What influences our views on sex?
When it comes to learning about sex, most of us have received sex education from class through life orientation, but how many of us actually learn about sex through family members, particularly through our parents or other adults at home or through good friends? How many of us are open about sex with them or our closest friends? There are many things that determine our views on sex, from the way we view our bodies to the way other people talk about sex.
When you have your first period, you may be slightly confused as to who to speak to first for help. Puberty, a time when your body physically changes like your breasts growing and having periods, is an important part of your life choma, because how your family and friends approach it with you may influence your views on sex. You might have questions about hormones and pregnancy, because once you start your period choma, your body is ready to have a baby, but that definitely doesn't mean that you’re ready to. Being open about your body changes will make discussing sex a lot easier. You don’t just have to speak to your parents about puberty, you can also speak to a nurse or your sexual health teacher. Remember that there is nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to your changing body or your curiosity about sex.
Being around friends and family
Do you get uncomfortable every time you approach the topic of sex with your close friends or relatives like your siblings or cousins, whether it’s asking about how a condom works or talking about the dangers of unsafe sex? Certain people that you hang around will view sex differently. For example, an older aunt might think it’s inappropriate to talk about sex, no matter what your age, and might only believe in sex after marriage while a younger cousin or friend might talk about sex all the time, even if they’re not very clued up. Depending on whose opinion you trust more, you might have a view on sex that is not exactly accurate. This is why it’s important to ask questions. You might feel embarrassed at first but there are people you could ask who are specifically trained to answer questions about sex and sexual health, like a school nurse, varsity counsellor, healthcare worker or a community nurse.
You can also do research online, such as Choma Magazine, this way you can find out information without feeling worried about being judged. If you can talk to your friends and family about sex, then do that too, it might help everyone form healthy options about sex and this can lead to other topics like, learning how to reduce the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and also lesson the stigma on HIV. You can even suggest going for an HIV test.
Choma, at the end of the day your decision about your sexual behaviour belongs to you and only you. No one else, including your friends or family members, can make those decisions for you. So it’s up to you to make healthy, responsible sexual choices choma. Open communication about STIs, puberty, pregnancy and condoms between you and your loved ones helps you reduce the shame associated with sex.
Choma, it’s natural to have questions, especially about sex. Try to speak to a friend, peer, parent, older sibling, aunt or guidance counsellor at school or college/university to help answer your questions. Of course, you can Ask Choma too.
Do you think your views on sex are being negatively influenced by the people around you?
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