Why Comprehensive Sexuality Education is important?

According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 21 million girls aged 15-19 years in developing countries become pregnant, and approximately 12 million of them give birth every year. Whilst these statistics are alarming, we as society, need to recognise the necessity of access to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) to develop and strengthen the ability of young people to make conscious, healthy and respectful choices regarding relationships, sexual and reproductive health which will enable them to have access to accurate information and the safe, effective, affordable and acceptable contraception method of their choice.
More efforts need to be made to ensure young people are informed and empowered to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and make healthy reproductive decisions and have access to services that can help them have a fit pregnancy, safe delivery and healthy baby.
WHY Sexuality Education Matters?
What comprehensive sexuality education does is, it ensures that we focus on educating pre-teenage populations in order to effectively reduce teenage pregnancy statistics, thus reducing the burden it has on the government and its various infrastructures. Additionally, it is important that we ensure that the CSE is a topic that is discussed at grassroot ages on the consent, grooming and communication around other uncomfortable topics regarding sex.
Unfortunately, the reason for these alarming statistics is usually because of sexual grooming – when an adult develops a sexual, emotional trust with a child, in order to exploit them sexually, or abuse them – which tends to happen a lot in our society. In many instances, many of these teenagers are never provided nor afforded the decision of whether or not they want to keep the baby.

More often than not, the groomers tend to leave them to fend for themselves, thus the urgent need to ensure that we advocate for a pro-choice society, which would afford more single woman – especially teenagers who are not ready to be parents – the basic right to choose when to have children and if they want to have children. Moreover, this ensures that every woman and girl-child is afforded the autonomy to choose abortion as an option for an unplanned pregnancy (Neill, 1960, p,138). However, through CSE we may guarantee that abortion is the last method of contraception because we would have ensured that access to safe birth-control pills and condoms was our first and most important way of contraception.

Karabo O. Masia

Humanitarian