(WASHINGTON) — A Georgetown University study suggests that policy makers, schools and parents across the world are falling down on the job when it comes to giving children accurate and useful sex education.
Authors Susan M. Igras, Marjorie Macieira, Elaine Murphy and Rebecka Lundgren say that younger adolescents, defined as those between ten and 14, from lower- and middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies and STDs, noting that they’ve increased significantly over the past quarter century in these parts of the world.
Therefore, the researchers say that much more needs to be done to instruct younger adolescents about their sexual and reproductive health, including those in the U.S.
Adults are also being advised to get over their fear of talking to their kids about sexual matters since they worry it could lead to experimentation.
The researchers conclude, “If programs…are implemented at a time when adolescents are still malleable and relatively free of sexual and reproductive health problems and gender role biases, very young adolescents can be guided safely through this life stage, supported by their parents, families and communities.”
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