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SOC2276 - Sexuality, Lethbridge College, Canada

Sexuality Education: Challenges and Effectiveness


Question: Describe the challenges of sexuality education today including evidence of its effectiveness.

Answer: Sexuality education is integral for the sexual health of any individual, wherein sexual health encompasses the emotional, physical, mental and social aspects in terms of the individual's sexuality. It is also important to have a respectful as well as positive approach to sexuality and subsequent relationships such that people can have safe experiences, devoid of violence, coercion and discrimination. This assignment intends to analyze an article on sexuality education and determine the challenges that are faced, along with evidence of how effective it usually is in the modern context.

Summary of the article: The article states that many agencies such as the ones affiliated with the United Nations are working to promote the concept of comprehensive sexuality education in countries across the world as part of the human rights that an individual has in the social context. Haberland andRogow (2015, p. 516) also state that it is necessary to have a healthy and safe learning environment for sexuality education, since the subject requires personalized participation in order to be effective. The major challenge that has been further stated by the authors is that although there is little or no proof of the reliability of an abstinence-only approach, most countries follow this norm instead of educating the population on sexually transmitted diseases, methods of contraception, methods to access health services, and so on (p. 519).

Another challenge that has been listed by Haberland and Rogow (2015, p. 519) is that of lack of skills when it comes to the teachers. It is always important to have interactive and diverse methods if it is to be ensured that the sexuality education imparted is to be effective to the young people. Thus, having a classroom where the participants of the educational initiative can freely express themselves without the fear of being criticized or undermined, greatly facilitates the inculcation of values that support not only gender equality but also other democratic functions such as human rights and overall well-being. Furthermore, the social environment of the participants also has a major role to play in the reinforcement of the values imparted by a comprehensive sexuality teaching effort, and for this reason it is necessary that the young people have access to health services that would be welcoming to help them in any way they require. Stigma is therefore another massive challenge that sexuality education has to endure on a regular basis.


Critical analysis of the article: Evidence: The research article as brought forth by Haberland and Rogow (2015) utilizes secondary data collected from various peer-reviewed journals and articles to substantiate their claims. Although the evidence provided cannot be said to primarily scientific in nature, it must be noted that a vast amount of pre-existing studies has been consulted to formulate the evidence as indicated in this research article. Overall, the aim has been to assess the current scenario of sexuality education across the world, and understand the challenges that it faces, along with the need for emphasizing the need for this educational initiative.

Perspective: This research indicates the use of a macro-level analysis as it views the society at large and is not focused on the interactions of any particularly small group. The authors have also used the structural functionalist perspective to determine the current scenario that prevails around the concept of sexuality education, and what factors affect the successful implementation of the same.

Strengths and weaknesses: The strength of the article lies in the authors' dexterity to analyze a range of existing studies to draw conclusions and understand the challenges that sexuality education has been facing in the current world scenario. A very comprehensive definition of sexuality education has also been provided along with evidence of effectiveness of these programs. However, the weakness of this study lies in the fact that no scientific study was carried out exclusively by the authors of this research article in order to back up their claims and findings, which once again leaves the door open for a discussion.

Personal opinion: In my opinion, I believe it would be safe to assume that the information as documented by the authors of this article is quite agreeable. There is certainly a lot of stigma attached to sexuality education and even developed countries lay a lot more emphasis on abstinence rather than on how to learn and experience a safe, healthy sexual life. This is the major reason that challenges the efforts of sexuality education, and there is a lack of personalized data to actually indicate the effectiveness of these programs.

Sociological concepts, trends and application: The structural functional approach, along with the feminism and gender-conflict approach, are the two sociological concepts or theories that can be said to be applicable in the context of the chosen research article. Sexuality education can be said to be a structural functionality, since the different elements of society have to function together in order to make sure that the efforts are effective, which is what is suggested by the structural functional theory.


The feminism and gender-conflict theory is also applicable to this article, since the article clearly mentions the prevalence of bullying and harassment within the classroom, especially for girls who do not conform to the social norms and conventional gender stereotypes. This inequality often leads to the lack of access of appropriate care and information on sexuality, which makes it a major issue for young girls.

Summary and explanation of the news article: The news article chosen for this assignment directly relates to the article, as it discusses the debate between evidence-based sexuality education and an approach that supports abstinence-only methods. Salzman (2019) reports that there has been a noteworthy increase in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States of America in the last year, which points towards a severe dearth of appropriate education, in addition to a lack of access to necessary services. More than $2 billion has been allocated for the funding of programs that advocate abstinence-only measures and inculcate a message of fear within the minds of the young individuals, which points to the fact that there are massive hurdles that have to be overcome if comprehensive sexuality education is to be implemented in an effective manner.

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