It was about 11 o’clock at night when the telephone bell rang. “Is Reema there? Uncle, I am her classmate” said the guy. The father passed the telephone to Reema but could not resist hearing what she was talking. After about 15 minutes talk she started to go to her room when the mother called her and asked about the guy. Reema said, “He is just a good friend of mine, he had some difficulty.” Being parents of a 14 years old girl, they realized that the time has come when their adolescent daughter should know about a few important issues which would help her in developing healthy relationship with everybody without indulging in any problem. Sexuality issues in teenagers are of utmost importance in the rapidly changing scenario. Youngsters have an inborn tendency to explore their sexuality. It is a natural process of achieving sexual maturity.
Adolescence is the period during which attraction for opposite sex begins. ‘Friendship’ is a sweet option to some extent where both need to know where to stop. But some adolescents indulge in so called love affairs without knowing the depth of real love & get distracted from studies, future aim, and career. They are infatuated by ‘looks’ and are carried away by the time being caring words. The fate of such reckless love is crush. There comes the role of parents & good friends for support. They need to be realized that they should not waste all their affection on a wrong person & save the most of it for their life long partner.
Same is about ‘sex & sexuality issues’. It is a matter of responsibility. In tradition bound Indian society talking openly about ‘sex & sexuality issues’ was considered a taboo, for a long time, but with the emergence of many sexually transmitted infections e.g. HIV and the rise in the incidence of sexual abuse (showing no age bar), has brought out the need for imparting awareness among adolescents.
This is wrong thinking that sexuality or family life education (i.e. reproductive health education) will encourage sexual activity among youngsters. Teenagers naturally have an instinct to know all about sex & rightly so, but it is always better to be informed in the right way through family life education which will help them understand their sexuality, responsibility & consequences.
The weaker sex is generally & unfortunately projected as a means of amusement or enjoyment. The peer pressure & the media also play a major role in creating an image, positive or negative, of opposite sex in the young minds. Thus they are imposed to think in the same way. Parents, especially mothers, should take care to teach the boys to love & respect women. She should show her interest in discussing these issues without demanding intimate details. Teens value their privacy & have knowledge about most of the facts regarding sex & pregnancy, but they also want their parents to be involved in their lives. So, the advantage of natural opportunity should be taken to talk openly with the teens without creating a fuss of it. Hence, they should be encouraged to form healthy interpersonal relationship which forms the basis of a strong personality.
Sexuality is a sum total of one’s feelings & behaviour towards sex & it should be recognized as a positive value in life. Unlike as in animal kingdom, it is solely a means of procreation, for human beings, it is a form of expression of deep love. Only parents can give this realization to their children by establishing good & healthy rapport with them.
Above all, there is a need to persevere. The teen years do pass, and the most adolescents survive & flourish, in spite of bumps along the way.
Dr. Mrs Prajakta Kaduskar
Consultant in Adolescent Paediatrics
Dr. Ajay Kaduskar
Dr. Mrs. Prajakta A. Kaduskar