Teaching Human Sexuality to adolescents and children:
What should be taught at every stage and why
The new world encyclopedia defines human sexuality as “the means to express the fullness of love between a man and a woman and the means through which a child is conceived” (1). Human sexuality is much more than an ordinary physical activity; it is an exercise that impacts the minds and hearts as well as the bodies of the participants. With the rate of teenage pregnancies (or our awareness of it) is on the constant increase, teaching human sexuality in schools and colleges has become a very important task. Teaching human sexuality to children and adolescents is necessary for them to have rewarding sexual relationships in order to grow up to have healthy and happy lives. Teaching human sexuality to adolescents and children is an ongoing process. Children at different stages of their lives need different lessons on healthy sexuality. Children before their preteen age should be taught about how to recognize their sexuality and why this is important to them. While they shouldn’t be taught the functions of each of their sexual parts into details, they need to know how to name and recognize all their sex organs. They should also be taught about sexual assaults, how to recognize a potential abuser and how to protect themselves from a potential sexual abuse. This is because children at this stage are very vulnerable and those who commit sexual assaults usually take advantage of this. Moreover, sexual abusers often appear to be kind, generous, and loving. They may be even friends or family members.
For children in their preteen years, one needs to go a little further. They should be taught about the differences between the male the female sex organs, puberty and the act of having sexual intercourse. They need to know that the sexual act could result in pregnancy. It is also important to teach them about sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/Aids, and that the sexually...
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