Have you had THE conversation with your children yet?
Yes, I’m talking about that conversation, the dreaded sex talk. As a parent, you know you are going to have lots of tough talks with your children about difficult topics such as drugs, alcohol, and smoking, to help them make good and responsible choices.
But the sex talk must be the most uncomfortable of all, a clear reminder that your child is losing his or her innocence and becoming an independent adult.
Schools are the best place to learn about sex
Let’s be clear about one thing: we’re not advocating you completely delegate sex ed to school teachers. As a parent, it’s your job to teach your children values about sex and to keep the conversation going to make sure they’re receiving a good education. But parents often don’t have all the up-to-date information about contraception, STDs, and other important topics your children need to know about. The internet, their peers, and porn are even less qualified sources that often promote inaccurate facts too.
A trained professional in a position of respect and authority inside a school is better able to teach them what they need to avoid unwanted pregnancies, diseases, and abusive relationships. Can you think of anyone better to help you in this difficult challenge?
A lot of parents are reluctant to teach their children about contraception because they worry it may encourage them to have sex as soon as possible. Nothing could be further from the truth.
According to research conducted by the Guttmacher Institute (Sex Education Linked to Delay in First Sex), teenagers who were taught both about abstinence and birth control waited longer than their friends who had received no sexual education to have sex for the first time. They were also more likely to use a form of contraception.
The UK has the highest teenage birth and abortion rates in Western Europe (Teenagers: sexual health and behaviour factsheet). By pushing back the age at which people first engage in sexual intercourse and encouraging the use of condoms and other forms of contraception , comprehensive sex ed helps to naturally reduce the rate of teen pregnancies and abortions.
Condoms don’t just protect your children from unwanted pregnancies. They also keep them safe from STDs, which are incredibly common among teenagers. According to FAP (Teenagers: sexual health and behaviour factsheet), “young people aged less than 25 years experience the highest rates of STIs in the UK”. Teenagers who have received a comprehensive sex ed are more likely to use condoms and stay healthy and safe.
Gone are the days when couples would wait until marriage to enjoy sex. As much as you’d like your children to remain sexually innocent forever, that’s just not going to happen. Not even among the most conservative of Christians.
Sticking to the belief that teaching sex ed in schools is inappropriate only puts their health at risk unnecessarily. Let’s face reality and give them the best possible sexual education we can.
Support compulsory, modern and inclusive SexEd in schools!
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