The Lack of Sexual Education

The lack of sexual education promotes a society in which people are unware of their bodies, how to express their inner desires, how to deal with insecurities, and even more shocking, limits the way we relate to others in a healthy, respectful and consensual way. The issue we are dealing with is a worldwide reality, given that  we lack the capacity to build sexual-affective relationships in which the people involved agree, feel heard, respected and accepted.

If we explore the issue, we understand that the lack of information in the sexual field contributes to violent, stereotyped, racist, homophobic, pathriarcal and prejudiced  relationships. In addition,it leads to a multitude of other problems, such as a high percentage of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted deseases (STDs), and HIV (being these the most frequents),(American Academy of Pediatrics,2016). 
This is due to the lack of information on the subject in both young people and adults, this means that if the latter did not receive an education in this regard, it's very difficult for them to have enough means to talk about it. 
The failure in the learning process about sexual relations is also subject to the fact that nowadays sexual education must adjust to the current circumstances. By this, we mean that it should be formal and informal learning, being a compulsory subject at schools that is supported in the private life of every single student. However, there are currently too many sources of exposure where young people get to know different ways of relating to others they believe are appropriate and put into practice. And, as we mentioned before, adults that lack suitable information are minimally aware of the sexual life of the adolescents, nor how they practice it.

Despite this, sex education is mandatory by law in most of the countries of the EU, the content, quality and frequency will vary due to the different cultural and religious tradition, and financial issues.

While Eastern and Southern European countries have deficient sexuality education programms, Nordic countries and Belenux are known for having the highest quality of sexual health education. France, Germany, Benelux and Nordic countries have the best practice, while for example, in Poland, sexuality is taboo.
According to the document about Policies for Sexuality Education in the European Union ‘The teenage pregnancy rate stands between 2 and 5% in the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Estonia in Europe, but it is under 2% in most of the EU member states.’. And in 2013, over 2,2 million people were reported to be HIV positive in the WHO EU Region, with London being the capital city with the highest rate. Meanwhile, other countries such as Spain or Slovakia are most concerned about the STDs.
All of the above are some examples of how sex education is deficient, which means that most of the European countries need to change their sexual health education models, as well as developing finer prevention campaigns.

But how do we do it?

 Do we only want to prevent early pregnancies and high rates of STD’s?

 As a starting point, the methodology should be modified, increasing the list of topics, and mentioning sexuality, sexual health and sex education, emphasizing the importance of each issue, wich are different from each other but are interrelated. And beyond that, as mentioned in the article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics,Children and adolescents should be shown how to develop a safe and positive view of sexuality trough age-appropriate education about their sexual health. (…) through the 3 learning domains: cognitive (information), affective (feelings, values, and attitudes) and behavioral (communication, decision-making and other skills.) ‘.

So, as we mentioned before, the failure in the learning process about sexual relations is also subject to important society issues, but with the commitment of all of us, we can still work together to find new ways of teaching and learning essential methods to relate and cooperate with each other.

 Article by África Zapater.






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