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The Importance of Sex Education in the Context of Sexuality

This article has been written in collaboration with Stand We Speak




The concept of sex education has been misunderstood by several people in terms of understanding what it means and constitutes. The term not just includes instructions and information about sexual activity and reproduction but also encompasses a wide variety of topics such as sexual consent, safe sex, birth control etc. Another important concept that sex education throws light upon is human sexual anatomy and the idea behind sexuality, sexual orientation and identities. Sexuality is a broad term which means different things to different people as per what their preferences are. Understanding what the various terms are and what sexual orientation and gender identity mean are important to create an inclusive environment for all.


Sexuality is made up of different things such as; gender identity and roles, sexual orientation, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. People can express their sexuality in their thoughts, desires, attitudes, behaviours, practice, roles and relationships. It is however further influenced by different factors, like, biology, psychology, social settings, economic factors like money, culture, history, religion and spirituality or how you perceive yourself. One’s gender identity and sexual orientation come from ones own preferences and in today’s times, everyone is free to make these choices. However, the ambiguity, stigma and confusion around these topics due to the lack of sex education lead several people to keep their preferences discrete or keep them dwelled in confusion about their identities.

Introducing sex education in schools and universities would help certain individuals figure out their sexual orientation and help in clearing out the misconceptions that come without awareness. A comprehensive range of topics can be covered through sex education that further enables people to gain relevant and reliable information about health decisions relating to sex and sexuality. Topics such as human development help understand the human anatomy concerning reproduction, puberty, sexual orientation and gender identity. Relationships are another important factor that is covered in sex education and having honest conversations about gender and sexual preferences can help people become aware of stereotypes and assumptions they might have about relationships, sex etc.

Sex education that is inclusive of LGBT+ people can help young people learn in a more accepting environment that acknowledges more identities and different experiences among all. Through this, people are given a space to explore their identities in their way in a safe space. The most important topic that sex education touches upon is a discussion around anatomy. Genitals do not equal gender and this is a grey area for several people, therefore, education about specifications of anatomy and describing anatomy itself rather than equating anatomy with ones gender identity is essential in helping people discover their own identities.

Sex education also provides students with appropriate sexual health information they would need and help reduce problems like low self-esteem, anxiety, depression etc. that is caused by the stigma and confusion attached around discovering ones own sexuality. The identity topics addressed in sex education would enable people to see the possibilities for the term and understand who they are in a safe space in the presence of experts.

Therefore sex education is important in understanding and conceptualizing one’s sexuality as it enables them to understand, value and feel independent concerning their bodies and identities. Sex education is not just about puberty and development but also instils that young people have the right to have their identities, engage in safe sex practices with who they want to and say no to unwanted sexual activity as well. Sex education also helps in terms of showing dignity and respect for all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender which further helps in creating a safe and inclusive environment for those who want to discover their identities.

The very few schools/colleges in India that do have sex education programmes focus on teaching students about more conservative matters related to sexuality. They talk about how abstinence until heterosexual marriage is the only moral choice for young people, mention contraception only in terms of failure rates, focus on the heterosexual youth completely ignoring the fact that the LGBTQ youth exists too. Furthermore, they use outdated gender roles and urge “modesty” for all girls while painting all boys as sexual aggressors.

Sex education can be one of the few sources of reliable information on sexuality and sexual health for youth. Hundreds of studies have proved that well-designed and implemented sex education can reduce risk behaviour and support positive sexual health outcomes among teens, such as reducing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates. The youth needs to be educated about these matters before they make assumptions about things due to lack of information and stereotypical stigmas in society. By - Samah Nanda Graphic By - Brijesh Kumar

#sexeducation #mentalhealth #physicalandmentalhealth #lgbtq #lgbtqrights

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Delhi, India

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