Empowering adulthood through sex education

Dr Ashwini Sirapanasetty Karache
Contd from previous issue
or through restrictive laws and policies related to age of consent to sexual intercourse and access to services) (WHO). Pregnant adolescent girls are more likely to drop out of school and discontinue education, which limits their future employment and other life opportunities.
3. Access to modern contraception : Both young men and women are responsible for using contracep- tives, however more is known about women’s unmet needs for contraception. Unmarried women generally account for less than half of all women with unmet needs for contraception, although levels of unmet need in this population may be underestimated due to the reluctance of unmarried women in conservative societies to admit that they are sexually active.
Adolescent girls also report legal barriers and other access-related reasons, as well as health concerns and worries about side effects of contraceptives.
Additionally, critical gaps in knowledge exist, especially in Africa and Asia, regarding where to obtain and how to use a range of modern contraceptive methods, including condoms and emergency contraception, and where to go for pregnancy or HIV testing services.
4. Unsafe abortion: Because of the legal restrictions on access to safe abortion that exist in many parts of the world, adolescents often resort to unsafe procedures administered by unskilled providers. Adolescent girls suffer a significant and disproportionate share of deaths and disability from unsafe abortion practice compared to women over 20 years of age (WHO, 2007; WHO, 2015).
Adolescents typically take longer than adult women to realize they are pregnant, and adolescents who want to end their pregnancy consequently have abortions later in the gestational period.
In some cases, because of stigma and discrimination or other factors, adolescent girls are also more likely than older women to self-induce an abortion or seek abortion services from untrained providers, and are generally less knowledgeable about their rights concerning abortion and post-abortion care.
Key Concepts, Topics & Learning Objectives of CSE:
There are eight key concepts which are important, mutually reinforcing and intended to be taught alongside one another.
1. Relationships:
Families-Parents/guardians and other family members help children acquire values and guide and support their children’s decisions. Gender inequality is often reflected in the roles and responsibilities of family members. Families can promote gender equality through their roles and responsibilities. Health and illness can affect families in terms of their structure, capacities and responsibilities. Conflict and misunderstandings between parents/guardians and children are common, especially during adolescence, and are usually resolvable. There are support systems that young people and family members can turn to when faced with challenges related to sharing or disclosure of information related to sexual relationships and health issues
Friendship, Love and Romantic Relationships-There are healthy and unhealthy relationships. Relationships involve different kinds of love (e.g. love between friends, love between parents, and love between romantic partners) and love can be expressed in many different ways. Friendship and love can be expressed differently as children become adolescents.
 Romantic relationships can be strongly affected by inequality and differences in power (e.g. due to gender, age, economic, social or health status). There are healthy and unhealthy sexual relationships.  (To be contd)