Gender education is a system of medical and pedagogical measures of education for the parents, children, adolescents and young people aimed at forming of the right attitude towards gender issues. It is a broad topic which includes questions of clothing style, girls and boys manners, their relationships, and rights, which games to play and how to talk etc.
Sex education is slightly narrower; it is the attitude to your body, sexuality and sexual relations. A sexual education is a part of sex education, transferring of the knowledge in that area. Sex education aims at bringing up the man out of the boy and a happy and successful woman out of the girl. In other words to inform children on the peculiarities of the genders and the expected social roles of both male and female. More precisely the aim of sexual education is telling boys and girls about the way the representatives of their genders are expected to behave. It also is aimed to inform children on sexual orientation and to form proper and adequate manner of relationships between future men and women.
In the past ten years, the opinions on the sexual education have become even more controversial. Everybody agrees with the necessity of forming a proper attitude to gender questions but opinion varies on the questions where, when and by whom it should be done.
Sex education of the preschoolers
The process of sex education may be divided into several stages. Children of preschool age should be taught basic hygiene skills and rules of behavior. The tempering of child body is very important as the proper sexual development is closely linked to that physical. One should remember, that the sex self-recognition is a natural process that goes through the satisfaction of the curiosity towards the opposite sex. The child should never be shamed for the “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” game. Just deal with the fact, that many children go through this stage. By shaming the child, you may violate the natural processes of the sexuality formation and mislead the child in the self-perception.
Also, it is necessary to avoid tight or uncomfortable clothing as well as to prevent or to treat in time any worm deceases. It is important to ensure a healthy atmosphere in the family with mutual respect and love. The child’s questions about the so-called “secret of his or her birth” should be answered simply, without going into details. Any fairy tales should be avoided. For normal sexual development and establishment of proper relations between girls and boys – modesty, restraint and willingness to help should be developed in children of the preschool age.
Sex education of teenagers
Yuri Orlov, a Soviet psychologist formed a list of main principles of sex education
- The principle of purpose.
- The “do no harm” principle.
- The principle “do not put to shame”.
- Reliance on the positive examples, including examples of the proper behavior of the authoritative adult. The psychological basis of this principle – a positive emotional reinforcement that creates positive motivation to any behavior and action.
- The principle of individual approach.
- The principle of not creating a sexual desire (based on idea that sexual relationships should not begin earlier than a complete physical maturation takes place)
- The principle of unity of training and education.
- The principle of the system, consistency, complexity.
Sexual education of teenagers
According to age periodization, the adolescence period is from 9-19 years old. During which sexual development from the appearance of the secondary sexual characteristics up to puberty is happening. Psychological processes peculiar to children are substituted by behavior peculiar to adult. That is the period of gaining a relative social and economic independence from parents.
What should the 7-11 years old children know?
- Know about the puberty and changes in the body caused by it.
- Know the biological side of reproductive function.
- Know about changes in emotional and social spheres.
- Know that the friendship – is a manifestation of the multifaceted relations.
- Understand how to build family relations on principles of mutual respect and equality.
What a 11-14 years old should know:
- Be able to discuss the moral values.
- Should know about the existence of various kinds of sexuality and sexual orientation.
- Know biological factors influencing sexuality.
- Know about sexually transmitted deceases.
- Know about sexual violence.
- Know about safe sex.
- Be able to say NO if not prepared to start sexual life.
- Be able to understand other people’s opinion.
- Should understand the responsibility for their own choice.
Teenagers of 14-16 years old should:
- Know the biological aspects of reproduction.
- Know about sexual relations, couples, divorce, separation, death.
- Know the advantages and disadvantages of methods of planning a family and have the idea of birth control
- Know about deviant behavior.
- Be able to discuss in a pair.
- Know basic laws of marriage.
- Know the services where they can get help.
Of course, those rules are constantly changing according to the social standards. The education of young people should be based on positive aspects of marriage, but also on the awareness of risks and problems connected to sexual behavior. The teenagers should not be afraid of the first sexual experience. Young people should have their rights for the mistake. The parents should not be the fear factor, but the loving and caring people, open for a chat.
Peculiarities of teenage sexual behavior
It is obvious that the most important for the formation of the sexual behavior is a role of a peer. According to the statistics, low socio-economic status determines a higher level of teenage pregnancy. Religiosity is another important factor. Religious children start sexual life later than those non-religious due to the imposed religious restrictions. Teenage age is a period of experiments with various kinds of sexual behavior and the best way to help the teenager in that self-recognition pace – is to inform him or her on the key elements of the healthy sexual relationship and the probable outcomes.
Sexual education at school
Sexual education should be a part of a school program and should begin as early as possible. The main aim, of course, is to teach the young people responsibility for their sexual behavior. The professionals should be dealing with that. It’s a good idea to involve medical workers in that as well as special tutors. Doctor, in that case, should be familiar with problems typical for teenage age and gynecology of teenagers. However, there are still a lot of problems in the area of sexual education.
Sex education is a part of person’s’ general education. The problem of sex education is considered one of the most burning in the overall context of the main branches of the educational system. The sex education should begin at the preschool age and should be continued at the later stages of child’s development. The teenage stage is particularly important as in that period the puberty takes place. The problems of sexual education are worsened by the absence of the articulated program that would differentiate the main principles of the sex education at school.