Traditionally, adolescents in many cultures were not given any information on sexual matters, with the discussion of these issues being considered taboo. Such instruction, as was given, safe sex education traditionally left to a child’s parents, and often this was put off until just before a child’s marriage.
The outbreak of AIDS has given a new sense of urgency to sex education. Burt defined sex education as the study of the characteristics of beings: a male and female. Such characteristics make up the person’s sexuality. Sexuality is an important aspect of the life of a human being and almost all people, including children, want to know about it. Sex education includes all the educational measures which – regardless of the particular method used – may center on sex.
Leepson sees sex education as instruction in various physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of sexual response and reproduction. Evidence shows that a combination of comprehensive sex education and access to birth control appears to decrease the rates of unintended pregnancies among teenagers. A meta-analysis that compared comprehensive sex education programs with abstinence-only programs found that abstinence-only programs did not reduce the likelihood of pregnancy, but rather may have increased it. By emphasizing rights and gender issues, these programs help reduce gender-based violence and bullying, promote safe schools, empower young people to advocate for their own rights, and advance gender equality. Few sexual health interventions are designed with input from adolescents. The 2007 study found that “No comprehensive program hastened the initiation of sex or increased the frequency of sex, results that many people fear.
It is taught over several years, introducing age-appropriate information consistent with the evolving capacities of young people. It includes scientifically accurate, curriculum-based information about human development, anatomy and pregnancy. And it goes beyond information, to encourage confidence and improved communication skills. Human rights issues, gender equality and gender roles should be integrated into every aspect of these discussions. Sexual abuse, gender-based violence and harmful practices should also be discussed. Comprehensive sexuality education “enables young people to make informed decisions about their sexuality and health. These programmes build life skills and increase responsible behaviors, and because they are based on human rights principles, they help advance human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of young people.
Sex education may be taught informally, such as when someone receives information from a conversation with a parent, friend, religious leader, or through the media. Sometimes formal sex education is taught as a full course as part of the curriculum in junior high school or high school. Wilhelm Reich commented that sex education of his time was a work of deception, focusing on biology while concealing excitement-arousal, which is what a pubescent individual is mostly interested in. A survey conducted in Britain, Canada and the United States by Angus Reid Public Opinion in November 2011 asked adult respondents to look back to the time when they were teenagers, and describe how useful several sources were in enabling them to learn more about sex. There are some striking differences on two other sources. Canadians and 35 percent of British had the same experience.
Sex education in Africa has focused on stemming the growing AIDS epidemic. Most governments in the region have established AIDS education programs in partnership with the World Health Organization and international NGOs. The state of sex education programs in Asia is at various stages of development. In Thailand there has been progress on sex education, with the boundaries being pushed forward with each revision of the curriculum. The first national policy on sexuality education in schools was announced in 1938, but sex education was not taught in schools until 1978. It was then called “Life and Family Studies”, and its content consisted of issues related to the reproductive system and personal hygiene.
In India, there are many programs promoting sex education including information on AIDS in schools as well public education and advertising. AIDS clinics however are not universally available. India has a strong prevention program which goes hand in hand with care, support and treatment. We have been able to contain the epidemic with a prevalence of just 0. Shri Gulam Nabi Azad, Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare, 2011. Indonesia, Mongolia, and South Korea have a systematic policy framework for teaching about sex within schools.