Being a mother or father is one of the most important stages of human life. (Yörükoğlu, 1978) Being a parent has many meanings and obligations. The adventure of being a parent begins with a healthy marriage, a child born at the right time and willingly. When you do all of these, the adventure is not complete. On the contrary, the birth of the child is the beginning of a new life that will be sustained by an entity that is dependent on the parent and is prepared for life with what he will learn from the parent and imitate by seeing. The baby’s sleep, feeding, walking and physical development require effort. Giving love, connecting, establishing relationships, understanding it, expressing your wishes and establishing mental health require knowledge. (Semerci, 2015) There are also principles and methods of raising children. (Yörükoğlu, 1978) The adventure of parenthood is an education and information process. (Semerci, 2015)
Sexuality is a whole that includes a creature’s sexual identity, reproductive process, and erotic pleasure. It is one of the basic rights of every individual to be informed about sexuality, some aspects of which exist even in the prenatal period, to form attitudes and behaviors in the light of this information. For ages, children’s education in sexual matters has been neglected, probably because they do not yet have the ability to reproduce. However, the child, who is curious about life, had to educate himself even though he did not find suitable resources, got wrong information, and negatively affected his future life and health. (Cloud,1998)
Sex education is a need for human well-being and health, a universal truth. (Eli Küçük and Sönmez, 2011) Almost all parents say that they will be the best at raising children when they start their parenting adventure. However, when the time comes, they often cannot exhibit this attitude, and this avoidance attitude becomes much more evident, especially when it comes to sexuality. (Semerci, 2015) It is known that not only in our country, but also in many countries, parents refrain from even pronouncing the word sexual education until very recently. Issues related to sexuality are often glossed over, sometimes ignored, sometimes met with anger or even condemnation. (Tuğrul and Artan,2001) Many people think that if children and young people are given sexual education, they will start a sexual life and sexual education will spoil the innocence of children. Others think that when sexual issues are not discussed, there will be no problems related to sexual issues (as cited in Tuğrul and Artan, 2001). It is an obligation and a responsibility for teachers and teachers to accept the sexual development of the child as an integral part of his entire development, to deal with the problems related to this, and to accept that it is a natural educational duty to give the necessary information to the child. For this, parents and teachers need to know sexual development well (Basaran, 1994; Elikucuk and Sonmez, 2011)
Today’s parents grew up in an environment where it was taboo to talk about sexuality in their childhood, and they learned about sexuality from their friends. In the past years, they have grown up with limited information due to the limited or non-existent media and internet. However, the development of technology, the widespread use of the media and the internet, and the increase in printed publications such as books and magazines about sexuality pave the way for today’s children to encounter sexual stimuli at an earlier age and more frequently. (Semerci, 2015)
The family is defined as the nucleus of society. The family has important functions in society. Raising children and bringing them into society is one of these functions, which is unlikely to happen in other institutions. In this respect, the family is accepted as the most effective educational institution. According to the relevant literature, the family meets the child’s needs such as nutrition, care, protection, love and education. For this reason, a child who has not even received basic sexual information from his family and whose questions about how he came to the world are not answered properly will grow up uncontrollably in the sea of unlimited and inappropriate information he reaches. The way to change this situation is; parents and teachers have knowledge about sexuality and convey this information to children at the right age, adequately and accurately. (Semerci, 2015) Parents should be aware that this education given while conveying information about sexual development is a lifelong process and that the child’s sexual development is inseparable from all development.
Although sexuality is one of the taboo subjects in our country, and most families think that they do not talk to their children about sexuality and do not direct their children, what they do and say without realizing it plays a determining role in the child’s approach to sexuality. Family structure, education level, close environment and culture have an impact on the development of an individual’s sexual attitudes and behaviors. (Apay, Akpınar, & Arslan,2012) The child, who hears his parents’ insulting speeches about a certain gender, and sees his parent’s attitude towards any kissing scene on television, will begin to develop certain value judgments about sexuality. For this reason, before sexual education, parents should primarily evaluate their own value judgments and turn the mirror to themselves in terms of how they view sexuality-related issues.(Semerci, 2015)
The fact that sexuality continues to be an area where misinformation prevails rather than correct information may lead to the fact that sexuality is not experienced correctly, that relationships end for this reason, and complexity. Unhappiness, murders, and suicides often coincide with a lack of sexual knowledge. Ignorance negatively affects the mental health of children, families and society. (Semerci, 2015) Therefore, when examining the subject of sexual education, it is useful to first review the basic terms that are often confused with each other.
⦁ Gender (Sex): It refers to the whole of the biological characteristics that define human beings as male and female. (WHO, 2000)
⦁ Gender: It is a combination of cultural values, attitudes, roles and characteristics. It expresses the socially determined roles and responsibilities of women and men. (WHO, 2000 )
⦁ Sexual Identity: It is the individual’s perception and acceptance of his own body and self in a sexual way. (Ozturk, 2004)
⦁ Gender Role: It is the behavior patterns defined by the society as appropriate for men or women. (as cited in Çalışdemir, Bencik and Artan,2008).
⦁ Sexuality: It is a basic dimension of human beings that includes gender, gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, eroticism, love and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced as a result of the mutual interaction of biological, psychological, socioeconomic, cultural, ethical and religious factors. (Act. Golbasi, 2003)
⦁ Sexual Health: First of all, it is the individual’s understanding of sexuality as a concept and developing an awareness about their own attitudes towards sexuality. (Act. Golbasi, 2003)
⦁ Sex Education: The term sexual education has a very wide usage. It has been handled in different ways by many professional groups for many years. In terms of child development; Sex education can be defined as understanding the physical, emotional and sexual development of the individual, developing a positive personality concept, acquiring a respectful perspective on human sexuality, the rights of others, opinions and behaviors, and developing positive behavior and value judgments. (Bayhan and Artan, 2004) According to the definition of the United States Council on Sexuality Information and Education, sexual education; It is a training that covers sexual roles, interpersonal relations, love, privacy, body image and reproductive health. (SIECUS,2000)
The sexual education to be given to the child varies according to the age and developmental level of the child. For this reason, sexual education;
⦁ Preschool Sex Education
⦁ Sex Education in School Age
⦁ Sexual Education in Adolescence can be divided into three.
1-Sex Education in Preschool Period
The baby’s greatest need in the first 12 months is love. Holding, smiling, caressing the baby makes the baby happy. (Semerci,2015) The warmth, comfort and strength of the mother holding her baby in her arms gives the child pleasure. (Yavuzer,2001) In this period, the baby’s recognition and pleasure organ is the mouth and its surroundings. For this reason, breastfeeding gives pleasure to the baby and he starts to take every object he gets into his mouth. (Semerci,2015) In the first year after birth, the first sexual feelings of the baby emerge during bathing and changing the diaper. The pressure and movement of the diaper in the genital area are pleasurable sensations that the baby enjoys. When the baby grows up to be able to better control his hand and arm movements, he can touch his genitals and want this pleasurable feeling to be experienced again, for this purpose, children can play with their genitals (Yavuzer, 2001).
Although the genitals may react spontaneously during infancy, the first questions that show that the child is consciously interested in sexuality begin around the age of three, about gender differences. 2003) In processes such as bathing and toilet training, children see and touch their own bodies. At the same time, they both get to know their bodies and feel pleasure. During this period, it is normal for the child to touch his own sexual organ and feel pleasure from it. (Semerci,2015) In this period, the child takes his genitals, examines them, plays and can walk around naked. (Yörükoğlu, 2003) These behaviors of the child are aimed at getting to know his/her body, and families make the first intervention in sexual matters during this period. It is beneficial for the development of the child not to overreact to this behavior. The introduction of the body can be done by the parent, using the child’s interest in his body. It is important to use the real names of the organs in this promotion. Before the age of two or three, children cannot distinguish the biological difference between boys and girls, but they have an idea about the influence of family and society and the various rights, responsibilities and obligations of gender. (Semerci, 2015) Around the age of three, they sense the separation between boys and girls and begin to examine it. Then, how the baby was born, where it came from, and the role of the father are wondered. (Cloud,1998)
Often a problem arises about the gender gap that worries the girl. He realizes what he does not have in a boy and thinks that he should have the penis as well. In this regard, he may ask his parents why he does not have a penis. A short explanation that ‘girls’ vaginas are men’s penises’ will suffice for this type of question. (Yavuzer, 2001)
The child, who begins to take an interest in his body in the pre-school period, will reflect this curiosity in the games, which are a way of expressing himself. In this period, doctoring and domestic games are a unique opportunity to satisfy the child’s sexual curiosity. (Yörükoğlu,2003) In these plays, behaviors such as touching the genitals, liking to be naked, wanting to see others naked, touching women’s breasts are frequently observed. In these games, the child learns about the body of the opposite sex. The point that parents should pay attention to is to ensure that children play such games with their peers. Based on the child’s sexual curiosity, various picture books can be used to provide sexual information proportional to the child’s age. At the same time, concepts such as ‘private’ and ‘privacy’ should be taught to the child. (Semerci,2015)
Child masturbation is called child masturbation when children stimulate their genital areas in any way depending on the increase in their sexual curiosity and there are signs such as sweating, blushing and panting. (Yörükoğlu,2003) This behavior often scares parents. This type of sexual stimulation, which is frequently used by children, is not very different from the behaviors such as thumb sucking and nail biting that children discover to relax since infancy. Masturbation in childhood is intended to relax the child himself. The point to note here is the frequency of this behavior. If the child does this behavior many times during the day, then it may be necessary to direct the child to other activities that will relax the child. Parents should avoid overreacting about this behavior of their children. Parents’ harsh reactions and prohibitions of behavior towards the child will not be a solution to this situation, on the contrary, it will cause the child to feel guilty, to interpret sexual concepts negatively, to have the impression that he has done something wrong, and to feel ashamed.(Semerci,2015)
Children in the pre-school period exhibit behaviors to identify with their same-sex parent. This identification event has an important effect on the child’s gaining sexual identity. The child unconsciously repeats many features of his mother or father, from sitting to posture, speaking to dressing, and kneads them in his own personality. The more positive the relationship between the girl and her mother, the boy and her father, the easier the identification. Having a healthy identity ensures the healthy progress of the child’s sexual identity development. Girls learn to be men and women by dressing in their mothers’ clothes and boys by acting like fathers. This is a deep psychic event that goes far beyond conscious imitation. (Yörükoğlu,2003) In this period, if there is no model with which children can identify, or if there is no suitable model, that is, if the parents do not communicate with the child, the child can identify with the opposite sex. (Yörükoğlu, 2003) In this case, it can be ensured that the child spends time with a relative of the same sex, so that the identification process is spent in a healthy way. (Semerci,2015)
The aim of sex education in the preschool period is not to talk about sexuality more, but to teach the necessary information and to give the child positive feelings about it. With the education to be given, it is aimed that the child gets to know his own body, understand his bodily limits, know how he is different from his friend of the opposite sex, and learn to distinguish between good and bad touch. Giving information that is not appropriate for the child’s developmental period may cause the child to be afraid and confused. Therefore, while giving sexual education; It is necessary to pay attention to what information should be given at what age and at what level. (Semerci,2015) Not talking about sexual events during this period may give the child the impression that they should suppress these feelings.
2-Sex Education in School Period
The age of 7-11 is called the school period for children. The school period between the ages of 7-11 can be examined in terms of sexual development by dividing it into two stages, namely the 7-9 age period and the pre-adolescence period.
a.7-9 years old
In this age range, which coincides with the Latent (latent) period from the sexual development stages of Sigmund Freud, the sense of curiosity about getting to know himself and the family in previous ages spreads to a wide environment as the child begins to stay away from the family. (Semerci,2015) In this period, it is seen that children mostly prefer to be friends with children of their own gender and are indifferent to the opposite sex. Identification with the parent in the pre-school period and the social roles related to the sexual identity acquired as a result are further reinforced by the experiences in this period. This period can be characterized as a resting period before the changes that will occur during adolescence. (İnanç and Yerlikaya, 2011) In this period, the child’s natural preoccupation with his own body leaves its place to social pursuits. (Semerci,2015) If their friendship relations are going well at school, they like school very much; but if there is something wrong with their relationship, they may not want to go to school or they go reluctantly. An important change in this age is that sexual curiosities have subsided and entered a stagnant period; however, due to today’s changing conditions and increasing level of stimuli, this period is not calm compared to previous periods. (Anonymous,2016)
Children between the ages of 7 and 9, who generally prefer to play with same-sex groups, play catch and kiss games when mixed groups are formed. They may perceive taking part in the opposite sex as espionage in a way. As in the pre-school period, they want to try what they see from the media and the environment through play. For this purpose, behaviors such as wanting to see other children’s underwear and genitals, using sexual terms during conversation can be seen. The use of sexual terms in speech stems from the effort of the child to show his friends what he knows. In this period, parents should approach just like a teacher and convey the basic subjects for the first time to give information. The age of seven is the period when children are most cognitively prepared for this. It is necessary to mention how the child can ask for help in the face of any bad touch in order to remind the information about good touch and bad touch, which are given to children in the pre-school period, to focus on private and privacy issues, and to prevent the child’s sexual curiosity from being used by malicious people. (Semerci,2015)
b. Pre-Adolescent Period
The period known as 9-11 years is known as the school period as well as the pre-adolescent period. Due to the onset of puberty symptoms in this period, some information should be given both at school and in the family. It is true that the education to be given will be given to boys by a father or a relative of the same sex, and to girls by a mother or a relative of the same sex. In the pre-adolescent period, girls should be informed about the following subjects at the age of nine and boys at the age of ten: (Semerci, 2015)
In adolescence, growth accelerates throughout the body. Sometimes not all body parts participate in rapid growth equally and growth is not symmetrical. For example, the development of leg muscles of a child whose legs are growing rapidly will be slower. As a result, the child may walk unsteadily. Over time, the development stabilizes and the differences disappear. The first sign of puberty in girls is that the breasts begin to grow. This is followed by hair growth in the genital area, acne on the face and body. In the last stage, menstruation (menstruation) takes place. With the development of the hips, the increase in fat layers, and the maturation of the breasts, the girl gains a feminine appearance. The first sign of puberty in boys is when the eggs begin to grow. Later, mustache, beard growth and hair growth in the genital area, laryngeal cartilage called Adam’s apple become more pronounced, thickening of the voice, acne on the face and body occur. In the last stage, ejaculation occurs. Lengthening is accompanied by the development of the shoulders, resulting in a masculine appearance. (Tasci, 2010)
With the pre-adolescent period, the developmental gap between girls and boys begins to widen. Girls develop physically and mentally earlier than boys. While boys are playing games with their own gender, girls start to be attracted to the opposite sex. (Semerci,2015)
Unlike the 7-9 age school period, children in this period may tend to mixed groups. Girls and boys should be informed by their parents about the physical changes that may occur in their bodies, as well as about the social relationships that may occur. The child’s orientation to mixed groups may enable him to meet concepts such as love and liking. During this period, the child, who feels accepted and understood by the family, goes through a healthy process. It should be emphasized that when parents inform the child about the changes that may occur in their bodies during adolescence, these changes will occur at different times for everyone.
This emphasis can prevent the child from feeling anxious by comparing himself to others. Getting help from picture books in informative conversations with pre-adolescent children is important for better understanding of the subject when presented visually. In the information given, it is necessary to inform the girls about the physical development of the boys and the boys about the physical development of the girls. In this way, the child will be familiar with the changes of the opposite sex and will not experience anxiety about certain issues in the future. Masturbation behavior can be talked about in the pre-adolescent and pre-school period, but is used only for relaxation. The important thing here is that the child should know that the masturbation behavior is extremely natural and should not feel guilty after this behavior. While all this information is given to the child by the parents, opportunities should be evaluated well, and if the child to be informed is not ready yet, no information should be given. How much detail to go into during the information process can be shaped according to the child’s questions. If it is a very natural situation to talk about sexuality between the family and the child, the child will ask questions that he or she is curious about with the power he gets from this relationship. (Semerci,2015; Yörükoğlu,2003; Taşçı,2010)
The aim of sexual education in the period called the school period, which can be divided into 7-9 years old period and 9-11 years pre-adolescent period: children can understand the bodily changes they will experience in adolescence, start to develop their ability to make decisions about sexual activities, and the relationship between sexual processes and emotional processes. To enable them to understand the difference.
Sexual health education studies in Turkey are generally carried out by universities and some institutions/non-governmental organizations. Sex education was first discussed in Turkey in 1974. In parallel with the spread of HIV/AIDS in the 1990s, special projects were carried out and local training activities were carried out, albeit in limited numbers, under the leadership of voluntary organizations. “Youth, Sexual Education and Reproductive Health” meeting was held in 1994 and a project was developed in 1997. Within this project, three education faculties were determined and it was aimed to give an elective course on sexual health information to teacher candidates who are students of this faculty. There are also some projects carried out by the Ministry of National Education in cooperation with different institutions. In 1993, 2 million female students were informed about the adolescence period in more than ten thousand schools in 80 provinces in six years with the “Change, First Step to Young Girlhood” project. . In the 2002-2003 academic year; Subjects related to sexual education were included in the curriculum in units. With a new service project titled “Improving Adolescents’ Health Awareness”, it was aimed to develop activities. In 2002, reproductive health counseling was provided to young people in some universities in the project. In 2004, the “peer education” component was added to the same project. In 2000, the first “sexual education” course was started to be given in pilot schools in Istanbul. However, this practice did not remain in effect for a long time. Today, there is no special practice regarding “sexual education” in schools. In high school, there is no information other than the subjects such as the menstrual cycle and sperm production in a limited way in the education content. In the application called “Pre-School Education Program for 36-72 Months-old Children” by the Ministry of National Education, it is seen that the word “sexual” is mentioned only once in the sentence of “…physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse…” in the program. Apart from this, no sentence was found that would evoke sexual education. (Bulut et al., 2003; Bulut, 2005; Employeesdemir, Bencik, & Artan,2008)
3-Sex Education During Adolescence
Adolescence is a period that begins with sexual and psychosocial maturation caused by physical and emotional processes and ends when the individual gains independence, sense of identity and social productivity. (Derman,2008)
Since adolescence is a long period, it can be examined as early adolescence, middle adolescence and late adolescence (Semerci, 2015). Adolescence, which is the transition period from childhood to adulthood, is determined by physical, cognitive and psychosocial changes. (Brown 2000).
In this period between the ages of 12-14, which is considered as the Early Adolescence period, rapid physical and behavioral changes are observed. Rapid growth and sexual development is earlier in girls than boys. Despite the general positive effect of early growth on the mental health of boys, girls who develop early have lower self-esteem, higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders and eating disorders than their peers. In the early adolescence period, the biggest preoccupation of adolescents is body appearance. (Derman,2008) These rapid changes in the body are difficult for adolescents. The adolescent trying to adapt to this change makes everything about his body important, such as being short-tall, fat-thin. Spending time in front of the same person starts to be one of the most important conflict issues between the family and the family. (Semerci,2015) Adolescents in this period have efforts to adapt to rapid physical development and cope with these changes. (Derman,2008) The important developmental task of this period is the formation of a sense of identity. (Act. Korkmaz Cetin et al., 2008). In addition to the development of body image, one of the important physical changes in adolescence is the development of secondary sex characteristics, which marks the beginning of reproductive maturity, and this development causes the young person to perceive himself as a girl or boy socially different from childhood. Changing body appearance, increasing impulses, and perceiving more sexual identity require the young person to acquire some gender roles socially. (Derman,2008) The biological characteristics of the person, sexual orientation and behaviors, family attitude, social and cultural values are effective in the formation of sexual identity. Although sexuality is generally understood as sexual orientation and behaviors, healthy sexuality is the integration of these factors and self-concept. and peer groups influence the adolescent’s interests and clothing. (Derman,2008)
In the life of a young person aged 15-18, which is considered as middle adolescence, friends begin to become more important than family. In this period, being accepted by his friends is the most important thing for the young person. (Semerci,2015) The developmental characteristics of the adolescent are too many and varied to be formulated. The biggest desire of the adolescent is to be able to understand himself and to be understood by others. (Yavuzer,2001) In this period, efforts to separate from parents, to be a different individual and to make parents accept this situation are intense. In the process of separation from parents and individuation, adolescents’ efforts to emotionally distance themselves from their parents, make their emotional investments on peer relationships, especially the opposite sex, underestimate risks, perceive themselves as capable of anything, and want autonomy cause conflict with parents. (Derman,2008) There is sensitivity in emotions compared to early adolescence. (Yavuzer,2001) Inappropriate attitudes and habits most often begin in this period in an effort to be included in a group. In particular, adolescents who have not been able to establish a proper relationship with their families and have problems can easily go astray during this period (Semerci, 2015). In this period, emotional autonomy develops best in conditions where both individualization and emotional intimacy are supported. Adolescents often see themselves through the eyes of their peers, and their peers’ disapproval of their appearance, dressing style and behavior can lead to a decrease in their self-esteem. However, since very close relationships threaten to lose independence, the boundary in relationships is an important source of anxiety for adolescents in this age group. With an increase in peer relationships and emotional experiences, the need to examine internal experiences and keeping a diary is common. (Derman,2008) This is the period when adolescents try to discover and develop their philosophy of life, social values, religious and moral orientations, and they need peer support to act as a mirror so that their values can become clear (Semerci, 2015)
In the middle adolescence period of 15-18 years, a full and healthy assessment of sexual behaviors may not be possible due to peer pressure, risk-taking behavior, separation from parents and conflicts arising from the need for autonomy. Although it carries medical risk factors such as early sexual experience, unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, it can also cause legal problems arising from cultural and social factors. (Korkmaz Cetin et al.,2008)
Late Adolescence: It is the period when the adolescent completes his identity development. (Semerci,2015) It starts around the age of 18 and ends with the integration of the sense of identity. It is the period when academic and artistic pursuits and social ties lead the adolescent to define himself better and to feel himself belonging to a community. (Derman,2008) According to Erikson, the most important problem of adolescence is the search for identity. Providing a balanced identity depends on the individual’s ability to see continuity and integrity in himself and to make consistent arrangements. Sudden bodily changes experienced by the adolescent may have negative effects on the identity formation process, and the adolescent needs time to attain a positive identity and gain self-confidence in this process. (Yavuzer, 2001). Consistency between what a person perceives himself as and how others see him and what he expects of him is an integrated self. In this process, the adolescent’s being included in groups and experiencing love is a way of expressing himself. Some adolescents may experience the process of gaining identity heavily. In this case, the inability to make a decision or choice extends from the choice of profession to sexual identity. In this case, drug use may manifest itself as different religious beliefs, inappropriate sexual intercourse, and rejection of society’s value judgments. (Semerci,2015)
During adolescence, different sexual orientations can be seen at the stage of finding sexual identity. When the sexual orientation is to the opposite sex, it is called heterosexual, when it is towards the same sex, it is called homosexuality (homosexuality), and when it is directed to both sexes, it is called bisexuality.
Pranks are common during adolescence. These banter combined with curiosity can be some sexual experimentation. This situation may lead the adolescent to believe that he has entered an irreversible path. In this case, explaining to the adolescent that this does not mean choosing sexual orientation, but that it is a period specific to the period he is in, will relieve the adolescent. However, this situation is different if an individual who has completed adolescence and has reached the age of young adult explains that he is homosexual by thinking about this situation for years. In such a situation, parents should not force the individual to treatment, and should not show reactions such as anger or rejection. Knowing that homosexuality is not only a sexual orientation but also a lifestyle choice, parents should accept this situation and show this acceptance to the individual who explains their choice. (Semerci,2015)
During adolescence, it is necessary to continue talking to children about sexuality. Families are the first educators of children with sexuality. Family is very important in adolescent sexuality. Because adolescence is a period when there is little or no influence of parents on sexuality. Adolescents are curious about sexual matters and want to experiment. But the attitude of the family has an effect on the adolescent. Instead of “I don’t want you to have sex, don’t do that”, some parents say the same thing in a way they think is careless: “Let me know if you do”. This is an attitude that prevents the adolescent from applying to the family when necessary. Sometimes families tell adolescents that sexual intercourse is wrong for social, religious and moral reasons. However, this attitude may cause the adolescent to reach wrong decisions and not be able to implement their own decisions. Families are afraid that they will have sexual intercourse at an early age with the adolescent being sexually active. Excessive preoccupation with sexuality in the early period, among other problems, may prevent adolescents from developing in other areas by taking up a large part of their time. Therefore, it is beneficial to direct the adolescent to fields such as sports, athletics and hobby courses. It is necessary to understand and accept sexuality in adolescence by families. When talking about sexuality with adolescents, unlike previous periods, it is necessary to be more like a counselor than a teacher. Emphasizing social and developmental issues, one should talk more about behavior than foundations. Adolescent’s unconscious sexual activity can bring with it very important problems. The best way to prevent adolescents from encountering such problems is to inform them about it. Considering that the adolescent is now sexually active, the physical and emotional problems that sexual activity will bring should be emphasized. Most of the time, families may overemphasize the pleasure-giving feature of sexuality in order to prevent their children from worrying about sexuality. The pleasure aspect of sexuality is also frequently used by friends and the media. This situation increases the risk of alcohol, substance use and inappropriate early unprotected sexual intercourse during adolescence due to the interest in pleasurable points. Recognizing that the adolescent is also in a sexually active position during adolescence, information on topics such as safe sexual intercourse, pregnancy and ways to protect against sexually contagious diseases should be conveyed by the families. While these issues are being discussed, families can share their views and values with the adolescent, but the important thing here is not to put pressure on the adolescent and to convey acceptance. When talking about sexuality with the adolescent, it should be explained that sexuality does not only mean reproduction, but also includes various emotions. Dating relationships seen in adolescence should not be underestimated by parents, and the child’s feelings should be tried to be understood. It is necessary to tell children in this period that sexuality is not only physical attraction, but is related to feeling ready and willing with emotions, and to listen to, understand and understand the feelings and thoughts of the adolescent. In adolescence, girls look at sexuality more in terms of love and love, while boys have an intense sexual drive. Some of the issues that should be explained by parents in adolescent sexuality are as follows:
Adolescent Pregnancy: Adolescent pregnancy is a psychological, social and economic problem. Adolescent pregnancy has many physical risks. All problems during pregnancy are more common in adolescent pregnancy. The acceptance of early marriages as normal in our country has led to its acceptance as normal in adolescent pregnancy. Studies have shown that these young people mostly have school problems and have problems in their family relationships.
Ways of Protection: Many families are afraid because of the fear that informing adolescents about ways of protection will mean encouraging them to have sexual intercourse. It is undesirable for young people to have uncontrolled sexual intercourse. For this reason, it is important to teach the ways of protection while giving sexual information.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Due to changing social values, sexually transmitted diseases are increasing rapidly. Although the treatment of some of these diseases is known, the search for treatment continues for some of them. Adolescents are at the greatest risk of sexually transmitted diseases. The possibility of contracting sexually transmitted diseases increases due to reasons such as the decrease in the age of sexual intercourse, the lack of knowledge of contraceptive methods, and unplanned sexual relations.
Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is when adults use children for their own sexual gratification. With the sexual education to be given to children, it will be beneficial for children to learn the distinction between good touch and bad touch, and to receive training on how to explain the situation to a reliable adult as soon as possible in case of abuse. (Yavuzer,2001; Yörükoğlu,2003; Taşçı,2010;Semerci,2015; Polat,2007; Ulu et al.,2014)
Sex Education with Special Groups
While providing Sex Education in Families Who Have Had Children by Adoption, children’s questions about how they came to the world should be answered differently than other children. In conversations with children at previous ages, while the baby formation was explained to the child who was given ear fullness with sentences such as “When you are our child, when you come to our house”, it can be explained that some mothers could not raise their babies in their wombs, that’s why their children grew up in the womb of other mothers and that he was born this way. The child’s concern about the issue is listened to by the parent. The ideal age range for the information to be given to children about adoption is 3-6 years old.(Semerci,2015)
Sex Education for Individuals with Mental Disabilities; The sexual life of people with disabilities is an issue that is generally unknown and overlooked. It is assumed in society that disabled people are not sexually active. However, disabled people also have sexual needs and sexuality is an important factor for the quality of life of disabled people. Intellectual disability is a significant retardation in general mental functions compared to normal individuals during the development process, as well as an adaptive inadequacy in behavior. Significantly below-average mental functioning; It causes individuals to show limitations in communication, self-care, home life, social skills, participation in social life, leisure time and work. (cited by Cangöl, Karaca and Aslan Mentally disabled people are divided into three as educable, teachable and severe. (cited by Cangöl, Karaca and Aslan) Opinions about the sexual life of mentally handicapped people are different; firstly, disabled individuals do not need information about sexuality, secondly People with disabilities should have and live a sexual life like humans.Research shows that mildly mentally retarded individuals can control their sexual impulses like normal people, moderately mentally retarded individuals need help, and severely mentally retarded individuals have little control over their sexual impulses. For this reason, sexual development in mildly mentally retarded children is similar to the development of other children. It is necessary to determine the level of development of the child and to talk accordingly when giving sexual education to children with mental retardation. Intellectual age should be taken into account when giving information about r. (Semerci,2015) Scientific studies have shown that young people with intellectual disabilities have the same sexual motives as young people with normal development. Mentally disabled people have sexual activities due to their normal functioning hormones. When the physical development is normal in the mentally handicapped, sexual development also follows the normal order. Mentally disabled people are generally thought to have more sexual interests and more sexual behaviors than their peers. However, mentally handicapped people are perceived as such because they do not know where, when and in which situations sexual behaviors are appropriate, that is, they cannot control their sexual behaviors. (Bilge and Baykal, 2008). Education and studies aimed at improving sexual health for the disabled are limited in our society. With the “Sexual Health / Reproductive Health Project for the Disabled (Disabled)”, which was carried out for the first time in our country by Kozan et al., individuals with disabilities and their families in six regions were trained on sexual and reproductive health, and the mentioned families were provided to improve themselves in terms of their children’s sexual development. (cited by Cangöl, Karaca and Aslan)
Sex Education in Gay-Lesbian Families: Although it is not common in our country yet, the number of children with gay or lesbian parents is increasing. It is healthy for parents to educate these children independently of their own choices and free from their emotions. Ask your child, “How do you have two moms or dads?” It will be necessary to inform these children about family types and homosexuality earlier than other children so that they are not affected by the questions. (Semerci,2015)
Sex Education in Single-Parent Families: The number of single-parent families is increasing due to situations such as divorce, adoption, etc. In single-parent families, the lack of a peer with whom the child can identify in the preschool period may cause certain problems in the identity formation process. Therefore, in order for the child to complete the identification process in a healthy way, it is necessary to ensure that the child spends time with a same-sex adult, and to avoid negative attitudes towards sexuality in the child, the parent staying with the child should avoid blaming or insulting sentences to the other parent. (Semerci,2015)
Sex Education in Individuals with Autism is not different from other children. Developmental delays seen in other areas can also be seen in sexual development. Sexual information should be transferred to autistic children in accordance with their developmental period. Masturbation behavior can be seen in autistic children. (Semerci,2015) Autistic individuals have difficulties in understanding themselves and others regarding sexuality. At the core of these troubles is anger, which stems from not knowing what to do in case of sexual arousal. For these problems experienced by autistic individuals at the beginning and time of adolescence; Various methods suitable for the situation can be developed by educators and families. Regarding sexuality in autistic children; Education programs should be prepared for institutions and families related to sexuality, and magazines, brochures and books should be published. (Small and Icy,2006)
Sex Education in Hermaphrodite Children: Although the internal genitalia may be different, children with similar characteristics to both male and female genitalia are called hermaphrodites. These children, unlike other children, experience various sexual identity problems. Although the decision is made according to the physical and laboratory findings in children with this type of gender, the decision to be made during adolescence belongs to the adolescent. (Semerci,2015)
In order for children to receive positive information about sexuality and to create a positive perspective on sexuality throughout their growth and development processes, sexual education that starts in the family should be given in schools, which provides the opportunity to reach the majority of children and young people, and sexual education should be institutionalized. (Gürsoy and Gençalp,2010) Families do not have sufficient and correct information about sexuality and sexual education. In order for children to maintain healthy sexual development, first of all, parents should receive sexual education appropriate to the age groups and developmental levels of the children. (Elikucuk and Sonmez, 2011)
In line with the education received by the families, it is necessary to convey the necessary sexual information to the children, starting from the pre-school period, by maintaining a positive and accepting relationship with the awareness that sexual education is a process under appropriate conditions. Children who first get the necessary sexual information from their family members and increase this knowledge through schools and various institutions will be able to develop a healthy identity development.
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