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INCLUSIVE SEX EDUCATION

As soon as we enter our teenage, we become curious about a lot of things regarding our self and others. This curiosity is especially evident as we feel a need to start figuring out who we are both mentally and physically. During this time, we are formally introduced to the chapter of Reproduction in Science for the first time in class. Courtesy of the Internet, a lot of children do their research beforehand to quench their thirst for the doubts they have about their bodies and the information they think they need to clear their doubts. However, adolescents at this age must receive medically accurate information facilitated in a very sensitive and accepting environment so that they can have an open discussion regarding any doubt they may have about these sensitive topics with an adult whom they can trust. This professional one-to-one discussion is very important for the youth to fully understand the structure and functioning of their bodies, the changes that are currently occurring in the body, and information regarding the changes that are likely to occur to them physically, mentally, and emotionally as they mature.


A very important topic in this chapter is SEXUAL HEALTH AND PRACTICES that the adolescents are most curious about as this a very new and sensitive concept to them which they get to discuss freely with an adult for the first time. Due to the taboo associated with this topic, this may become very volatile, thus, appropriate dissemination of information regarding the same is very important.


Educating adolescents about their bodies, sexual health, the importance of sexual health, healthy sexual practices, healthy relationships, gender identity, and sexual orientation in a safe and accepting environment is very important because this knowledge helps them build a strong foundation of what should be and shouldn’t be done which helps them follow these understanding from a young age thus, promoting behaviors that reduce the risk of HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus), STIs (Sexually transmitted infections) and pregnancy.


Therefore, an in-depth course of COMPREHENSIVE/ INCLUSIVE SEX EDUCATION is important and necessary. A course that will solely focus on providing medically accurate information about sexual health, consent, sexuality, contraception, and sexual abuse among the youth.


Currently, sex education itself varies widely across the country as India still fights to eradicate the view of sex as a taboo topic and make more and more efforts to make sex education compulsory in elementary schools and employ trained professionals to teach this course. An Inclusive Sex Education curriculum is still a feat India has to conquer.


Inclusive Sex Education refers to the inclusion of information regarding sexual health, practices, and healthy relationships for not only cisgender (a person who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth) and heterosexual relationships but also inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Asexual, etc. community (LGBTQIA+) addressing behaviors, practices, and identities relevant to them.


Inclusive Sex Education is different than Sex education in terms that it takes into consideration and provides room for the experiences and conversations of the LGBTQIA+ community intending to spread information on what healthy relationships and safe sex might be for them. This program of sex education puts a heavy emphasis on gender identities and sexual orientation so that along with information on sexual practices and contraception use for heterosexual and cisgender people, behaviors, relationships, contraception, and sexual health information relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community is also taught to the youth. This helps the adolescents become aware of their bodies and learn information regarding the different practices relevant to the marginalized community of LGBTQIA+ and the language that they should use to be respectful to their peers and advocate for their preferences and gender identities (the gender that a person perceives to be most suitable for them such as cisgender, transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming, etc.)


Inclusive Sex Education can become revolutionary in empowering the youth to make decisions about their relationships and bodies and learn accurate information about contraception, consent, condoms, and sexual abuse in a safe and accepting environment to promote healthy sexual behavior and also help heterosexual and cisgenders to stand up for their LGBT+ community people to fight various assumptions held by people about them and various stereotypes attached to them and advocate for them.


An education that is accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community helps create a more accepting, safe, and respectful environment that helps shed light and acknowledge more and more identities and different experiences of different students. This form of education helps the queer youth to affirm their identities, questioning youth a space to explore their identity and the heterosexual/straight or cis youth to gain the knowledge required to respectfully interact with their peers and advocate for the.


It has been found that among the ages of 18-19 41% of people say that they have little to no idea as to what condoms are and 75% say that they do not know about contraceptive pills or how to use them.


Due to the lack of inclusion of information regarding the health of the LGBTQIA+ community, more than 2/3rd of men who identify as gay or bisexual account for new HIV infections among the age of 13-9 years.


Therefore, a comprehensive inclusive approach to sex education is critical to the health of the youth.


LET’S INCLUDE AND FIGHT FOR A HEALTHY TOMORROW!


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