Sex ed is important

Friday, June 20, 2014

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Dear Editor,

Anyone with even limited experience working with marginalised youth would know that many are sexually active at an early age. This includes homeless youth, those in shelters, etc. In just about every corner of the world, sexual issues can be a serious problem for the vulnerable.

It is also well known that a high percentage of these youth -- compared to the standard ratio in society -- are LGBT. Quite a few have also been abused sexually and suffer psychological consequences, which often involve becoming sexually promiscuous at a very young age.

While I believe any form of sexual education in schools, or elsewhere, should be approved considering the age and circumstances, we cannot appear prudish on matters pertaining to sex, nor can we ignore the reality that many young people are surprising putting themselves at risk of early pregnancies, STDs, etc, by not making informed decisions.

We must find a sensible balance in this current controversy with sex education and the Jamaicans For Justice and children's homes. We cannot always shy away from topics pertaining to sex and sexual issues, especially when dealing with children, many of whom act on their curiousity quite early.

Sex ed is much more than what we learn in biology. I think it is absurd to suggest that something as personal as one's sexuality can be taught, or there can be any agenda to "groom" anyone sexually. It is quite naive to believe that one can actually be coached to be homosexual or heterosexual or anything else in between.

So, before we start crying foul and playing the blame game, looking to score cheap political points, we should stop and ask ourselves some serious questions. Would it be better to face reality and inform these vulnerable youths about the facts, so they know and understand the risks, in order to make more informed decisions? Or, better yet, abstain from having sex until they are mature adults? Or is it better to do nothing at all, say nothing, and then wait for the consequences?

Pete Delisser




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