Sex education, which is sometimes called sexuality education or sex and relationships education, is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. It is also about developing young people's skills so that they make informed choices about their behavior, and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices. It is widely accepted that young people have a right to sex education, partly because it is a means by which they are helped to protect themselves against abuse, exploitation, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV / AIDS. (Forrest, 2003)
In contemporary times, it has come to everyone's knowledge through the media that children are not safe, as several of them have been sexually abused. The biggest reason for this happening is not just the working of ill-minded adults who take advantage of gullible children, but also a lack of awareness on the part of parents and their children. If parents were more aware of how much risk their children are at there would be far greater chances of children preventing themselves from being taken advantage of sexually.
Sex education is a subject area within the broad framework of community awareness. It is a subject that has become increasingly important for all age groups of growing children as well. Parents cannot always be around their children and guide them 24 hours a day, so by creating awareness among children is essential so that they can protect themselves. In order to this, it must be emphasized again that parents first of all need to be taught more about the issue of sex abuse and educated about sex in general.
As a consultant for sex education in a community, it is this individual's task to design a curriculum for a 4-week Sex Education program for parents. The goals of the Sex Education program should encompass providing parents with the appropriate tools and information to effectively teach their children age appropriate sexual information. However, due to severe budgetary constraints, the Community agency that hired the consultant can only offer one program. This results in the consultant being limited to providing parents with sex education relevant to one particular age group.
The age group to be included in the sex education program for parents includes ages 5 thru 9 (Middle Childhood). This age group among the others has been selected because of the fact that this is the age at which children are largely emerging from their homes and exploring their community. Children who are below this age group are usually under supervision at home or at school, and are also less likely to indulge in sexual activity through curiosity. Middle Childhood aged children are extremely inquisitive and need to know things about themselves, their growth, their behavior, and their relationships with others. (Koop, 2003)
In the community, it appears that there is an immense emphasis on relationship building, and so there is more than enough scope for implementing a strategy that would ameliorate understanding of sex and sexuality. Since parents are keen for community based awareness through the meetings that are held, the task of implementing strategy directed at sex education for parents of Middle Childhood aged children is appropriate.
Due to the fact that there is at least some knowledge of children of this age group being targeted by adults the exercise has been queued. It must be emphasized at this point that children of the age group in discussion have better chances of preventing themselves from indulging in sexual activity in the future when the topic of sex and sexuality is more open. They tend to have a broader approach to the subject and are not intimated. As a result of in-depth knowledge and discussion of sex at an early age tend to have broader thoughts and are not inclined to curious actions when they near puberty. Of course this does not mean to say that none of them will ever indulge in sex and get into trouble, but what is mean is that the program would certainly succeed in changing the current state of sexual activity among the youth and also prevent many children from being harmed sexually by adults. Four major components that need to be included in a sex education program for parents include teaching their children about sexual identity, types of relationships, building better communication, and also knowledge of potentially negative outcomes of indulging in sexual activity.
In the four-week sex education program for parents, each of the four core components may be focused on. In addition to focusing on each of them it is also necessary to include the essence of the other three components in order to establish a relationship among the four components.
This is the first part of the education program in which parents will be taught about the core differences according to biological and psychological theory. This is important because of the fact that it provides a firm foundation on which first of all adults can understand the concepts that follow. With a clear understanding of the concept parents may then proceed to use their discretion when explaining things to their children. However, simply knowledge of the theory will not suffice, as there is also a need for parents to communicate these to their children. They must first beware of how to communicate these as well. (Koop, 2003)
It is vital for parents to be shown the core differences between the sexes on a theoretical level, accompanied by the psychological approach of particular individuals. This refers to the manner in which some people are different to others. An understanding of this would aid parents in becoming aware of particular people and also encouraging their children to watch out for danger signs and also preventing themselves from contact with people. At this point in the program relationships will receive greater focus, as this is following component of the program. (Koop, 2003)
Knowledge of type of relationships that children may get caught up in should be explained in detail. These relationships may include all kinds ranging from parent-child ones to stranger-child ones. However, the core of the discussions will be centered on relationships between peers and relationships with elders. The latter encompasses relationships of Middle Childhood aged children with adults inside and outside the family. This part of the curriculum is extremely essential due to that it aims at preventing children from being lured into sexual practices that they know little about. Balancing the awareness aimed at from this angle, children should also gain from this program, as they are taught about what the implications are in relationships with peers.
With all the knowledge of relationships that children might indulge in, parents and children might be intimated far beyond what is intended. So, in order to prevent this there is a need to also emphasize on discretion that parents and children need to implement at this stage in their lives. While emphasizing this point, better communication is suggested. Communication is an important factor because without it this whole sex education program would be futile. (Koop, 2003)
The role of communication is vital, as it is this factor that ensures that whatever is achieved in the first two components of the sex education program will be fruitful. Communication is essential to focus on because of the fact that Middle Childhood is a stage at which children are often neglected by their parents. Their problems are overlooked, and as a result they do not even inform their parents when they face problems at school or with people. This is something that parents are advised to work upon if they really wish to ensure their child's safety. Communication with one's child should never suffer any lapse, and children of this age should be guaranteed that their parents are there to support them in times of need. With communication kept unbroken, it becomes easier for parents to discuss dangers that they children might be in, even if children argue that they are not. At the very least, they would oppose a parent's view but will not out their parents completely. (Koop, 2003)
Potentially negative outcomes: Explaining the dangers to children is also important, and parents are advised to go ahead with this as a regular feature in their communication. They cannot overemphasize it with the children, but it should be made clear to children by their parents that they are very mush aware of what is dangerous activity. Regarding sexual abuse, this is essential, and in the future too sexual activity with peers would be taken more seriously. Parental guidance is the most important when dealing with these two areas in a child's life because there most probably will not be any other adult in the family who would so much time advising and drilling awareness into them. (Koop, 2003)
Conclusion: Sex education programs for parents are vital in spite of them being accused of failure in recent times. Undoubtedly, these programs may not…