Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Youth, Sexuality and Reproductive Health Education

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Youth, Sexuality and Reproductive Health Education

Article excerpt


Adolescence is an age of storm and stress. Research is ongoing throughout the world to study the adolescents' reproductive health and the various problems occurring because of mismanaging of the important developmental changes.

It has been observed globally that there is an increasing need to impart sexuality education in the early adolescent years and also to develop a gender sensitive attitude in youth. Sex education, precisely called 'sexuality education' is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. (AGI, 1994)

Increasing incidences of sexual abuse, irresponsible sexual behaviour and problems are leading to distorted identities and adjustment problems, HIV issues, premarital issues in adolescentspointing towards the need of a 'one to one dialogue' with the youth (Sathe Anant, 2002). Our society is closed or has double standards on sexuality related issues (Panthaki Dhun, 1998). The children need to know about psychological correlates of sexuality along with physiological and anatomical details in a balanced way. It has been observed that people providing sex education may have their own rigid attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexuality and it is important not to let these influence negatively the sex education that they provide (Darroch J.E., 2000).

Some efforts have been made by agencies like TARSHI, indicating that notions of sexuality and norms around sexuality are in a state of tremendous confusion (Khanna Renu, 2008). Also, the national population education trust has identified this need and has published material which can contribute in a balanced training of this topic (NPEP, 2002). A survey conducted by the centre for youth development and activity, points out that 94% children feel the need to get scientific education about sexuality (Kothekar, M., 2008).

The discomfort of parents and teachers regarding imparting this knowledge, reduces sex education to merely reproductive biology, thus disconnecting it from the larger issues of sexuality such as love, relationships, commitment, etc (The Hindu, 2006).Programs which supported both abstinence and the use of condoms and contraceptives, a full two-thirds showed positive behavioural effects (Kirby. D., 2001).

Laws in different countries have different viewpoints towards this issue. Rakesh Meher in 'The Hindu' argues that keeping young people ignorant about sexuality can be counterproductive to their wellbeing. Opinions and attitudes which do not favor the implementation of sexuality education mostly focus on the assumed probability of children drifting away from their educational goals (Bartha D., 2009). They also offend the western world of selling the impression of HIV as a very fierce / deadly disease and caution the society not to get flabbergasted by it without thinking about the real intentions behind (Bhandari M., 2009). On the contrary, Mahatma Gandhi, in one of his writings in 'Harijan' strongly favors teachings young boys and girls the significance and right use of their generative organs (Gandhi M.K., 1936). A study points out that rural mothers were quite ignorant of the various problems of adolescent group pertaining to sexuality but they had a positive attitude towards sex education. Urban women were significantly ahead in expecting information about reproductive system and organs in it than the rural women (Mahajan P., Sharman, 2005).

It has been observed that adolescents are concerned about their sexuality but hesitant to discuss it with the parents of teachers (Sathe A. G., Sathe S. A., 2005). The survey conducted by UNO shows that very end of adolescent age is culminating in married life for nearly 50% of girls (19.3 yrs). Issues like homosexuality, problems of the special needs group are still more complicated (Thatte S., 1999).

The deteriorating / falling sex ratio of girl child is becoming a serious concern for the social thinkers and activists (Shetye P. …

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