As young people grow up, they’ll face many decisions regarding relationships, sexuality, sexual behaviour, and gender identity. These decisions can impact their sexual health and well-being, which is why it’s crucial to receive sexual education. Comprehensive sexual health education can provide young people with honest and appropriate information and skills needed to help them take responsibility for their health and wellness.
Below, you’ll read more about sexual education, its importance, and where to start your journey:
What Is Sexual Health Education?
Sexual health education provides information regarding physical development, sex, sexuality, and relationships. It helps young people develop skills to communicate and make informed decisions about their sexual health. According to Action Canada, comprehensive sexuality education is a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about all aspects of sexuality. That means that education should be provided in public schools or sexual health clinics and taught by trained teachers or health care providers.
The teachings should cover a variety of aspects, such as:
- Sexual violence prevention
- Body image
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unintended pregnancy
Teachers should respect young people’s right to obtain accurate and honest information about sexual health and development.
Why Is Sex Education Important?
Sex education covers a wide area of topics through many grade levels. The goal is to help young minds understand the importance of sexual and reproductive health, as it can assist with the following:
- Communication About Sexuality/Health: Sexual health education breaks down the walls when it comes to communicating openly with parents, friends, and partners about sexuality.
- Autonomy Over the Body: Comprehensive sex education teaches people about puberty and reproductive health and helps them understand that they have the right to decide what they want to engage in.
- Understanding Relationships: Through sex education, people can learn about healthy and unhealthy relationships. They can learn effective ways to communicate during relationships and manage conflicts, as well.
- Avoiding Negative Health Consequences: Sex education can help people learn skills to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Unplanned Pregnancy: Young people can learn about contraception and resources regarding unplanned pregnancy.
- Dignity and Respect for All People: As we move forward with increasing our understanding of marginalized individuals, youth can learn about discrimination, harassment, and how to respect people from all walks of life.
Our Role in Sex Education
S.H.A.R.E. is an educational branch of Atwell Centre that helps students, parents, and teachers understand the value of healthy relationships and sexuality. The program is a three-session developmental learning plan focused on many of the intricacies of sexual and reproductive health. Throughout our sessions, we encourage students to ask questions about sexual health.
While S.H.A.R.E. is one of many sex education programs available, we also provide additional resources and information about sexual health programs.
Every young person has the right to live a healthy life. That’s why it’s paramount to learn about sexual health to ensure they can make informed decisions. For more information about sexual health education programs or tips for talking to young people about sex, contact us at Atwell Centre. Our S.H.A.R.E. facilitators, registered nurses and staff ensure everyone receives respect and dignity when learning about sexual health.