Thinking that everything kids need to know about sexuality is for the school to teach is a mistake.
Sex education is, first and foremost, the family’s responsibility; the way young people understand and live their intimacy depends on family relationships, the way their parents address the topic, and the taboos that may exist around it.
As Elizabeth Gómez González, a specialist in family therapy at Hospital Universitario San Vicente, the family’s role in young people’s sexual development includes being the axis that forms the “criteria, values, and skills that enable exerting sexuality with responsibility, free of prejudice, and free of social pressure.”
It is important that young people in their adolescence trust their parents enough as to share their doubts and concerns about the topic with them. This is why the specialist recommends following these tips:
- Make dignity and respect part of your family relationship.
- Educate them in self-care and self-esteem.
- Listen to them. Seek the right amount of trust and freedom so that they don’t fear you or opt to hide their concerns from you.
- Teach them not to give in to peer pressure, explaining to them that there is a moment in life in which each person will feel ready to assume sexuality responsibly.
- Share information on the topic in a clear manner, devoid of mystery or taboo, which may give way to misinterpretations. Inform them about the risks associated with precocious sexuality.
- Educate by setting an example, striving for your home to be a space for values, support, and respect.
An app for prevention
In partnership with the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF), Bayer launched the SexAppRetos app, which has been specially designed for the country’s educational institutions. It will be pre-installed in the tablets delivered by the Computadores para Educar program.
The app, aimed at youths aged 14 and older, addresses sexual and reproductive rights, sexuality, and contraception as an information mechanism and service for this population, which uses virtual tools and mobile devices more frequently than others.
“More than 41% of the 208 million pregnancies occurring every year around the world are unplanned, and almost half of them end up in abortion,” says Dr. Silvia Juliana Rey, medical director of Bayer’s Female Health division.