SexEducation for Individuals between the Ages of Fifteen to EighteenYears
Fifteento eighteen years is a very significant period for teenagers becausethey are undergoing major changes in growth and development. Thereason for choosing this group for this research is because of thefact that these are formative years where individuals are undergoingremarkable developmental issues, and thus sex education has atremendous positive impact on this group. Moreover, it is an excitingperiod because they can interact with their peers and are expectingto enter adulthood (Arnett, 2013). It is also the time where parentsand mentors prepare their children for responsibility andopportunities that wait than in the adult life. Correspondingly,teenagers tend to make comparisons between themselves and others andsometimes may be forced to copy one another and thus it is a verysensitive period that requires a lot of guidance (Arnett, 2013). Forinstance, emotional development changes rapidly as they learn tohandle issues associated with the school, adult expectations andfriends.
Consequently,this period requires massive investments in sexual education toenable the teenagers to make informed decisions regarding their lifeencounters (Arnett, 2013). Although sexual education offers a partialsolution to developmental issues facing this group, its contributionto formation and well-being to the youth cannot be underestimated.According to Stalo et al. (2008), there has been an increase in thenumber of teenage pregnancy, abortion, uncontrolled sexual relationsand diseases associated with sexually unprotected activities amongother issues. Magazines, televisions, internet and other electronicsources have been the primary source of information for this group ofpeople in the contemporary society (Douglas, 2001). Variousdevelopmental issues are associated with this period. Some of theseissues could be classified into broad categories ofintellectual/cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.This research seeks to analyze developmental issues that affectindividuals between the age of fifteen to eighteen years and howsexual education can support a resolution of the developmentalissues.
Cognitivedevelopment entails the ability to understand ideas and expandingreason and logic skills in that they can converse and perform dutiesintelligently (Strange & Forrest, 2003). Abstract reasoning takescenter stage and the teenagers can substantiate ideas and focus muchof their reasoning to future opportunities. Some of the ideas commonto individuals of this age include war, economy, and expectations ofcollege life. Reasoning about issues concerning morality andpersonality development are also common at this stage. Although someof the individuals may not practice what they reason, they canunderstand the consequences, have a logical point of view and diverseperspective in which an idea can be approached (Lesta et al., 2008).Sexual education related to cognitive development is very significantto this group because it offers a sense of direction and guides theteenagers on the importance of making right decisions when they areconfronted with several alternatives (Oettinger, 1999). As well,teens benefit from sexual education in that they can understand theirgender roles, rights, obligations and tremendous opportunities thatawait them in future (Douglas, 2001). Primarily, sexual educationprepares them to be responsible men and women in the community,develop self-esteem, good communication and to be assertive in lifeactivities.
Socialand emotional and development include learning how to manage anger,stress depressions, sadness and expression of feelings (Lesta et al.,2008). Regular tensions and conflicts between teenagers are alsoexpected because the individual is no longer under parental guidance.Romantic relationships and friendships also increase and becomeincreasingly significant than existing in groups. Similarly, datingturns out to be more pervasive, profound and persistent. Teenagersbecome more and more influenced by the activities of the other suchas music, styles, and clothing. Correspondingly, individuals may joincults or take drugs because of pressure to explore something new(Strange & Forrest, 2003). They are also likely to seek advicefrom peers and friends as opposed to inquiring from their guardians.Sex education plays a very great role in assisting the teenager toregulate most of the changes that are encountered at this stage.Proper sexual education, reduces the chances of undergoing sexualexploitation, careless sexual activity, decrease unplanned pregnancyand chances of acquiring diseases associated with unprotected sex.According to Vicki et al., (2003), sexual education is more fruitfulif it is delivered to separately in that boys are separated fromgirls, and each group is assisted independently. Pervasive, profoundand persistent dating, are more likely escalate these behaviors andthus sexual education offers credible information pertaining howteenagers should approach dating, sex, and relationships (Douglas,2001). The education is also progressive, updated and liberal in thatall the contemporary issues are adequately addressed.
Physicaldevelopment is one of the most significant forms of developmentbetween the ages of 15 to 18 years. Teenagers experience remarkablechanges in their physical development (Strange & Forrest, 2003).Although these changes start earlier during the onset of adolescents,they proliferate and thrive more vividly during this period. Boys andgirls undergo different changes. For instance, girls develop breast,their bodies’ changes in height and shape, growing of pubic hairamong other changes (Lesta et al., 2008). Boys change their voice,facial hair grows and individuals changes in height. Other changesmay occur earlier or later depending on the individual. Sex educationfinds a lot of application in this stage because the reasons forthese differences are explained to teenagers, declared healthy andmonitored (Douglas, 2001). Without adequate sex education, suchchanges could lead to other challenges depression and negativephysiological development which may be detrimental to the health ofthe teenager.
Aswell, the rate of development may vary among different individualsand within the same age and thus if adequate sex education is notrendered to the teenager, they might be stressed or develop lowself-esteem (Oettinger, 1999). Consequently, balanced education thataccounts for all the possible consequences is advocated such thatsome do not feel disappointed frustrated and resentful if they arenot undergoing changes like their companions. Individuals who undergochanges faster than their peers may feel uncomfortable,self-conscious, conspicuous and thus frustrated because they may getextra attention than others (Oettinger, 1999). Sex education is thusthe most significant knowledge that can be offered to individualsbetween the age of fifteen and eighteen.
Fifteento eighteen years is a very significant period for teenagers becausethey are undergoing major changes in growth and development. Thereason is that that these are formative years where individuals areexperiencing remarkable developmental issues, and thus sex educationhas a tremendous positive impact on this group. Various developmentalissues affect individuals during this developmental period. They canbroadly be categorized to cognitive, social economic and physicaldevelopments. Consequently, sex education has a tremendous positiveimpact on this group because some of them may undergo stress,depression and other challenges if they are not guided appropriately.Besides, pervasive dating and need to explore new life activities maylead to sexual exploitation, careless sexual activity, unplannedpregnancy and chances of acquiring diseases associated withunprotected sex. Accordingly, sexual education can save this group ofindividuals from prospective harmful consequences.
Arnett,J. J. (2013). Adolescenceand emerging adulthood: A cultural approach.Boston: Pearson.
Douglas,K., (2001).Researchon effectiveness of sex education.Retrieved fromhttp://web.a.ebscohost.com.mylibrary.wilmu.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=11e18584-109d-49bf-81bc-42180d28cdd5%40sessionmgr4010&vid=1&hid=4214
Lesta,S., Lazarus J., V. & Essen, B. (2008). Young Cypriots on sexeducation: sources and adequacy of information received on sexualityissues. Journalof sexual education.Vol. 8, No. 2, 237-246. Retrieved fromhttp://web.b.ebscohost.com.mylibrary.wilmu.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=c01ea658-0341-4af3-abd9-a354760c20b9%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=101
Oettinger,G. (1999). The effect of sexual education on teen sexual activity andteen pregnancy. Journalof political economy.Retrieved fromhttp://web.a.ebscohost.com.mylibrary.wilmu.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=8a9e05a6-fb4f-4e4a-ae33-f5e8206bd1a1%40sessionmgr4008&vid=1&hid=4214
Strange,V., Oakley, A & Forrest. S. (2003). Mixed-sex or single-sex sexeducation: how would young people like their sex eductionand why?Journalof gender education.Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 201-214. Retrieved fromhttp://web.b.ebscohost.com.mylibrary.wilmu.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=86adb900-764c-4ffd-9968-eed74657cb65%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=101