Thursday, 14 March 2013

Thoughts on Sex Education - I

What is the right age for a child to get its first sex education? Are we, the parents (or soon would-be), aware enough of this?

From what I see around in young Indians, NO. People are hesitant and confused. Our generation has taken a leap forward in fighting the silence on sex, and yet we find ourselves at a helpless loss of words when the 5-year-old asks one fine afternoon, "Mama, where does a baby come from?"

I have thought and spoken a lot about this over the past two years, and being in Germany helped open a new horizon altogether. My view is: start at 3, not with "the big talk", but small age-appropriate little bundles of information. Parents are absolutely pivotal in shaping the child's view on sex and sexuality. From an early age, the child will adapt to the comfort level of the family on these topics. If a natural, unaffected vibe floats in the family about sex, that's the message the child will get : sex isn't a big deal. I say, we have to learn how to make that happen, as very few of us were born into families already inculcated with such an outlook.

Back to the 3-year old: talk to the child about its body, give the child the words for its body parts. Use simple diagrams of a male and a female nude body for this purpose. The child will follow with simple natural questions. Basically the idea is to convey that, "Your body is a very natural thing! You can talk about it openly with us." I am very happy about the "Personal Safety Education" of the NGOs Arpan and Tulir which incorporates such basic sex education. I will post in details about that later. However, we need to keep in mind that, apart from keeping the child safe, the aim of a healthy sex ed is to give a child a healthy and natural outlook on this topic. We want the child to understand, love and enjoy its body. The private areas are just supposed to be kept covered, but they are nothing to be ashamed of! Here the topic of how a child looks at nudity comes in. Let me take up that later again.

Until then, I would like to hear your views...

1 comment:

  1. Nemyslím si, že je potrebná sexuálna výchova ako samostatný predmet. Je potrebné deti sexualizovať ešte skôr, než začnú mať o sex záujem? V normálnom rodičovskom prostredí si dieťa osvojuje návyky rodičov. Dostáva lásku a súčasne si osvojuje lásku dávať. Vytrhnutím sexuálnej výchovy z kontextu rodičovskej výchovy, výchovy k zodpovednosti, dosiahnete, že človek bude vychovavávaný pre sex, pre zbieranie maximálneho pôžitku bez nadväznosti na zodpovednosť.
    Otázka teda znie, čo je to sexuálna výchova, čo má učiť a do akej miery je potrebná.