Talking About Sex Education
According to the article, the inclusion of discussions about relationships, gender, and power dynamics in sex education is more likely to result in positive sexual and reproductive health outcomes as compared to traditional sex education programs where the emphasis is on basics such as discussions about sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and having protected sex. This is an encouragement for people to embrace and discuss issues of power more in their sex education programs.
In the article, the interviewee’s perspective is that discussion of relationships in general, gender, and power dynamics is more important and fruitful when it comes to addressing relationship-related and sexual-related problems. I am in agreement with this perspective for various reasons. In sexual matters and relationships, males often have a say and control over what ought not or what ought to be done, unlike the females. Thus, by having knowledge obtained through traditional sexual education programs such as having protected sex, how to avoid pregnancy, or how to avoid STDs, females cannot have an equal say to males when it comes to sexual matters and relationships. In most cases, female individuals with such knowledge still end up getting pregnant or contracting STDs given the dominance and power of male individuals (Haberland, 2015). However, when female individuals are empowered, they are likely to engage their male partners in discussions on the need to have protected sex, which in the long run prevents pregnancy and STDs (Grose, Grabe, & Kohfeldt, 2014). This argument is supported by the finding that only 17 percent of traditional sex education programs lower sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy rates whereas 80 percent of programs that discuss relationships, gender, and power dynamics lower these rates.
Grose, R. G., Grabe, S., & Kohfeldt, D. (2014). Sexual education, gender ideology, and youth sexual empowerment. The Journal of Sex Research, 51(7), 742-753.
Haberland, N. A. (2015). The case for addressing gender and power in sexuality and HIV education: A comprehensive review of evaluation studies. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 41(1), 31-42.