Comprehensive Sexuality Education and the ESA Commitment

During the Youth Sexuality Institute pre-conference, Dr. Asha Mohamud gave a presentation on the need for comprehensive sexuality education. In her presentation, Dr. Mohamud related sexuality to the biological make-up of an individual and how the sexual organs of a human being function, to expression of feelings about sex, and linked it to gender, human rights and reproductive and sexual health.

She spoke about the dimensions of sexuality which included:

  • Intimacy: related to emotional connection, which is the most strongest and important component of sexuality.
  • Expression of love
  • Emotional connection
  • Sensuality (physical expression of sexuality, i.e. eroticism)
  • Sexual identity, which are three:Sexual Reproductive Health
    • Gender identity, which is biological and mental
    • Gender roles, which refers to the societal norms of behavior for each gender
    • Sexual orientation, which are heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual
  • Sexual exploitation and abuse where there is a violation of a right

In her presentation Dr. Mohamud stressed on the need for comprehensive sexuality education for girls because of the rise in the age of sexual initiation among other reasons. She also added that effective comprehensive sexuality education is age-appropriate, gender-sensitive and life-skills based, and would result in:

  • Increased age of sexual initiation among adolescent and young people
  • Increased use of condoms and contraceptives
  • Reduced number of sexual partners
  • Reduced frequency of sex
  • Overall reduction of HIV and STIs

She added that governments have to ensure that Comprehensive Sexuality Education is integrated into policy development and strategic documents, and they oversee the implementation of policies and strategies. Civil societies also need to carry out sensitization campaigns, lobby for domestication and ensure accountability.

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