Sex education is an instruction therapy on issues related to human sexual behaviours, which can include emotional responsibilities and relations, sexual activities, the age of consent, human sexual anatomy, reproductive rights, reproductive age, birth control, safe sex and also about issues related to sexual abstinence.
Sex education that encompasses all these aspects as mentioned above, is known as comprehensive sex education. The common pathways of receiving sex education are caregivers, parents, public health campaigns and formal school programs for the students. Adolescent men and women in many traditional cultures were not provided with any information pertaining to sexual matters, where discussion on sex was being considered as a taboo. Instructions about sex were traditionally left to the parents of the child, and these discussions were generally kept postponed until just the day before the marriage of the child.
However, the progressive movement on human rights and education during the 19th century led to the introduction of social hygiene in the North American school curriculums, which is the advent of sex education on a global platform. The need for sex education was also heightened by the increasing incidence of teenage pregnancies, particularly in the western part of the world after the 1960s.
As a part of the effort of each country to reduce such pregnancies, extensive programs on sex education were programmed and also introduced, which was initially strongly opposed by parents and also by the religious groups. Later with the AIDS outbreak, which became a global issue, gave a new sense of urgency to this stream of education. Sex education was used as a vital public health strategy for fighting this deadly disease in many African, Asian and South American countries.
Today sex education is taught informally, such as when someone receives information about sex and sexual behaviours and risks from a conversation with friends, parents, religious leaders or even through the media. Sex education in this modern world can also be delivered by magazine advice columnists, sex self-help authors, sex columnists, or several multilingual sex education websites. In India, there are several programs which promote sex education which includes information on AIDS in public education, schools and advertising campaigns. One major controversy in the realm of sex education is whether sex education should also involve LGBT and their rights can be included into the school curriculums. LGBT sex education involves safe sex practices among gay, lesbians and transsexual persons and general information on homosexuality.
However, it is an unfortunate story, that only 20% of the LGBT students have heard anything positive about their LGBT community, and so it seems that LGBT students are more likely to hear something positive about LGBT people from social studies and history classes rather than from sex educators as of date.