As my professor quoted today in class:
“Sexuality is the birth of self awareness.”
This statement is in regards to sexuality as being a normal, natural way of life. As ARNP’s, we are being taught that it is important to make our clients feel comfortable discussing their sexuality; not only is it an important physiologic aspect relating to reproduction and other body systems, but sexuality is a big contributor to quality of life. It is important to provide people the opportunity to explore their naturally sexual nature, and offer help and insight to improving sexual health. Our society has allowed individuals to take the role of passive acceptance in regards to sexual dysfunction and decreased sexual satisfaction. We want to let people know, that sexuality is an important way of life. Humans were created to be sexual beings, and people should not feel ashamed, or embarrassed to discuss sexual function to improve not only quality of interpersonal relationships, but also enhancing quality of life.
This website has some great information about the importance of sexual health in older adults: http://www.nursingcenter.com/pdf.asp?AID=800532
Furthermore, it has been a few years since I have been in high school, but our discussion today involved the fact that schools in Florida today are now required to teach abstinence, rather than sexual education. Because all of the students in my class have not been in grade school for a while, we all had a big WTF?! response. Is the belief among the school board members really that NOT providing information about practicing sex really going to prevent kids from having sex?? Let’s look at the potential consequences here…
“Sex is bad. Sex is bad. Sex is BAD!!” Not only are we avoiding the the issue of sexual practices, and not providing information about safe sex and protection, but we are also instilling the belief that, what? “Sex is bad!” By putting this influence on teenagers (who are going to have sex regardless of what we do, and do not tell them), we are also passing judgement on those that have sex, which may lead them to feel afraid, and not seek help or guidance from adults and peers if they do have problems or questions. Furthermore, without providing sexual education in the school system, we are allowing myths about sex to circulate with ignorance about sexual safety.
Lets cut the conservative nonsense about promoting abstinence, and lets be freaking realistic here. Teenagers are going to have sex!! Instead of lecturing them and telling them not to, lets educate them about how to go about it safely! Here is a link to a great study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that has looked at the realistic side of adolescent lifestyles and behaviors. Enjoy. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss5905.pdf
In conclusion, to those reading this that serve as a role model for today’s youth, whether being a health care provider, nurse, teacher, or parent, keep in mind the suggestion of making yourself as an available source to give information and education about safe sex and protection. As these kids go through puberty and adolescence, the are going to be curious, they are going to have questions. Keep an open mind and make yourself available to them, so they can come to you with out feeling like they will be judged or penalized, so they can get the correct information, as opposed to seeking help from the wrong sources.
Have a Blessed day!! ❤