Coping with Sexual Misinformation
Sex, as a conversation piece, is not the best way to break the ice. This topic is still considered taboo for some conservative countries. More so is the idea of incorporating sexual education into the academic curriculum.
Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders at a Community Health Centers of Arkansas summit on health care said that the lack of sex education in the nation is “deafening” and it makes children vulnerable to sexual assault and sexually transmitted diseases. She added that the country is “paying a very heavy price for not educating our young people.” She also said that abstinence-only sex education programs are unrealistic, adding to it “abstinence-only programs that do not teach contraception will not solve the issue.”
Studies show that most of the youth today who become sexually active, engage in the act without accurate information about reproductive health. This insufficiency of information can increase the risk of unplanned pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Sexual health education can be one means of helping young people prevent these problems and improve their future reproductive health.
According to an expert on adolescent health, sex education programs may be the only way that the youth can learn accurate information about reproductive health. Sex education programs may offer the only setting in which young people can attain the skills necessary to maintain good reproductive health.
Misinformation and misunderstandings about conception, family planning, and STD risks abound among young adults. In Jamaica, research conducted by the University of the West Indies and FHI’s Women’s Studies Project found that a group of young adults had little knowledge about reproductive health issues. The study surveyed about 500 students, ages 11 to 14, as they began an in-school family life education program designed to delay first pregnancy. Students in this group were considered to be at high-risk for early sexual activity.
Because of the lack of information on sex and how to cope with its consequences, a lot of our youth either have unwanted pregnancies and/or STDs, and they don’t know what to do. Further discussion on this matter is necessary, and that’s where sexual health clinics play an important role.
A sexual health clinic is a clinic that specializes in curing sexually-related concerns. Sexual health clinics have been known as venereal disease (VD) clinics, sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics and genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics. Almost every sexual health clinic will, at the very least, have one public health nurse who can discuss sexual issues with visitors and patients and provide referrals to community agencies for additional information. Bigger clinics may have a full medical staff who can provide a full range of sexuality-related test services, including testing for, protection from or treatment of STDs, and perhaps even psychological counseling. Very few sexual health clinics offer abortion services.
The biggest concern for a lot of people is the issue of confidentiality. GUM clinics are aware of this matter, and take every step to protect every patient’s privacy. All material relating to every visit is totally confidential and will never be made available to anybody who shouldn’t see it. If the patient would prefer, they don’t even have to give their name.
Where the school’s duty to inform kids of reproductive health ends, that’s where the sexual health clinic’s duty begins. Being sexually active is a choice and it must me made with utmost care. Know the facts before you jump in the bandwagon and engage in sex.