Parents and Teachers should not Shy away from Providing Complete Sex Education, says Niyatii Shah, Sexuality Educator and Parenting Coach

Niyatii Shah, Sexuality Educator and Parenting Coach stresses on the need of teaching both genders about each-others sexuality right from the beginning a homes and at schools.

In India, talking about sexual health is considered immoral or humiliating and it is the biggest reason for the negligence towards sexual and reproductive health. Sexual health-related issues are wide-ranging and include sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual expression, relationships, and pleasure. Sex education is learning about a broad variety of topics related to sex and sexuality, exploring values and beliefs about those topics, and getting the skills that are needed to navigate relationships and manage one's sexual health. Medicircle presents a sexual and reproductive health awareness series with eminent sexologists, sex educators’ gynaecologists, andrologists, and many health experts to bring forward issues faced by society due to lack of proper awareness about sexual health. 

 

Niyatii Shah is an Experienced Sexuality Educator and Parenting Coach with a demonstrated history of working in the education awareness industry. She is skilled in Negotiation, Coaching, Public Speaking, Curriculum Development, and Parent Coaching. She is a strong and passionate professional as a Trained Sex Educator focused on Sex Education & Sexual Health. She is also a Global Goodwill Ambassador, India for Human Rights Advocate, Sexual Harassment, Gender Inclusions, and Guilt-Free Parenting. Niyatii is an enthusiastic entrepreneur who loves to be the change she wants to see. 

 

Sexuality is Not Just a Three Minute Act

Niyatii emphasizes, “Understand sex and sexuality from the perspective of your anatomy, your reproductive system, your body, and its process. Sex is not just the three-minute act that we are talking about. It's everything to do from hygiene to the union of two people to the diseases that it may cause. So, one has to understand and educate oneself about all of this as a bigger sky and those small clouds as topics, and then understand where there is the requirement to prevent all the wrong things that can happen to me in the spectrum of safety and health. After these introspections, move forward and make informed decisions about it. 

 

Break the Pattern - Start Talking about Sexual Issues with your Children

Niyatii mentions, “When children are young, they are not speaking with you, they are listening to you, but they don't know your language, what they see is what they learn. So more than hearing and understanding your language, they see your body language, they see how you are reacting to things, and the tone of your voice. And that's where we are telling them non verbally, that sex and sexuality are taboo and that we should not talk about it, nobody will address your issues, we will shame you if you are touching your genitals, etc. So, without telling the child that you should not be asking me these questions, we are indirectly letting them know that this society does not talk about it. We have given that taboo to our children, and because of which most of them don't ask parents anything about the vital issues related to sex and sexuality. Our parents did not talk about these things with us, we never ask them why and follow the same pattern of not talking on these matters with our children,” says Niyatii.

“We have to break that chain. Now we have to break that pattern and start talking about it in a very natural manner, a very normal manner, that okay if you feel like touching your genitals, it's a very personal thing to do. It's a private thing to do, go into your room or go into the washroom and then you come back, wash your hands, and come back out later join us for dinner, whatever it is. When we make it a very normal phenomenon, we are also teaching them the values around it. We are talking about hygiene; we are talking about privacy. So, parents have to take that up, and then the children will learn to be okay about it,” stresses Niyatii.

 

Not Just Contraceptives but Education About its Right Use Should Be There Too

Niyatii advises, “Education with the availability of contraceptives is required and that is not possible through advertisements on television. I-pill has been one of the major issues for sexual health advocates and educators because the teenagers are popping it up as if it's a contraceptive; 2 in a month, 4 in a month, 6 in a month. Young girls should not be taking it and boys think it is one of the easiest solutions. So, while contraceptives are available, enough education and warnings should be attached to them. So, while we are teaching youngsters to be safe from pregnancy, we cannot lead them to bad health and bad reproductive organs. They cannot go from one ditch to the other. So, education is the key and it should not be just through advertisements,” says Niyatii.

 

Accountability Towards Sexual Health of Youngsters Should Be There

Niyatii believes, “Sex education should be a part of the curriculum in school where we teach them community living hygiene and responsibilities; there the education should begin. Also, there should be the availability of contraceptives, with ID cards. Yes, it may be available in public washrooms or hotel rooms. But at the same time, if one knows that a few accountabilities matter in such situations, the transition would be smooth. Once everybody understands the responsibility, then you don't need to, monitor anyone, but till that time more responsibility is required. Talk about it at home, talk about it before people get married or before they start having sexual encounters, rather than waiting for something wrong to happen and then educating about it,” she says.

 

Sex Education Should be Life Skills for Girls and Boys, not a Biology Chapter

Niyatii explains, “As a very passionate sex educator, I like both the genders to sit together and learn about facts so that they both can see each other, and to be in that room and get comfortable about this stuff. But at the same time, I deal with children who have not been exposed to this topic at all. So, when we are sitting with them and teaching them, we don't want them to be awkward about it, where they are shying from one another. So, in the beginning, in the first couple of lectures, we do keep them separately, talk to them about themselves, let them be comfortable with themselves and the agenda, then get them back together mentioning “you also need to know about the others.” In the books that I have written, in the girls’ book, there is a segment on boys, and boy’s book has a segment on girls. So, the life skill needs to be inculcated so that there is understanding in boys and girls  about each other’s sexualities,” says Niyatii.

 

Schools Need to Shed Inhibitions and Provide Complete Sex Education to Pupils

Niyatii points out, “Usually, the females teach chapters related to the reproductive system, there is always some or the other boy in the class who passes unnecessary comments or judgments which becomes a little disrespectful. So, the teachers are very scared of what kind of questions will these children come back with? Do I have to say this? Can I say this? What if I don't want to say it? So, they stick to the reproductive system only. Whatever the textbook gives them, they're done with it? That’s all and nothing more because even our teachers were not taught how to deal with this subject and how to answer these kids. That's where sex education and educators like me come in the picture - to teach kids life skills,” says Niyatii.


(Edited by Amrita Priya)

 

Contributed By: Niyatii Shah, Sexuality Educator and Parenting Coach
Tags : #medicircle #smitakumar #niyatiishah #sexualityeducator #parentingcoach #sexualeducation #Sexual-And-Reproductive-Health-Awareness-Series

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