Sex-Ed 101

Posted on April 12, 2010


Of late there’s been talk (well, heated debate anyway) of the need to integrate Sex-Ed into school curricula. And although this discussion in itself is a big enough move on its own, this seems to be as far as its going to go here in the UAE.For it seems that the majority of parents are opposed to the idea, claiming that their children are too young to have to be taught ‘this stuff’ and that even in higher grades this subject is an unnecessary addition to the timetable.

It’s a shame really. All you have to do is look around to realize that your kids aren’t as sheltered as you’d like to believe. Cliques of tweens are strutting their stuff in malls carrying IPhones and BBs, listening to crass lyrics and heading to cinemas where even PG movies remit subliminal messages of sex. You might have been able to reassure yourself by blocking out ‘certain’ channels from your TV package, or by making it a point to be omnipresent with regards to their internet usage; but we all know that there’s no such thing as a 100% protection.

The problem lies in our warped understanding of the term protection. Defined in dictionaries as “preservation against harm,” it is often misconstrued that this ‘preservation’ refers to the shielding of the protectee from impending danger; when in fact nowhere does it imply that protection is synonymous with enforcing complete oblivion. Instead of having your children walk blind-folded through this ‘big, bad world,’ why not open their eyes to it instead?

Clearly I’m touching on a sensitive subject, and my not being a parent doesn’t really give me the liberty to judge; but I say this after having compared my generation of teeny-boppers to the current 5-going-on-20 mentality of kids today.

Sex is not a dirty word, nor should it be glorified either. By depriving children of information they feel they deserve to know, we’re not protecting them but are instead leaving them no choice but to resort to other methods of finding out for themselves.

So they’ll probably ask around; and on finding that more and more grown-ups are unwilling to discuss this topic in particular, this once simple query becomes a quest.

For the minute anything (let alone sex) comes across as taboo, you know they’re going to want to dig up the dirt. “Ooh…I should google it; maybe they’ve even got pictures! Besides, I’m sure YouTube will have a video on it or something.

Long gone are the gullible days of yore where storks were passed off as couriers of offspring. There are now enough and more media for kids to prove otherwise.

I remember my very first encounter with the ‘s-word’ was from the distorted perspective of other kids in school. Like a bad game of Chinese Whispers, hushed uncertainties were passed on with brave assurances; so much so that the general perception was so far from the truth that now on looking back it’s almost farcical. Thankfully, I opted for the Science stream, and within a few classes all misconceptions I had were effectively cleared. Cleared to the point that the science of intercourse actually became quite boring. Nothing ruins an exciting subject more than having to study it, it seems.

At the end of the day however, there’s only so much parents can do to prevent their child from going awry. But just like confrontation is the best solution to most conflicts, educating the young-uns on those euphemistic birds and the bees I feel, is the ideal salve for curiosity.

It’s disturbing having to see headlines splashed across dailies, about boys and girls as young as 11 or 12 being thrown into the pits of parenting. In most cases these kids had no clue what they were in for, and hadn’t even fully comprehended their doings completely. Here, a little knowledge could’ve gone a long way.

So yea, I’m with the Aye-team on this one. Sex education should be implemented in schools, and information on the subject should be age-appropriate, yet satisfactory.

For now more than ever, information is very readily available; we just have to ensure that we’re the ones dishing it out

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Posted in: education, UAE