15 Jul What if self-care was the foundation of sex education?
Sexuality education could offer a foundational support for young people in their development of intimacy, loving relationships, appreciating and understanding the body and with this, learning to live true health and well-being.
However, today, sexuality education is mostly about security and protection, exploring individual and peer group norms and values and practising skills to, for example, refuse unwanted or unprotected sex, to resist peer and social pressures and being assertive about sexual coercion, gender norms, STI’s, the use of appropriate contraception, such as the use of condoms, etc. All this is of great value and needs to be transmitted. However teaching security and protection does not lead to an embodiment and a lived loving quality, but simply to defence mechanisms that are easily thrown over board when no danger is perceived or when cultural scripts dominate the decision making process. Security based knowledge alone does not support because for the young person risky behaviour is never without a perceived pay off. But what if the ‘pay off’ only appears to be of value because a sense of self-worth is lacking to begin with?
At the centre of sexuality education has to be the building of love in the body through a holistic self-caring approach so that the young get a marker in their bodies of what abuse is, how it looks like and feels and what a true quality of love is. Only then will they be able to start relating to each other in non-harmful ways as the foundation is from this self-loving marker in their body. Therefore sexuality education has to be looked at within the bigger picture of education. It is not a separated topic, but a part of a whole that only in its wholeness contributes to true health and well-being in the young.
“Our first relationship with any Body is with our own.
This then becomes the foundation for our relationships with every Body thereafter”