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MISCONCEPTIONS

Belief Sex-Ed fuels premature sexual habits misleading

Unesco terms gender violence as an unaddressed concern in which sexuality education can play a part in

In Summary

• Sexuality education empowers learners to make informed decisions on sexuality and relationships. 

• Contrary to common belief, it does not teach sex but sexuality. 

Sex education
CONFUSED AGE GROUP: Sex education
Image: COURTESY

According to Unesco, 80 per cent of countries in their assessment have policies or strategies that support comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

However, the challenge lies in its actual implementation or policies related to adolescent sexuality.

Barriers to implementation of CSE include community misconceptions that it will increase sexual activity among children and adolescents, cultural beliefs, inadequate skills by teachers, inadequate funding, poor coordination mechanisms and rebellion by faith-based organisations among others. Sexuality education not only protects learners from HIV and sexually transmitted infections but also equips them with necessary skills to address justice and equity to prevent physical, emotional, verbal or sexual violence.

 

Unesco in its 2015 report terms gender violence as an unaddressed concern in which sexuality education can play an important role in eliminating. CSE also empowers learners to make informed decisions on sexuality and relationships, appreciate personal values including respect and develop a sense of responsibility. Contrary to common belief, it does not teach sex but sexuality.

As young people grow, they develop physical and psychological changes and there is a need for them to understand why. Sexuality education equips them with an understanding of this. If we continue burying our heads in the sand believing this group is not sexually active, the demographic dividend may not be achieved.

Let us empower the community to support the adoption of CSE. We must improve coordination mechanisms for CSE and ensure inclusive participation that brings on board faith-based, adolescent and civil society organisations, parents and relevant ministries.

Naya Kenya