There’s no right or wrong time to talk about Sexuality

Have you ever thought about your first sexual intercourse? Did you know anything about sex, what to do and how to do it? Where did you get the knowledge from?

In most typical traditional African families, talking about sex is a taboo especially between parents and their children.

With the new technology young people learn about sex & relationships from lots of different sources like Social Media (Facebook, twitter, Instagram) and others. They need accurate information that will help them to make informed choices, and which will keep them safe.

Parents convey very important messages to young people though their attitudes and behavior, whether they talk about sex or not. When you talk with young people about these things, it can strengthen their relationship and help them work out their values. Importantly, young people learn they can talk with you about sensitive matters

Why talk about sex? Talking with your son or daughter about sex, relationships is important because you (Parents) have a big influence on the values they take on and how they relate to others

These are key things young people are working out at this stage in their development and it is the right time to give accurate, balanced information and discuss your family values.

Talking with your son or daughter can build trust and strengthen relationship. When you open to them, they are more likely to come to you if they have any problem

Young people are exposed to lots of images, information in the media which can give distorted ideas about sex and relationships. You can help them question what they see and hear

Some of them are having sex whether we talk with them about it or not. They are sexually active, so many young people don’t practice safe sex which puts them at risk of getting HIV, sexual transmitted diseases and becoming pregnant.

While sexual activity is often within a relationship, some young people have had a number of sexual partners or have engaged in sex with someone they just met.

Young people with physical or intellectual disabilities need information about privacy, safety and sexual matters too. They can be more easily exploited so it’s important they know how to keep safe.

Research shows that young people who get good sexuality education delay having sex, and have less unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Sex education in the past often focused on the physical aspects of sex. However, sex is also about sexuality, gender, relationships, feelings and being a whole person.

It’s important for young people to understand that feelings, caring, mutual respect and safety are all part of a healthy relationship being male or female can sometimes make a difference to what sex means

Lets encourage young people to be sensitive, responsible and safe about sex.  Talk with young people about what they want from a relationship even before they start dating. When they think about this before the heat of the moment it can lead to better decisions

Talk about the risks of using alcohol and other drugs. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can increase the risk of acting before thinking, having unsafe sex or of others taking advantage of you.

As Elders, Parents, Guardians lets also make sure they (young people) understand about consent to have sex. Consent means freely agreeing to sexual activity, and taking responsibility for ensuring the person you want to be sexual with is comfortable and agrees to go further. If someone is asleep or so intoxicated they don’t know what’s going on, then they are not consenting. Pressuring or forcing someone to have sex is a crime.

And many young people are easily embarrassed. They might say they don’t want to talk about sex or know it all already. As an elder let them know you think it is an important topic that you are happy to talk about at any time. Make sure they know where else to get information and support..

The topic of SEXUALITY challenges us to confront issues that the society has clothed in taboos and silences, to unclothe them, quiz them and give them voice

Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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