There is no denying that parents also play, and will continue to play, a vital role in helping their children develop these crucial life skills. Still, in Mississippi and Nigeria, supporters had to compromise about the content of the curriculum. Abstinence-only education, in best-case scenarios, teaches the same life skills but without reference to contraception. Sex education, which promised to reduce teen pregnancy and quell HIV transmission, served as a solution to these problems. Mississippi is among the U. Consequently, in Mississippi, school districts can choose to teach abstinence-only curriculum.
Comprehensive sex education is very different than abstinence-only education. Compromise is necessary Third, those promoting sex education were strategic. More than half of states in the U. In Nigeria, data in the late s indicated that 2 to 4 million Nigerians — approximately 5 percent of the adult population — were HIV positive. This was in response to a case brought forward by a Swiss woman who wanted her child to be exempted from a class where she could ask questions about sexuality and reproductive health. The ECHR ruling is a clear recognition of the role that sexuality education plays in the global education of children, in the fight against sexual abuses and in the protection of public health. By that time, the curriculum had shifted from comprehensive to abstinence-only. In Nigeria, almost a quarter of women have begun childbearing by age The lessons also come as the United States itself is embroiled in an ongoing controversy over whether to fund comprehensive sex education or emphasize the abstinence-only approach. This cost was due to lost tax revenue, medical care, public assistance, foster care and other expenses. It also helps channel funding from the U. While there is no universal way to ensure access to sex education, the experiences in Nigeria and Mississippi show that it can be done — even in places that are most resistant to the idea. Despite the fact that comprehensive sex education has been shown to protect adolescent health, it can be difficult to dispel fears that it will corrupt young people and reduce parental and religious authority. And they made sure to stress that sex education was about health and life skills. It is vital to give young people the means and skills to recognise sexual abuse, lay down boundaries and be aware of the ownership they hold over their bodies. Sex education, which promised to reduce teen pregnancy and quell HIV transmission, served as a solution to these problems. It turns out Mississippi and Nigeria share some key similarities. The Court highlighted that society has a vested interest in very young children receiving well thought-out sexuality education. Both also have underfunded education and health systems. Local organizations are crucial First, strong, local organizations are necessary to promote sex education. Three lessons about overcoming these obstacles come out of research that several colleagues and I conducted on how sex education came to be in Nigeria and Mississippi. Mississippi First trains teachers on comprehensive sex education. For instance, in Mississippi , more than three-quarters of instructors surveyed in believed that sex education was promoting healthy relationships. In both places, homegrown organizations lobbied, connected people and provided legitimacy to the idea of teaching sex education. In the case in question, the highest Swiss court decided that it was in the best interest of the child to have access to information that could protect her health. However, some positive evidence exists for both places. Mississippi required school districts to implement sex education by but under similarly restrictive conditions.
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