With puberty comes the first brush with adulthood and awareness of one’s own sexuality. It’s an incredibly important part of growing up that requires compassionate guidance in order to develop a healthy relationship with one’s sexuality.
Sex education encompasses a wide range of topics such as anatomy, reproductive health, consent, contraception, body image, sexual orientation, body autonomy and healthy relationship patterns. On one level, sex education teaches individuals about their anatomy, reproduction and the results of unprotected sex. It covers avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as how to act in cases of diagnosed STIs. But this is just the starting point.
Sex education is a must and should be available to individuals of all ages, starting in adolescence and continuing through adulthood. Those who have not received sex education are likely to have negative first-time experiences with sexual acts and partners, and face higher risks of unintended pregnancies, STIs, and sexual assault.
Successfully employed sex education reaps numerous societal benefits:
- It’s responsible for lowering the rate of accidental pregnancies through education on the various forms of contraception methods available on the market,
- It helps prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV, and HIV and advises against sexually risky behavior,
- It provides a deeper understanding of one’s anatomy and provides actionable advice on how to take care of one’s sexual health,
- It improves communication and decision-making skills and creates the template for safe, caring and healthy romantic relationship,
- It promotes consent and prevents sexual assault,
- It addresses stigma surrounding sexuality and reduces shame, which are linked to improved mental health, body image and self-esteem.
Bulgaria, similar to its counterparts in Eastern Europe, does not provide sex education in schools as a compulsory part of the curriculum. In a 2019 speech, Bulgarian Ombudsman…
Albania has made significant strides in introducing health and sex education in its educational system since 1995, placing the country ahead of other Eastern European countries…
Sex education is a critical component of a comprehensive education that equips young people, as well as adults, with the necessary knowledge to make informed…
In a similar fashion to its Eastern European neighbors, North Macedonia falls behind when it comes to sex education. Mandatory sex education is far from reality in schools across the country…