The talk about sexuality hardly ever surfaces in
. Even when an article or a speech is given by an enlightened intellectual, waves of rejection and censure usually follow. Discussing sexuality usually stirs accusations of spreading vice and encouraging promiscuity. Consequently, the debate on sexuality education here is starkly lacking and flawed, just like the process of sex education itself. Egypt
The government and other religious and social institutions ignore basic human rights such as the right of information and the right to health when they fail to deliver comprehensive sexuality education information to the people, especially young people who are most vulnerable due to the sensitive changes they are going through.
Public education ignores sexuality information, except for a class on human reproduction during preparatory school and some skewed information on sexually transmitted infections. A lot of young people remember that awkward science class where the teacher was too embarrassed to effectively convey useful lessons on sexuality, or skipped the class altogether.
Civil society organizations have recently recognized the importance of delivering sexuality education programs to young people. Evidently, these programs only reach a very small segment of young people in
, who make up about 40% of the total population. Apart from quantity, quality remains a major challenge. Educating young people on sexuality includes a wide array of topics, such as puberty changes; understanding the body and its functions; exploring identity; sexually transmitted infections, gender based violence; partner communication, etc. Sex Ed is often combined with life skills education to enhance young people’s ability to make right decisions about their lives and how to communicate these with partners. Egypt
Reality is unfortunately far from this. Instead of providing a positive approach to sexuality, it is often portrayed as an evil desire that needs to be controlled. Instead of promoting tolerance and understanding, it’s not uncommon to find Sex Ed programs that foster negative attitudes towards sexuality and gender. For example, gender equality is poorly delivered; premarital sex is a taboo; homosexuality is defined as a disease that afflicts young people; and safer sex practices are often omitted.
Without going too into too much detail, there is a litany of reasons behind this. Clearly, Sex Ed has a lot of prerequisites that must precede it such as teaching human rights, privacy, tolerance, and gender equality.
Finally, sexuality is closely associated with people’s happiness and productivity. Providing comprehensive information regarding sexuality is a goal that must be achieved equally and effectively for a better nation.