Sexuality Education of Children and Adolescents

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Sexuality is embedded in the human personality as an inseparable part of it. Sexuality is intimately connected with all the other components of the psyche; they affect it as well as it affects them. One’s behavior in the sexual realm can only be understood if one knows the whole personality. And knowledge of sexuality greatly helps in interpreting reactions in other areas of life.

Thus, by educating a young person, we automatically educate their sexuality. That is why the sexual education of young people is necessarily an integral part of general education. However, it is often mistaken to try to ignore the sexuality of children and youth in general education, and then at a certain period of their lives, usually during puberty, in a concise way, in a few lectures or conversations with young people to solve the problem of their proper orientation in sex life.

The upbringing of a person begins from the beginning of their life, and then sexual education begins. Sexuality is innate in people and accompanies them all their life. That is why the cultivation of the sexual part of their personality should keep pace with their entire development, education and the shaping of their personality. Every educator, whether natural or professional, is a representative of one or the other sex. They also affect the child with their sexuality, so they inevitably carry out the sexual education of the young person, whether they wants to or not. Therefore, every educator is obliged to think about how to provide the child with the most positive sex education possible. If they do not do that, there is a danger that they will negatively affect the formation of the sexual part of the hild’s personality.

Although we consider sex education to be an integral part of the general education of children and youth, we still present it separately. We do so in order to emphasize its importance in the psychic development of a person, because it is overestimated; to point out its breadth and complexity, because it is understood too narrowly and one-sidedly; and finally to warn of the major and worrying consequences of the neglected, negative sexual upbringing of a young person. For a person cannot but be sexually brought up: they do so in a positive or negative way; there is no third possibility.

The meaning of sex education as part of mental development is that it builds in a young person three very important life attitudes:

a) attitude towards sexuality and its role in human life;

b) attitude towards the opposite sex and towards the relationship between the sexes in society and in private life;

c) attitude towards one’s own sexual role and one’s sexual value.

The attitude of an individual in sexual life, their successes in that area and the degree of satisfaction and happiness in sexual activity depend on these attitudes.

Sex education of a young person cannot and must not be limited to teaching about the philosophy of sexual life. Human sexuality is not only a biological, but equally a psychological and social phenomenon. That is why young people should be shown sexuality in all its forms: as a natural need and instinct in a person, as a drive of strong emotional reactions and conflicts, as an important factor in interpersonal relationships and social value of the individual. We experience our sexuality much more on the emotional than on the intellectual level of our psyche. Therefore, knowledge of sexuality alone is not enough; above all, a healthy, realistic attitude towards it is needed. It is more of an emotional than a rational function in a person, so it cannot be learned as much as it can be nurtured.

Proper sex education of the young generation can play a very important role in preventing various mental ailments, mental illnesses and socially negative phenomena. So called nervous people, irritable, grumpy, explosive and aggressive people, and people with “weak nerves”, are often individuals who do not know how to achieve their sexuality in a full-fledged way because their life development has not enabled them to do so. The cause for various neuroses and other mental disorders often need to be looked for in the wrong psychosexual development of a sick person. Chronic dissatisfaction in sexual life in many cases reduces work ability, and is very often the cause of passionate alcohol consumption.

Improper sexual upbringing is a significant cause of failure in marriage, conflicts between the sexes, toxic emotional atmosphere in the family, and hence the cause of the wrong general upbringing of the young generation. Anarchy and irresponsibility in sexual life, maintaining prostitution, spreading sexually transmitted diseases, a large number of unwanted pregnancies and violent abortions – all these are largely the consequences of the negative educational impact of the environment on the formation of the sexual part of a young person.

It is the task of all educators, in the family, at school and in the wider community, to provide children and youth with a systematic and full-fledged sex education. It has certain goals within the goals of general education:

1) to help a young person reach a satisfactory degree of psychosexual maturity; it will be manifested in the fact that all three components of their sexuality — instinct, love, and the birth of offspring — always appear as an inseparable whole;

2) to motivate young people to satisfy their sexual urge and use their sexual functions only in contact with that person of the opposite sex with whom they have established an intimate emotional relationship in terms of true sexual love;

3) to enable the young generation to feel safe in their sexual role and to treat sexuality in a natural and realistic way, taking a scientific, dialectical-materialist attitude towards it;

4) build full confidence in the other sex and in the gender relationship; instill confidence in the possibility of a happy marriage; develop the ability for full-fledged sexual love, for equal treatment and respect for the opposite sex;

5) instill a sense of responsibility in sexual life, equally towards oneself and towards one’s partner, as well as towards one’s offspring and towards the whole community.

The means of sexual education are equal to those in the general education of children and young people. The most powerful tool is the example of educators, their own behavior, their interpersonal relationships. Thus, the sexual personality of educators, their attitude towards persons of the opposite sex and their conduct in the sexual field is a very important means of sexual education. Then the educator’s procedure with the child is of great importance. In sexual education, such an action of a parent of the opposite sex is especially important, although it is not unimportant how a parent of the same sex treats a child. A further means of sex education is the sexual mentality, precisely the sexual philosophy of the environment in which the young person develops. And finally comes a direct lesson on sexuality, information and advice that the environment gives to a young person in the sexual field.

All of these means of sex education should be considered when thinking about what the content of proper, positive sex education should be. Above all, there is a harmonious marriage of parents, proper general upbringing of the child, healthy, sexually balanced personality of parents, positive relationship between siblings in the family, i.e. among children of different sexes in children’s groups, healthy, natural, sexual mentality of the environment, reasonable attitude towards manifestations of child sexuality, and a real lesson for young people on the issue of human sexuality. The content of sexual education should also include sexual re-education of young people who have already been wrongly brought up for sexual life, as well as individual assistance to young people who have difficulties in the sexual field.