Children are the most valuable assets in human life. They are active, dynamic, and enthusiastic people who want to know what they see, hear, and feel. However, the puberty stage changes their life. At this time, they will be curious about the changes in their body. They may be sexually harassed, and open to domestic violence and intimidation. In this sense, there is a need for a child to be guided, nurtured, honed, cared for, and counselled by his/her parents and teachers.
Islamically, sex education is more broadly understood as a set of wise rules that children/adults can use to protect themselves from the unacceptable such as adultery, masturbation, fornication, and deviant sex, among others. It tends to explain the ethics, morals, religious, social, and other knowledge needed by someone to be able to understand themselves as sexual beings. More so, Islam has set some rules guiding the association between men and women.
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Humans as sexual beings have a fundamental need to continue regeneration. Since birth, humans have a sex drive themselves. Allah says in surah-Arrum, verse 21. “In the process of life, humans have had sexual desires from birth”. Children will experience stages of sexual maturity when they are in their early teens. They will experience hormonal changes that affect physical changes. This change is a stage that can not be denied to occur in every child before adolescence. So, parents should educate their children on the basic education of sex. A child should receive his first knowledge from his home because the child is like a white cloth being shaped by his family.
In western countries, particularly America, it is believed that sex education has helped in reducing unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of diseases. Most Americans adhere closely to the Judeo-Christian inheritance on human dignity, and marriage, and often see sexuality as inseparable from this context. Sex is directed and indeed limited to marriage. For them, sex education is directed only to mechanics – how to avoid the transmission of disease and pregnancy.
In conclusion, the need for sex education is pertinent and imperative in this 21st century, for it has been brought to our shores by globalisation such that children are exposed to the internet, child abuse, electronic gadgets, social media, and sexual harassment which easily breed the moral decadence we experience today amongst the youths.
Abdulazeez Alhassan is the President, Universal Writers and Authors, writes from Kaduna