The education system seriously needs a revamp to meet more of the social and emotional needs of pupils. Too many young people are going out into the world without necessary social, relationship and overall life skills, because they are often ignored in favour of academic teaching and increasing the knowledge/skills that will help them to gain a job in the future.
One particular area that schools need to have a much stronger focus on, which is sex education. However, it is not solely sex education that needs to be addressed, but relationship education. I have been shocked by the number of recent articles covering sexual issues and abuse among young individuals, especially on the subject of pornography.
According to an article on the Independent website, new research revealed that “most young people find it “too easy” to accidentally see pornography while online, and almost half of teenagers regard sending sexual photos or videos as part of “everyday life””. The research also revealed that a large number of young people think that growing up would be easier if pornography was harder for them to access.
Pornography affects the way that individuals view sex and alters their expectations, especially young minds who may not have yet had intercourse or even been educated on subjects of a sexual nature. Children watching pornography has led to rape, as they explore what they have seen onscreen, and young people watching porn can lead to damaging effects on their relationships. Some wanting to copy what they see in pornography has led to boys coercing girls in anal sex , which can be risky and painful, for females in particular.
A large number of young people, particularly young men, do not seem to consider the wellbeing of others or even respect them enough as an individuals, leading to problems and sometimes abuse in relationships or even casual sexual encounters. It does not help that we live in a highly sexualised society, which has led to many individuals thinking that sex is mandatory in a relationship and forcing a number of females to feel that intercourse is necessary in order for them to gain male attention.
Sex (and relationship) education needs to be taught from when children are in primary school, especially with the technology that they have at their fingertips and are so effortlessly able to use. Young people need to learn about porn, sexting, respecting females and of course, sexual intercourse. However, they need to be taught about these topics in a productive way that will not only help and get through to young people, but will also provoke the best response from them. After all, no one wants to be sitting through an awkward sex education class.