The importance of sex education

Countries increasingly recognize the importance of equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need to make responsible decisions about their lives. Comprehensive sexuality education empowers young people by improving their analysis, communication and other useful life skills with a view to ensuring health and well-being in terms of sexuality, human rights, values, healthy and respectful relationships, norms cultural and social, gender equality, non-discrimination, sexual conduct, violence and gender violence, consent, sexual abuse and negative practices.

There is significant evidence of the impact of sexuality education on sexual behavior and health. The data highlights that:
• Sexuality education has positive effects, including increasing young people’s knowledge and attitudes about sexual and reproductive health and behaviour.
• Sexuality education, both in school and outside of it, does not increase sexual activity, risky sexual behaviour, or rates of STIs and HIV.
• Programs that promote abstinence alone have been shown to have no effect on delaying sexual initiation or reducing the frequency of sexual intercourse or the number of sexual partners, while programs that combine delay of sexual activity with the use of condoms or other contraceptive methods are effective.
• “Gender-focused” programs are significantly more effective than programs that do not integrate gender considerations in achieving health outcomes such as reduced rates of unwanted pregnancy or STIs.
• Sexuality education achieves better results when school programs are complemented with the participation of parents and teachers, educational institutes and health services designed for young people.
Comprehensive sexuality education plays an essential role in the health and well-being of children and young people. By applying a learner-based approach, it not only provides children and young people, progressively and according to their age, with an education based on human rights, gender equality, relationships, reproduction, risky sexual behavior and disease prevention from a positive perspective, emphasizing values ​​such as respect, inclusion, non-discrimination, equality, empathy, responsibility and reciprocity.

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