Since time and again, conversations about sex has always been awkward. It remains a hush with misguiding, incomplete information. This is because talking about sex was always considered to be bad and immoral. This is by the societal norms that we have made a part of our lives. UNESCO introduced Comprehensive Sexuality Education to simplify this.

Due to a lack of sex education, we have been coming across various situations. These situations cause tremendous turmoil and a huge impact in the life of an individual. These include unplanned pregnancies, the transmission of sexual diseases and sexual exploitation, as well. Recognizing the issue, UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) published an International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. It provides Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). This caters to promote the health and well-being of every individual, respect for human rights. It works on ensuring gender equality and tends to empower young people to lead a healthy, safe and productive life.

What is Comprehensive Sexuality Education?

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a  process that ensures teaching and learning about the various aspects of sexuality. It includes cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects. One of the main objectives of Comprehensive Sexuality Education is to spread awareness. Awareness in the minds of young people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will empower them. It will make them realize the importance of health, well-being, and dignity. Teaches them to develop a respectful social and sexual relationship. It focuses on teaching an individual to be considerate in their choices as it can affect their own well-being and others’. Most importantly, Comprehensive Sexuality Education enables young minds to understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives.

CSE involves programs and topics, like

  • Human Development which includes the process of reproduction, the onset of puberty, sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Involves relationships that an individual has between their circle which results in the formation of families, romantic relationships, friendships and dating.
  • Lays emphasis on an individual’s personal skills, such as communication, negotiation and decision-making attributes.
  • The form of sexual behaviour that one attains, like abstinence ( the practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something) and sexuality throughout life.
  • Sexual health, which involves information about sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and pregnancy.
  • Society and culture, which includes gender roles, diversity and sexuality in the media.

Why do young people require Comprehensive Sexuality Education?

Adolescence is the period where an individual undergoes the transition from childhood to adulthood, a phase where a person is neither too big nor too small to understand and interpret situations. The common phenomenon, of sex and its entailing, often leaves an adolescent teenager to ponder upon questions which arise due to curiosity. As the saying goes, little knowledge is dangerous. With limited knowledge and information, teenagers often make mistakes. They bump into situations that seem too difficult to handle. The reason is that these young people are always bound to receiving confusing and conflicting information about relationships and sex. Pornography addiction is a major issue in such teens.

This is where Comprehensive Sexuality Education comes into action. It prepares young people to have a safe, productive and fulfilling life. CSE is a methodical process which empowers young people to make informed decisions about relationships and sexuality and, also, helps in navigating towards achieving a world where young people are made aware of gender-based violence, gender inequality, early and unintended pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Most importantly, it teaches and assures smart decisions and consent where every individual should understand that NO means NO.

Within the course of time, there have been many policies that state the importance of sex education in the lives of every young budding individual. Teaches them to have safe sex and not be prone to issues like transmission of sexual diseases and accidental pregnancies.

It’s 21st Century already and it’s high time we start progressing our mind-set and having conversations about sex instead of considering it to be immoral. It is time that conversations like this aren’t hushed or looked down upon anymore.