A European Expert Group explains sex education as an education that aims to develop and strengthen the ability of children and young people to make conscious, satisfying, healthy and respectful choices regarding relationships, sexually, emotionally and physical health. Sexuality education can also be defined as the teaching and learning of topics relating to sex and skills that are needed to develop relationships and manage one’s own sexual health. However, educating students on topics relating to sex safety and the use of condoms may make them rebellious and act out. Sexual matters have become permissive and liberal among young people as a result of this comprehensive sexuality education, exposure to media both foreign and local and the abandonment of important traditional virtues. Teach them instead about virginity, abstinence, responsible parenthood, respect for others and other good moral values that are more honorable and worthy to be associated with.
In Nigeria, problems associated with adolescents’ sexual health include high rates of teenage pregnancy, a rising incidence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), high rates of abortion mortality. Adolescents who become sexually active enter an arena of high-risk behavior that leads to physical and emotional damage. Young men who have sex with men are at high risk for HIV and other STDs are at least two or five times more likely than uninfected individuals to acquire HIV if exposed to the virus through sexual contact.
The so-called comprehensive sexuality education taught in different schools for both the junior and senior secondary students is quite alarming as they teach different immoralities such as the techniques of masturbation, dating, putting on condoms, sexual communications and negotiations, how to do abortion in secret, how to practice “safe sex” in secret without getting pregnant by using contraceptive like IUP, vaginal foams and jellies, diaphragm hormonal implants, oral contraceptive pills, touching and examination of male and female reproductive organ, naked body images, erection, ejaculation, kissing, caressing, sterilization procedure for male by making incision in scrotum and by cutting and tying the vas deferens, sterilization procedure for female by cutting and tying the fallopian tube, infertility or any other similar immoral topics as contained in the textbook.
This kind of exposure will leave these young ones with no choice but to be promiscuous. At several instances, these educators come into the secondary schools’ classrooms with a rubber penis and a rubber virgin to demonstrate to the students on how to put on the condoms and enjoy sex without getting pregnant and without anyone knowing about it. You can not advice a young person on the proper use of condom and expect that he or she does not put it into practice.
The alarming statistics about teen sexual activity in our society today is something else. Among high school students, 54 percent (including 61 percent of boys and 48 percent of girls) say they have had sexual intercourse according to survey conducted in that school. Do not have sex, but here is a way to do it fairly safely” amounts to a green light for sexual activity. The problem is that the comprehensive sexuality education is presented as the safest contraceptive option, but “protected sex” is offered as a “responsible” second option. The emphasis is on “making your win decision” rather than on making the right decision. An abstinence message is further weakened when schools provide condom instruction and/or distribute condoms. Teachers providing condom instruction will commonly demonstrate how to fit a condom to a model (or students may be asked to put a condom on a banana). In the same non-judgmental atmosphere, discussion often includes the pros and cons of different lubricants, special precautions for oral and anal sex, and so on. Some schools take what seems like the next logical step of actually distributing condoms to students. Both actions signal approval of “protected sex” and further undermine abstinence message.
These sexuality educators often cite AIDS as the main justification for “safe sex” education, but research shows that condoms do not provide adequate protection against AIDS (and, especially among teens, may generate a false sense of security). Condoms do not make sex physically safe. For all age groups, condoms have a 10 percent annual failure rate in preventing pregnancy; for teens (notoriously poor users), the figure can go as far as high as 36 percent. By one estimate, a 14 year old girl who relies on condoms has more than 50 percent chance of becoming pregnant before she graduates from high school. Condoms do not prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) either. This is because condoms have invisible holes that are 0.1 micron in diameter, while the holes in HIV are 0.5 micron in diameter.
While AIDS is still relatively infrequent among teens, other STIs are epidemic. Many of these diseases and 80 percent of the time, there are no visible symptoms- can be transmitted by areas of the body that are not covered by contraceptive barriers. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), once very rare, is perhaps the most common STD among teens, infecting 38 percent of sexually active females aged 13-21. Victims may suffer from venereal warts, painful intercourse, or genital cancer. The virus can also cause cancer of the penis. Condoms provide no protection against virus. Chlamydia affects up to 40 percent of sexually active singles; teenage girls are most susceptible. In men, chlamydia can cause infertile sperm; in women, pelvic inflammatory diseases and infection of the fallopian tubes. A single infection in a woman produces a 25 percent chance of infertility; a second infection, a 50 percent chance. Medical research has found that condoms do not significantly reduce the frequency of tubal infection and infertility stemming from this disease. Given, teenagers’ vulnerability to pregnancy despite the use of condoms and the fact that condoms provide inadequate protection against AIDS and no protection against many STDS. It is irresponsible to promote the myth that condoms make sex physically safe.
It does not give unmarried young people compelling ethical reasons to abstain from sexual intercourse until they are ready to commit themselves to another person. Instead students learn that they are being responsible if they use contraception. It does not help students develop the crucial character of quality self-control- the capacity to curb one’s desire and delay gratification. To the extent that sex education, is in any way permissive towards teenage sexual activity, it fosters poor character and feeds into the societal problem of sex-out-of-control. It does not cultivate what young people desperately need if they are to postpone sex; a vision of the solemn, binding commitment between two people in which sex is potentially most meaningful, responsible, and safe (physically and emotionally)- namely, marriage.
By any ethical, educational, or public health measure, the so-called Comprehensive Sexuality Education has been a failure. As a result, Pro-life NGOs like the Project for Human Development (PHD) through the PHD School Club of Excellence is constantly trying in imbibing in the lives of these young ones the virtue of staying abstinent from sex until marriage, the practice of fidelity in marriage and promoting core ethical values as the basis of good character.
A most perfect approach to educating young people in this aspect means helping young persons for the sake of their safety, happiness, and character to see the logic of an “Abstinence, No Buts” standard, often called the “Chastity Education”. This standard says three things;
- Sexual abstinence is the only medically safe and morally responsible choice for unmarried teenagers.
- Condoms do not make pre-marital sex responsible because they do not make it physically safe, emotionally safe, or ethically loving.
- The only true safe sex is having sex with a marriage partner who is having sex only with you. If you avoid intercourse until marriage, you will have much greater chance of remaining healthy and being able to have children.
If we love and respect another, we want what is in the person’s best interest. Does sex without commitment meet the criterion? Can we say that we really love someone if we gamble with the person’s physical health, emotional happiness, and future life, given the current epidemic of STDs, it is possible to argue on medical grounds alone that truly premarital sexual abstinence is the only ethical choice that truly respects self and other
Being that the homes are the first schools for children, it is best they have a proper sexuality education in their homes. Parents should educate their children on what sex is all about, when they should engage in it (inside marriage) with one’s partner only (fidelity in marriage). Adequate knowledge of the many negative effects of pre-marital sex and other immoral actions. I believe if a child is properly informed on all these at home, the immoral sexuality education he or she will be exposed at school will not be able to make any impact on such child. Young people require honest, open and informed communication so as to not fall into temptation and thereby put their lives at risk of teenage pregnancy, abortion, STIs and even death. Chastity education has succeeded where the comprehensive sexuality have failed; it promises self-control and the application of core ethical values.