India. It is not a hidden truth that our country suffers from high rates of teenage pregnancies and sexual abuse and the main reasons behinds such situations is the lack of sexuality education among adolescents. 

For instance, when in 2007, the central government of India announced the launch of the Adolescence Education Programme in schools, along with the NACO, NCERT and UN agencies. Thirteen states called for an immediate ban as they felt that comprehensive sexuality education was against the Indian culture. 

Sexuality education, as the UNESCO defines it, “provides opportunities to… build decision-making, communication and risk reduction skills about many aspects of sexuality…. encompasses the full range of information, skills and values to enable young people to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and to make decisions about their health and sexuality”.

“The myth is that everyone is going to talk about sex”, says Dr Sunil Mehra, Executive Director of MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child which is hosting the 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health from October 27 to 29.  “In fact, it is about knowing your body, consent, interaction with the opposite sex, colleagues and friends,” adds Dr Mehra.

However, when almost every day we learn about sexual violence against women, child abuse we feel ourselves less protective even among our own people.

Talking to renowned Dr. Mahindra Watts, he came up with tips to teach sex education to our children.  Here is a common question along with answer he shared with us:

Question: How do I initiate the subject of sex education in front of my children? Please tell me how do I start this great topic in front of children? 

Answer: First of all, you should know about this topic so that you can talk right to children about this topic. Let your children be open-minded and convincing that they can speak freely to you about any kind of talk that they are bothering. When introducing this topic to children under 10 years of age or less, first of all, ask the child to identify the important parts of your body. For example- where is the breast and where are the other generic parts etc.