Media influence on teenagers can be measured for example, advertising is often directed at children and teenagers. This means that children and teenagers are increasingly conscious of brands and images. You’re not alone if your child has teased you to buy the next ‘in’ thing!
Kids nowadays are interested in sexuality very early in life, they start asking questions like how are babies made as early as 6 years and if they don’t get satisfying answers from adults around them they will try and find answers somewhere else. This “somewhere else” could be either their peers in school, the Internet or pornography. Taking the taboo out and having direct, frank conversations with children on sexuality is possibly the best approach to help them develop a healthy, respectful relationship with their bodies and with others. But our society seem hell bent in disallowing something like this in our schools.
According to some research, Kenyan teenagers want to be taught how to use contraceptives, including condoms and oral pills, as part of sexuality education in school and at home. Because they are already sexually active, they also want to know where to get these products so as to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and prevent unwanted pregnancies.
After social media reaction, I realized that for anyone to have real impact on sexual education issues they need to take a bold and unconventional approach in solving the problem. Pussy footing on the issues won’t cut it. You better teach them what to expect about puberty, sex before they start having it. By doing this not only are we respecting the intelligence by provide them factual and medically true information but enlightening them to make better decision.
I looked at different approaches other countries have employed on sexuality education. Norway have had great success on this issue and we sort to see how exactly they tackle it. For starters they don’t wait until one is 18yrs to openly talk about sex, matter of fact their target group is 8 to 12 year olds, children who have either entered puberty or are about to. In the topic about puberty they convey openly and frankly what happens to the body in the transition from child to adult. How the skeleton grows, why girls bleed, about spots and blushing and involuntary ejaculations. What happens to breasts and sexual organs, how the voice changes and how emotions are in turmoil. In short, how the human body grows and changes from child to adult in order to make babies. Better and deeper, sex education has resulted to lower teen pregnancies and lower abortions rates.
A Norwegian video explaining puberty
The final stage deals with how conception happens. With the aid of models, they show, as clinically and pragmatically possible, how the sexual act plays out. This is a part of mandate to inform children about this aspect of the human body and biology.
A Norwegian video explaining aspects of human body
I believe this is the approach we should take not the subtle -you are too young to know this things- approach. Be as practical as possible with hard truths without fear or shame: Go close up, use visual in storytelling, and be specific.