Young people andsex education. They would like to, but the response they receive is poor. “A little out of curiosity, a little out of need, the boys show interest in sexual education courses or meetings in school environments”, but “almost half have never addressed the issue”, although about 9 out of 10 “think that information at school is essential “. This is what emerges from a research carried out by the National Childhood and Adolescence Observatory of Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology (Fix). The 3,500 children participating in the survey, conducted online on the skuola.net website, expressed their opinion on the sexuality education they received or would like to have at school. “Almost 90% of those who answered think it is essential. Both males and females are sure of it while. Regarding age, it is above all those in the 15-18 age group and the youngest in the 11-14 age group who deem it necessary. “, emphasizes the report.
“Just over one in 3 students talked about it in high school, less than one in 3 in middle school and less than one in 10 even in elementary school. More often than not, experts outside the school spoke about sexuality, such as psychologists, gynecologists or other professional figures, often also professors or directly other students. In much rarer cases it was the parents who spoke about sexuality at school “, highlights Fiss.
But when to start talking about sex in school? For the boys who answered the questionnaire prepared by the Fiss Observatory, they should start “at lower secondary school (more than one in 2); subsequently, more than one in 5 believe it is appropriate to start secondary school. second grade. Finally, one out of 6 already indicates kindergarten as an appropriate place “. They are mainly older boys, girls and those who claim to have a homosexual orientation to deem it important to have an earlier sex education, starting from elementary school.
“It is very useful that the developmental age groups, both 11-14 year olds and 15-18 year olds, have testified that they consider sex education essential and necessary – comments Roberta Giommi, psychotherapist, clinical sexologist, director of the International Institute of Florence, member of the Fiss board – This reinforces the idea of the risks we can run as authoritative adults, experts in sex education, teachers, parents, as well as the idea that sexual and emotional experiences receive no attention, creating so sometimes serious difficulties “.
“For years, especially since 1985 – adds the specialist – courses have been held to prepare people for sex education and this has involved meetings with parents and teachers. Knowing that they think it is something that is guilty missing pushes us to intensify the meetings and opportunities to educate boys and girls about sexuality and affectivity, as we are also doing in elementary schools “.
When sexuality education is done, among the most discussed topics are the sexually diseases tr
l’anatomy and the physiology sexuality and reproduction, along with pubertal changes. Another topic that is often explored is sexuality combined with the use of technology. In this case, the phenomena of cyberbullying, del ‘sexting’of ‘grooming’ he was born in ‘revenge porn’. The topics less dealt with at school, on the other hand, are the relationship with one’s own body (less than 7% of young people); sexual rights, examined by less than one in 10 students; the role of professional figures, such as gynecologist, andrologist and sexologist (only from one in 10), and sexual and gender identity (less than one in 8). Among those in favor of school sex education, the topics of greatest interest are: sexually transmitted infections, contraception and the experience of first sexual intercourse.
“More than half of the boys – the Fiss survey reveals – considers it important to also deal with issues that are not often addressed at school, such as voluntary termination of pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and affectivity. Others. important topics concern consent in sexual relationships and the role of technology, as well as tolerance, inclusion and respect, rights and pornography. ”
“The children want to talk about the issues that they believe are most important for their education and that are not dealt with, or very little, on other occasions – observes Roberta Rossi, psychotherapist and sexologist, director of the Institute of Clinical Sexology in Rome and past president Fiss – They need knowledge to face the emotional and sexual life that awaits them in a more conscious way, thus being able to make the most appropriate choices for their age and experience. The experience of the changing body is often a harbinger of doubts and fears, but also of curiosity: what to do, how to accept these changes? The right word is always awareness, knowing to better manage the change emotionally and affectively “.