Ukraine is on its way to modern education, and sexual education has become one of the primary strategies of this way. The issue of sexual education is becoming increasingly relevant in modern society.
Our community organized an event “Sexual education in schools: together from imitation towards European education” in Lviv on October 25. Activists and journalists discussed critical aspects of the issue and searched for ideas to improve it.
The event highlighted the problems of contemporary sexual education and provided practical suggestions and ideas that may improve approaches toward Ukrainian sexual education. Selection of the participants, outstanding presentations, lively discussions, and productive cooperation were what made this event particularly important for everyone interested in the perspectives of sexual education in our country.
Making sexual education available for everyone
One of the main points discussed at the event is the utmost need to make sexual education available for all social groups and people living in small towns and villages. Experts emphasized that sexual education needs to utilize an individual approach and consider the context of all groups.
State standards reflecting values
State standards are more than simple text. They are important because they reflect strong values that teachers are expected to pass on to their students. Modular educational programs may occasionally contain the “acceptable” words, but in practice, they may simply be reduced to recounting platitudes. The choice of vocabulary is important in teaching sexual education and forming correct ideas about sexual relationships.
Understanding the context — “There was no sex, children were produced at the factories”
It is also crucial to understand the context and the preconceptions that the teachers share. Several decades ago Ukrainian society adhered to the obsolete ideas about sexual relationships, Frankly, since then not much has changed, and such views are often presented to students as the standard. Speaking of sexual education, some high schoolers react with embarrassment and laughs, whereas younger students openly discuss interesting topics. Bridging this gap concerning sexual education is of utmost importance.
Challenges in the sphere of teaching sexual education
Teaching sexual education in schools is not always easy. In order to overcome obstacles staying the way towards implementing sexual education, we organised a collective activity, during which we came up with the following questions: “What are the main challenges towards implementing sexual education?”, “What will help to overcome them?”, “What steps do we need to take?”. We asked similar questions to the educators. Comparing the results, we were glad to find out that we share our vision and needs with the teachers.
The main thing now is to combine our efforts
Our networking event turned into a platform for discussing the crucial aspects of sexual education and searching for ways to improve it in Ukraine. Activists, journalists, and people invested in education combined their efforts in order to create high-quality and proper sexual education.
Creating high-quality sexual education is the goal for all people, and only together we can improve this sphere. Adults need to remember that sexual education is the key element to developing healthy sexual relationships and understanding one’s own body.