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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: Parents.

    However, other trusted adults should not be ostracized for answering questions.

    It would be prudent to first ask the child,"Have you asked your parents about that?".

    For the adults concerned about the potential consequences, it might be also prudent to talk to the the parents prior to responding, or have another adult present. But teachers, nurses, doctors, other family members, or even close family friends should not feel cornered if the question gets asked, particularly about the physical aspects.

    I think questions like "should I" or "shouldn't I" might be better parental questions though, as they are setting moral boundaries and carry some pretty severe potential consequences.

    Perhaps we should also set the minimum age somewhere at the beginning of adolescence.

    Parents responsibility though.
    • May 31 2013: Agreed, Robert.
      When I was a kid, the entire bottom plank of the bookshelf was dedicated to our books. I would peruse and select a stack of them before going to bed. One day, I found a new book in between the Dr. Suess-es and the A.A. Milne-s, a book called 'What's Happening to my Body', one for girls, and one for boys.
      I didn't know where these books came from, but would 'sneak' them to my room and look at them on my own. I assumed, they had somehow accidentally landed on my bookshelf, but I wasn't about to tell my Mom about it!
      Only years later, did she tell me, that she purposefully planted those books between mine.
      It was a slightly underhanded, yet ingenious way to help me discover things about sex privately, and in my own tempo, which helped me be more open about discussing sex later on.
    • Jun 12 2013: I have led the "parent discussions" by folks who want their kids opted out of programs teaching sex - ed. I have no problem with that. I always shared a couple of basic statements. First, talk with your children about this topic. Second, encourage your child to talk with other trusted adults on this topic. Allow them to get as much good information from people they trust on a serious issue.

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