A comprehensive sexuality education should be taught to children from a very young age to increase self-empowerment, a sex expert has said.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a packed ‘Just Sex’ seminar held at Cresta Lodge recently, Sexologist Dr. Elna Rudolph noted that with children having unrestricted access to information, including false and half-baked ones on the internet, and rising cases of child sexual abuse, sexuality education has never been deemed more important than it is now.
While sex education teaches mainly about human bodies, sexuality education includes other issues such as emotional relations and responsibilities. Dr. Rudolph says the need of the hour is age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education. “Young people should be given accurate information in a non-fear based way, and skills that will help them negotiate and take decisions.“The education we give our children needs to be comprehensive and not just be about body parts, STI’s and pregnancy. We need to include pleasure and how one can control themselves (sic) for instance,” she explained.
She said children need to be empowered to understand what consent entails, how to negotiate not doing it immediately and even condom use. “These are more important skills to know than being able to name a list of STI’s.” Sexuality education should start when children are young, even at toddler stage by naming body parts with no sense of shame attached to it.
“Why is it that small children, who do not know what sex is know that there is shame attached to body parts and genitals?” asks Dr. Rudolph. A lot of parents, according to the sexologist, think that having these conversations teaches children to have sex. “But sexuality is so much more than just the physical act of having sex. It includes gender, identity, body image, consent, abuse, roles, relationships, values, and attitude,” she said, adding that a sense of trust should also be instilled in adults so that children feel confident enough to approach them and share their fears and problems.
The sex talk included hot sex topics including treatment for erectile dysfunction, how to last longer, everything about premature ejaculation, how to get an orgasm, how to improve libido and sexual etiquette amongst others.
The organiser of the seminar, Michelle Phetlhe of ESTeRES Boutique Agency said of the event: “We wanted to provide a platform for people to simplify and discuss issues related to sex, consent and everything in between. To make it ‘normal’for different generations to have open conversations about sexual health and wellness before the younger generation especially find themselves in undesirable situations.”
Phetlhe, who hopes to partner with other stakeholders to keep the conversation going, believes that once a strong foundation with sexual consent is embedded in our culture, sex will not seem like such a distant and uncomfortable issue.