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Mariam Sambe

Researcher - Health Education,

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Who's responsibility is it to teach sex-education? Parents or Schools?

Many schools in the West are no longer giving sex-education in schools. And, unfortunately, most parents are uncomfortable to talk to their kids about sex. Hence, youngsters end up getting partial or even incorrect information from the internet. In my opinion, teenagers MUST receive proper information about safe sex practices before they engage in sexual practices. But, who's responsibility is it to give it to them?


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    May 30 2013: The responsibility should be the parents.

    The reality, is society.....through racey advertising, tv programs, music, pornography...sex is everywhere.

    This is very sad....and the cause of alot of unwanted teenage pregnancies, and single moms, not to mention STD's....and emotional traumas.

    Mariam, how long have you been in Health Education?
    What is your take on what is happening with today's youth?
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      May 30 2013: Hi Mary,
      Thanks for the response. Parents have the responsibility to teach their kids about sex, but when they don't do it, teacher may have to take over I think.

      I've been in health education for about 8 years.

      Today's youth are surrounded by so much technology that it is affecting (in a good and bad way) they way they communicate and the way they get information. Technology is growing so fast that what happened to a youth 2 years ago is different from what will happen to his little sister today. Hence, the importance for parents to quickly adapt. Like Adesh said above, it is fundamental for parents AND teachers to be properly educated to give sex-education, but to also speak in the langue youth understand.
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        May 30 2013: Hi Mariam,

        As a teacher, I will say, that I was never....NEVER....prepared to give sex education talk to my students.

        Oh, well, yes, they gave us materials, but a workshop, and information given in a class environment, where we, the educators, could ask questions on how to best deal with teaching this information.....Nope....never.

        Many adults are very insecure about talking to children regarding this most important topic.

        I have educated my own children early on about their body, and about sex.
        Watching tv programs (what few are left that are appropriate) always, and I mean always, provide teachable moments..........not really through the program, but through the commercials.

        Ever been in a room with a 6 year old when a Victoria Secret commercial comes on?
        It's disgusting (our remote is always on hand)............even worse are their catalogs. That's just one example that quickly comes to mind.

        There is wonderful information out there for parents to educate themselves on how to teach their children about sex, and what is appropriate at each stage of development.

        I don't think that it has any place in school. But unfortunately, since many parents have failed to do their job, then many school districts have incorporated it into their curriculum.

        Have you found one particular resource that is helpful for parents when it comes to teaching about sex ed?

        Can you provide a link? Or the name of a book?
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          May 30 2013: No actually, I haven't. Other than the one you just sent me. That's actually why I am posing this question here.
          I never received sex-education from my parents (big taboo in my culture), so I got it from friends and school. This is the reality of most African and Asian countries where talking about sex is not common, so kids receive their sex-ed in high school (which can be too late as they reach early-teen in middle school or primary school).
          I'm very glad to see everyone's answers here.
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        May 30 2013: Mariam, the not talking about sex ed is not mutually exclusive to African and Asian cultures.
        I am Cuban, and it is tabboo in our culture as well.

        Little by little those of us who have been raised abroad are making changes and seeing the value of educating our little ones.

        I wish you much success in your endeavor.
        Let me know through email if I can be of further assistance.


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