Sexuality can be a scary topic for parents and people alike. Even though sex dominates our lives at every turn, many people are still uncomfortable with discussing it and rightfully so. Society has spent centuries ingraining it into people that sex should be as private as possible; this mentality no longer coincides with the times.
As with everything—education is power. Giving someone the knowledge ahead of time, greatly increases how they handle instances regarding said topic. Treating sex or anything in regards to sex like a sin, can only hurt how people perceive the topic. Children are more susceptible to misinformation or mistreatment when they are not empowered.
The 2010’s has been a decade of sex scandals and revelations. The conversation surrounding these acts revealed how people see victims and perpetrators . This perception is directly derived from the mentality that sex is shameful. After reading the debates about how people process sexual injustice, it’s quite evident that adults needs to educate children more thoroughly.
Sex is normal and natural. Children are going to have questions about sexuality when they discover their body parts. Children as young as 2 and 3 acknowledge what’s on their body. It’s at this stage or maybe a little older when children should learn simple things about their reproductive organs. This can easily be explained while potty training.
As children grow and enter into primary school, they should be able to identify what is appropriate and inappropriate. Having this conversation at a young age could prevent or help stop any abuses. If a child doesn’t know that what is happening to them is wrong, they won’t be inclined to say anything. Unfortunately, it is impossible to protect children all the time because they will be in the care of others. Knowledge can be your best ally in protecting them.
Advancement into preadolescence is especially tricky; the amount of information that is available on the internet is scary. Children are going through a tremendous amount of physiological changes. The body is readying itself for reproduction and hormones are changing their brains and physical appearance. The droves of information that is learned from their friends or from the internet can be misleading. This awkward time is where many people learn the habits that they will take into adulthood.
The truth is that children as young as the age of 12 are initiating and participating in sexual acts. If they are not educated on the basics, implications and consequences then the outcomes are catastrophic. The transmission of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and even sexual assault is occurring among young people because they do not know what they are doing.
Normalizing the topic of sex can help forge healthy attitudes towards the act itself. A young person is going to feel sexual urges and have interest in the changes that are happening. Preventing the suppression of sexual urges by letting them know that it is normal and establishing boundaries can have long term benefits. Suppressing anything is a recipe for disaster because all suppressed emotions eventually resurface. A healthy attitude may also give someone the tools and empowerment to come forward sooner when they are in an abusive situation or dealing with the aftermath of assault. The goal is for people to remain autonomous over their own body.
Sex can no longer exist under the code of silence. For parents, the front line begins here. The unhealthy cycles of sexuality can be curbed if society adopts a more progressive view to the topic. If sex can be displayed on every channel and all over social media, adults can take a minute or two to give their children the tools to know what they are viewing.