Knowing What Sex Education Really Means

In a world where HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), gender-based violence (GBV), gender inequality, and unwanted pregnancies continue to pose a big threats to young people’s well-being, comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is critical in preparing them for a safe, successful, and satisfying life. 

Sex education also equips people with the knowledge, skills, and motivation they need to make informed sex and sexuality decisions. Many young people grow up hearing contradictory, negative, and confused messages about sexuality, which are exacerbated by adults’ discomfort and silence, including parents and teachers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an adolescent as a person aged 10 to 19, and youth as those aged 15 to 24. This article is aimed for young people aged 10 to 24.

CSE appears to help children and adolescents develop accurate and age-appropriate knowledge, attitudes, and skills; positive values such as respect for human rights, gender equality, and diversity; and knowledge and values that contribute to safe, healthy, positive relationships, according to a large body of evidence. 

CSE is especially important because it can help young people reflect on social norms, cultural values, and traditional beliefs so that they can better understand and manage their interactions with classmates, parents, teachers, other adults, and communities.


What is Sex Education?

Sex education is the dissemination of information and skills about relationships, bodily development, sexuality, and sex to help young people communicate about sex and make informed decisions about their sexual health. Sex education should be provided to students at all grade levels, with content adapted to the student’s developmental stage and cultural context. 

It should include puberty and reproduction, as well as abstinence, contraception, and condoms, as well as relationships, sexual orientation, sexual assault prevention, gender identity, and body image.

Should Sex Education be taught in schools?

Primary and secondary schools should offer sex education, but with age-appropriate instruction and responses; inquiries should be answered calmly, positively, honestly, and accurately. When teaching, there is no need to go into great detail.

Sex education should be part of the curriculum in Nigerian schools. Students have a right to be taught and given correct information in order to make responsible and healthy decisions.

Some people, however, believe that it is the responsibility of parents to educate their children about sex education without the involvement of schools. While this is true, we must not overlook the school’s responsibility in such problems.

Finally, sex education should be taught in secondary schools, while parents should teach their children in primary school.

Sex education must first start with parents educating their children at home; they should no longer feel shy about having such discussions with their children. If sex education is taught in schools in Students in Nigeria will be able to tell their parents and even professors when they are in danger. Because pupils will be prepared with the knowledge of what to do in such instances, the world will be a better place, and cases of child molestation will be reduced.

However, it is equally critical to stress moral principles and sexual abstinence to students before to marriage.


Roles of parents in Sexual Education

Children’s knowledge of their sexuality is influenced by parental responses to newborn masturbation, displays of physical affection between parents, and training about proper physical contact with others. Parents’ reactions to how children use sexual terminology and discussions about physical distinctions between men and women assist form children’s sexual awareness. These explicit and implicit words and acts teach children about their beliefs and behavioral expectations.

Parents and other family members frequently have the power to direct their children’s development toward healthy sexuality as a natural, normal, and progressive part of life. They can assist their children in developing and practicing responsible sexual behavior as well as making personal decisions.

Parents must collaborate with trusted persons and institutions to create a barrier around our children, who are becoming increasingly vulnerable to child molestation and sexual assault. The following are some of the crucial roles that parents play in their children’s sexuality education:

  • Providing the viewpoint of the family.
  • Supporting your child’s level of comfort when it comes to talking about sexuality.
  • Maintaining an open line of communication with the school on the sexuality education program.
  • Responding to learning opportunities at home in a positive and supportive manner.
  • Attending a parent information meeting at school.
  • Every parent, whether well-educated or not, may teach and instil healthy values in their child.

Knowing What Sex Education Really Means

Fact about sex education

Sex education is high-quality instruction and learning on a wide range of sex and sexuality subjects. It examines people’s attitudes and ideas about those issues, as well as the skills necessary to navigate interactions with oneself, partners, and community members, as well as manage one’s own sexual health. Sex education can occur in schools, at home, in the community, or online.

Parents, according to Planned Parenthood, play a significant and important role in sex education. Parents can find sex education tools here.

Comprehensive sex education refers to K-12 curricula that include a wide range of sex-related issues, including:

  • Puberty, anatomy, sexual orientation, and gender identity are all aspects of human development.
  • Self, family, friendships, romantic partnerships, and health care providers are all examples of relationships.
  • Communication, boundary establishing, negotiation, and decision-making are examples of personal skills.
  • Sexual conduct encompasses the wide range of ways in which humans choose to be or not be sexual beings.
  • Sexually transmitted illnesses, birth control, pregnancy, and abortion are all aspects of sexual health.
  • The impact of power, identity, and oppression on sexual wellbeing and reproductive freedom, as well as media literacy, shame and stigma.


What is Comprehensive Sexuality Education?

A curriculum-based approach of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical, and social elements of sexuality is known as comprehensive sexuality education. 

Its goal is to provide children and young people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to realize their health, well-being, and dignity; develop respectful social and sexual relationships; consider how their choices affect their own and others’ well-being; and understand and protect their rights throughout their lives.

Why is it necessary for young people to have comprehensive sexuality education?

As they advance from childhood to adulthood, too many young people are given confused and contradictory information about relationships and sex. As a result, young people are increasingly seeking credible knowledge that will educate them for a secure, productive, and meaningful life. 

CSE meets this demand when it is delivered well, empowering young people to make informed decisions about relationships and sexuality and navigating a world where gender-based violence, gender inequality, early and unintended pregnancies, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to pose serious health and well-being risks. 

In addition, a lack of high-quality, age- and developmentally appropriate sexuality and relationship education may expose children and adolescents to dangerous sexual behaviors and sexual exploitation.

CSE is critical in improving the health and well-being of children and adolescents. CSE uses a learner-centered approach to provide age-appropriate and phased education on human rights, gender equality, relationships, reproduction, sexual behavior risks, and disease prevention, as well as an opportunity to present sexuality in a positive light, emphasizing values like respect, non-discrimination, inclusion, responsibility, empathy, equality, and reciprocity.

What is the scientific evidence for CSE?

The impact of sexuality education has been well documented. It emphasizes the following:

  • The benefits of sexuality education include increased knowledge and improved attitudes about sexual and reproductive health and behaviors among young people.
  • Sexuality education, whether provided in or outside of schools, had little effect on sexual activity, sexual risk-taking, or STI/HIV infection rates.
  • Abstinence-only programs have been demonstrated to be ineffective at delaying sexual initiation, reducing the frequency of sex, and reducing the number of sexual partners. Effective programs combine a focus on delaying sexual behavior with additional topics.
  • ‘Gender-focused’ programs are significantly more effective than ‘gender-blind’ programs in attaining health outcomes such as lowering unwanted pregnancy rates and STI rates.
  • When school-based programs are supplemented with parental and teacher involvement, training institutes, and youth-friendly services, sexuality education has the greatest impact.


Why should sexuality education involve technical guidance?

Countries are increasingly recognizing the necessity of arming young people with the knowledge and skills they need to make good life decisions. 

CSE works to empower young people by improving their analytical, communication, and other life skills in areas such as gender equality, values, human rights, healthy and respectful relationships, cultural and social norms, sexuality, non-discrimination, violence, and gender-based violence, sexual abuse, sexual behavior, consent, and harmful practices.


What has changed in the new Guidance?

Sexuality education was largely positioned as part of the HIV response in the Original International Technical Guidance published in 2009. 

While HIV prevention is still crucial, data and practice show that sexuality education is important not only for young people’s sexual and reproductive health, but also for their general wellness and personal development.

The updated Guidance takes a positive perspective to sexuality, understanding that CSE encompasses more than only learning about reproduction, risks, and disease. It restates the importance of sexuality education in the context of human rights and gender equality. 

It also reflects the importance of sexuality education in achieving several internationally agreed commitments in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, as well as the 2030 Agenda’s goals for health and well-being, quality and inclusive education, gender equality, and women’s and girls’ empowerment.



Many teenagers are hesitant to talk to their parents or other family members about their sexual feelings. As a result, individuals require a location where they can obtain trustworthy information and/or express their opinions. It is critical to provide this safe area and environment.

Leave a Comment