I learnt about my body as a girl very late in primary school. By the time I hit puberty, I knew very little about my body, reproductive health, and rights. Reproductive and sex education is first introduced in primary school, but only briefly, such that students are left to seek out information on their own.
Girls are raised with little knowledge of their bodies and reproductive health, including their reproductive rights. Our culture doesn't help much because discussing sex and sexual reproductive health in the home is frowned upon. Girls are taught that having sex with boys will result in pregnancy and that is the end of it. When girls and boys encounter unusual situations, they grow up believing they are abnormal.
It is past time for the school system to include sex education and reproductive health and rights as separate subjects, or, if that is not possible, to establish school clubs where young boys and girls can freely learn about their bodies, reproductive rights, and health. Students will have access to all of the information they require without feeling embarrassed or as if it were a class lesson in which they were expected to memorize and then be quizzed later. Even though it is a subject, it should be taught to students as a life skill.
Sex education is designed to help young people gain the information, skills and motivation to make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality throughout their lives-plannedparenthood.org
Let's be honest: in 2022, very few parents discuss sex and reproductive health issues with their children. Many parents and guardians completely ignore the subject, so where do you think these children will get such important information? at school? Where they only get a limited amount of information? Introducing sex education would benefit a large number of children and parents. Imagine a world in which girls and boys are fully informed about this topic, capable of recognizing or reporting abuse, preventing sexually transmitted diseases, and seeking help and resources without shame when necessary. Children should have access to this type of information in order to make their own decisions.
Yes, Children today have access to the internet and can learn almost anything. However, not all information found on the internet is true and reliable, which may lead to further misinformation. Furthermore, even if every child has access to the internet, no parent would want their children raised on the internet, and only a few of these children have access to the internet.
I have heard some people express their concern that sex education should not be taught in primary schools because it might mislead the young children, who might be tempted to try out some things and land themselves in trouble. But, with or without sex education, girls will still become pregnant, and boys will continue to impregnate girls, contract and spread sexually transmitted diseases that could have been avoided if the children had been properly informed.
Girls must be educated about their bodies, including what is and is not normal. I remember feeling strange for the majority of my puberty because I had some signs and symptoms of monthly period that I had never heard of. Years later, I discovered that I had been experiencing what other girls experience during their periods.
Knowledge is power; provide information to the children; a lot of information has never harmed anyone.