UNESCO, an education based agency of the United Nations has proposed setting voluntary universal sexual education guidelines for all UN members in what is titled International Guidelines for Sexuality Education. The initiative aims at reducing H.I.V. infections as well as other STI’s among young people, teaching the right to obtain an abortion as a fundamental human value, instructing on the different ways to have safe sex and educating on sexualities other than heterosexual as well as on masturbation. UNESCO states the guidelines are based on 87 studies from around the world and review curriculum's from 12 different countries. The guidelines, which are evidence-informed and rights-based in content, explain what sexual education is and why it is important to teach.
According to International Planned Parenthood Federation, at least 111 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted diseases occur among young people (ages 15-24) every single year which many, including UNESCO officials, believe is due to lack of education on safe sex. “Math and Science are valued as important knowledge for young people to have for their own sake, a sound sexuality education should be equally valued” states co-author Nanette Ecker. And she makes a valid point; education is recognized as progress in any country so why should sexual education be any different?
The guidelines have raised a lot of criticism from conservative and religious groups stating the content counters their personal beliefs and therefore is culturally insensitive. Strange, I was not aware of any culture that prescribed to ignorance. Teaching acceptance, safe sex practices and educating for safe healthy abortion rights simply means that those who want to exercise these rights will be better informed and lead healthier lives. No where in the guidelines does it advocate for young people to do anything except make healthy and safe life choices of their own and accept the choices of others. The simple purpose of these proposed guidelines is to educate kids on all the alternatives they have when it comes to their sexual health and everyone should be educated on their right to choose, what they choose is up to them.