Sexuality During Childhood and Adolescence
Sexuality is one of the most challenging topics to discuss for the young, the adolescents as well as the adults. Sexuality in this context refers to the lure experienced by people towards others of similar or different sexual orientations (Perrin, 2002). In the current times, differences in sexual orientation pose significant challenge in discussing sexuality. However, this is an important matter that should not be ignored. It is the role of parents, regardless of the type of parenting used to raise the self esteem of children through providing necessary guidance.
One of the ways through which this can be achieved is through sexual education. Sexual education involves learning how sexual development occurs through various stages development. It involves guiding children and young adults through the growth process. Several methods are applied in sexual education in various communities and their success depends on the times and the objectives of the education. In contemporary times, sexual education entails the use of contraceptives besides other safe sexual practices (Ott, 2013). In sexual education, various concepts such as sexual health and reproduction and sensuality are discussed.
Other concepts that are learnt include intimacy, sexual identity and sexualization. While studying sexual education, there are some concepts that are taken to have meanings different from the meanings implied in general sexuality. Words such as sex and transgender have different meanings in sexual education from what is commonly understood. Several changes occur in children while they grow. As children grow, various changes occur in their lives. Physical changes which characterize development in sexuality are also many and children should be taught on how to handle the changes when they come.
While the children may be easier to guide, adolescents are more challenging to assist with regards to issues of sexuality. This is because they are in a period of transition (Rathus, 2013). Because of this, adolescents change in physical appearance and also in terms of societal integration. They are in the process of moving from the nucleus family to being members of a larger society. This comes with the development of operational thinking and the development of new reciprocal relationship with peers and others. On the other hand, the adolescence period may be viewed as a period of crisis where there is greater need for adaptation.
The perception of adolescence as a period of crisis implies that parental guidance is needed all the more. The way in which parents play their parenting roles influences the way in which the children develop. Drunkard parents, cultural issues and domestic violence all impact negatively on the well being of the children involved. The adolescents face different challenges during their transition from childhood to adulthood. While some of the adolescents may adapt easily to the changes they face, others find it more difficult to adapt. The adolescents are faced with challenges such as unsafe hazards, substance use and abuse and engagement in criminal activities among others. The combination of challenges may make it even more difficult for adolescents to adapt to changes in sexuality. One of the ways through which the adolescents can be helped in dealing with sexuality is through counseling.
Counseling of adolescents involves specific approaches particularly due to the development stages in which they are in (Geldard and David, 2010). In order to achieve the intended effects in adolescent counseling, various aspects have to be developed effectively. The counselor – adolescent relationship, skills and techniques have all to be polished to achieve the particular objectives for which adolescents seek counseling.
Geldard, K & David G. (2010). Counseling Adolescents. SAGE Publications Ltd: London.
Ott, K. M. (2013). Sex + faith: Talking with your child from birth to adolescence
Perrin, E. C. (2002). Sexual orientation in child and adolescent health care. New York [u.a.: Kluwer Acad.
Rathus, S. A. (2003). Voyages: Childhood and adolescence. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth
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