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Sex Education and Egocentrism: Cognitive Development

Introduction

In the most difficult periods of a country’s development, the institution of the family shows high resilience and the ability to maintain its stability. Strengthening the moral foundations of the individual and the status of the family is a priority for society, and sexual education of the younger generation is one of the leading directions in its solution. The ability to create a strong family and be full-fledged parents are qualities that can only be developed by the focused efforts of the older generation. This also includes the lack of the necessary knowledge to maintain and promote health, and the inability of adults to provide assistance and answer the questions that every teenager faces. This undesirable state of affairs is a direct result of asexual pedagogy and asexual psychology in a collision with the expansion of the sexual revolution. The latter is complemented with adolescent egocentrism, which manifests itself in an imaginary audience and personal fable.

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Sex Education

Sex education is a system of medical, psychological, civil, and pedagogical measures aimed at educating children, adolescents, and young people of the right attitude to gender issues. The objectives of sex education are the use of gender as a factor in the personal development of the younger generation. In addition, this includes the formation of clear gender-role identification and moral gender relations and the strengthening of marriage and family.

A thorough analysis of the current literature indicates that there are strong benefits of implementing sex education for teenagers. One study shows that the lack of parental or formal sources of information regarding birth control and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be a major reason for the increased rate of HIV and adolescent pregnancy (Lindberg et al., 2016). In order to use an analytical approach, it is important to assess the available data. According to the article, the overall rate of receipt of formal sex education on the risk of STDs and sexual education declined in all cases (Lindberg et al., 2016). For example, male adolescents’ receipt of instruction on birth control decreased from 61% to 55% (Lindberg et al., 2016). The given trend can be detrimental for both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, where teenagers will become less and less informed about sex. Therefore, it is evident that there needs to be a source of formal instruction and education on sex, STDs, and birth control.

Although parents can be one of the main sources of sex education, they are not as reliable as schools. The study suggests that sex education can be integrated in a highly interactive way, where the game format utilizes the participatory design approach (Chu et al., 2015). The given method was used in secondary schools, where students expressed increased awareness and a positive attitude towards making sensible and wise sexual choices after the game (Chu et al., 2015). Teenagers can be educated on the subject of sex by using effective theoretical frameworks through interactivity and innovation. School should become a formal source of sex education because it will ensure that all adolescents are receiving the required knowledge regarding sex. The sample size in the study was equal to 1176, and the age of the students ranged from 12 to 16 (Chu et al., 2015). Therefore, the study is highly reliable and confirms the fact that sex education can be taught in schools effectively.

Schools should be thoroughly involved in sex education, but the overall stance needs to be neutral and informative. It is stated that all these measures should be used in order to help adolescents to build healthy relationships and make safe choices (Breuner & Mattson, 2016). Such an approach reduces risks and prevents the rates of HIV, STDs, and adolescent pregnancy (Breuner & Mattson, 2016). Therefore, it is possible to predict that pushing a certain agenda or taking a strong stance can be detrimental for implementing effective sex education programs in schools. Teenagers should be able to make weighed and conscious choices based on the information provided. Based on the evidence, it is clear that sex education must thoroughly inform students on all aspects and risks of sex and related issues. Therefore, schools provide in-depth knowledge and remain neutral in order to ensure effective sex education.

One should understand the fact that parents are the main hindrance in implementing sex education at schools. It is stated that some families perceive sex education programs in educational facilities as an attack on their authority (Zimmerman, 2015). It is clear that many parents are not willing to cooperate with schools because of their beliefs, religion, or ignorance. According to many sex educators, parents do not teach their children in sufficient amounts due to their lack of knowledge, expertise, or mere willingness (Zimmerman, 2015). In addition, parents are not reliable sources of instruction because they do not undergo specific pieces of training or have qualifications. Lastly, relying on parents as sex educators will lead to severe knowledge disparity among adolescents where one teenager knows more than others. It is evident that most parents are a source of misinformation rather than proper sex education, which means that sex education needs to be thought at schools with a neutral stance in order to comply with parents’ needs for authority.

Educators should be prepared to provide accurate and clear answers to students’ questions, as well as to have the ability to respond in a timely and correct manner to any specific moments in the relationship of students of different sexes throughout the entire period of their education. The skillful impact of the teaching staff on the nature of inter-sexual relations directly in the school is an important and necessary element of the sex education system. When carrying out sex education, it is also essential to take into account the peculiarities of local culture, which is distinguished by a specific attitude to gender issues, and take into account national religious and regional specifics.

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Gender issues should be addressed in close connection with health issues. It is necessary to use modern achievements in personal hygiene and body care to maintain and strengthen health, including reproductive health. When implementing sex education programs, as nowhere else, close cooperation between the teacher and the school as a whole with the parents of the students is necessary. The school’s activities in the field of sex education should be carried out in connection with the work of special centers having the nature of counseling and social assistance for adolescents.

Egocentrism

Both imaginary audience and personal fable are manifestations of egocentrism, which are common in adolescents. Imaginary audience is a state where an individual perceives that he or she is at the center of attention, even if the reality does not adhere to this perception. The given occurrence is a form of delusion, which stops teenagers from understanding their own true selves and being grounded in reality. A personal fable is another manifestation of egocentrism, where a person considers himself or herself exceptional. This can take the form of toxic positivity regarding one’s self-perception, where an individual underestimates the risks and overestimates the rewards. Both of the psychological phenomena lead to risky behaviors because an imaginary audience promotes unhealthy attention-seeking, and a personal fable encourages unreasonable risk-taking. According to the study, the adolescent age group is at the most danger of risky behaviors, which leads to negative health outcomes (Lin, 2016). It is also stated that egocentrism is one of the major contributing factors for such risky behaviors, such as alcohol use, tobacco smoking, and unprotected sex (Lin, 2016). Therefore, the evidence strongly suggests that egocentrism and its manifestations are detrimental to adolescents’ health, well-being, and sexual life.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the early onset of sexual activity has become one of the fashionable values ​​in the youth subculture. Since adolescence, the quantity of sexually transmitted diseases has increased. The increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, has now become explosive. It is important to note a significant aspect of juvenile pregnancies, the outcome of which is abortion or young motherhood, which often leads to abandonment of children and social orphanhood. Therefore, sex education cannot be considered separately from the general issues of education that prepares the young generation not only for work and social activities but also for personal life. At the same time, the sexual aspect is a socio-hygienic problem related to the health, working capacity, mood of people, and the improvement of their family life. In addition, one needs to consider adolescent egocentrism in order to promote healthy choices and prevent risky behaviors.

References

Breuner, C. C., & Mattson, G. (2016). Sexuality education for children and adolescents. American Academy of Pediatrics, 138(2), 1-11.

Chu, S. K. W., Kwan, A. C. M., Reynolds, R., Mellecker, R. R., Tam, F., Lee, G., Hong, A., & Leung, C. Y. (2015). Promoting sex education among teenagers through an interactive game: Reasons for success and implications. Games for Health Journal, 4(3), 168-174.

Lin, P. (2016). Risky behaviors: Integrating adolescent egocentrism with the theory of planned behavior. Review of General Psychology, 20(4), 392-398.

Lindberg, L. D., Maddow-Zimet, I., & Boonstra, H. M. A. (2016). Changes in adolescents’ receipt of sex education, 2006–2013. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(6), 621-627.

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Zimmerman, J. (2015). Too hot to handle: A global history of sex education. Princeton University Press.

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