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Sex education in Sri Lanka

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It is horrifying that in this day and age, that this super scientific, all things bright and splendour for one age, that 43 girls were pregnant in a girls school in Kandy area (according to the Sunday Lankadeepa of April 21).

It is high time we adopted a wholly positive approach to sex education, instead of grudgingly throwing a few tit bits of information in an atmosphere of moral gloom. We should also teach about the sexual mores of our society, and of other societies. Bertrand Russel quotes “The right rule is simple, until a child is nearing the age of puberty, teach him or her no sexual morality. Whatever and carefully avoid instilling the idea that there is anything disgusting in the natural bodily functions. As the time approaches when it becomes necessary to give moral instruction, be sure that it is rational and that at every point you can give good grounds for what you say.”

Many researchers agree that human sex is sustained and directed much more by stimuli the individual has learned to perceive by his own self-directed imagining, than by biological needs, as sex is neither an instinct nor a biological need, on the analogy with hunger and thirst. Thus it is misleading to see sex in human beings as a simple response to a biological need. Professor F.A. Beach, one of the most distinguished researchers on the sexual behaviour, puts the point forcibly. Many researchers confirm that no genuine tissues are destroyed by sexual abstinence of religious people living in isolation in forests. This proved that it is neither an instinct nor a biological need. If sex is to be fully human and personal, it aught to be linked with affection, tenderness and awareness of the feelings of guilt and obligation may destroy the ties with affection as effectively as conditioning it to cruelty, disgust and even suicide, D.H. Lawrence fulminated against sex as sustained and directed much more by stimulus the individual has learned to perceive as arousing, and by his own self-directed imagining than by physiology. Thus it is misleading to see sex in human beings as a simple response to biological need. It is worth mentioning that Albert Bandura and Richard Walters, found that youths had a history of conflict with their parents, associated sexual arousal with aggressive feelings. Among other youths, sexual arousal was coupled with tender feelings. These should be the driving force for undertaking sexual matters arising in schools.

In schools very innocent association with the opposite sex has lead to suicide among school going adolescents. It is a way up phenomenon today. It is shocking to hear that within a very short period, a number of students have committed suicide in the school premises itself. It reflects a change in contemporary values and educational mismanagement practices. Such changes are seldom totally comfortable, either for the schools or for society experiencing them. After school, the girl who used her cell phone to her parents was interpreted as calling her lover. In the last two decades these have been burgeoning of research in this field. These have recognised the emotional development problems that has resulted from social, educational, psychological problems prevalent in schools today. Development is a lifelong set of psychological, social, physiological processes, the entire scope of human existence from birth to death. This development combines growth, maturation and learning. It is influenced by environmental factors and development processes which must be understood within that context.

In the face of an emotional crisis they explore with anger or resort to suicide. Since many lack the requisite experience, appeals are more often made through emotions. Students react to emotions rather than rational thinking, the hanging of girls and boys within the school premises in a lavatory are common happenings of the day.
The visual and the electronic communication systems equally contribute to this painful embarrassing situation and the school has been transferred to a chaotic ill administered institution. It is a violation of a moral right,  the principal, staff and prefects are sometimes unflinchingly ruthless in some cases, the individual is subjected to open crticism and action in the presence of all and a barrage of questions.

An inadequate handling of emotional reaction can be a contributing factor to both mental disorder and suicide. Psychologists have been concerned with the role of such neuro physiological processes on activities of the brain the endocrine systems and the autonomics nervous systems. The most successful psychological models of emotion view the neurophysiological  experiential, and expressive components of emotional experiences as interacting closely with each other.

Sociologists profess that socialisation not only regulates behaviour, but also supplies the contest within which individuality, self-awareness, values and goals can develop. These socialisation factors can never be completely separated from those that lead to conformity and other directions. Research has made it clear that parents neglect, rejection and lack of love are likely to have serious detrimental effort.

The generation gap is yawing but the most disturbing to parents are the casual sexual mores that young people are adapting. So have notions of using a mobile telephone and familiar relationships. This long harangue may appear irrelevant. School principals should take responsibility by organising a very effective management structure for the conditions of the school.

Relaxation and arousal are not the poles of a simple continuum, they involve an intricate balance of the nervous system and hormonal factors. Contact with a stressor stimulates a complex system of the hypothalamus, the cerebral cortex, reticular formation, the limbic system, the autonomous nervous system and the endocrine system. This complex physiological response marshals the body’s full energy resources almost instantly. It does so without conscious preparation which would waste precious time when action and not reflection is in order.

A stressor is anything injurious to the organism whether physical (such as in adequate food lack of sleep, disease bodily injury) or psychological (such as loss of love, rebuke, blow to self esteem or personal security). When stress is chronic, when we have been exposed of a love affair and suffer a blow to self esteem or misunderstood, and we believe the future won’t be any better, then or some, suicide becomes an alternate strategy for adaptation. The unexpected loss of a loved one or strong feelings of life injustice coupled with a sense of powerlessness to exert any control can become a precondition of suicide.

Life would be simple indeed if one’s biological and psychological needs were automatically gratified. But as we know, there are many obstacles, both environmental and personal that may interfere. Such obstacles place adjustive demands on the individual that sometimes lead to severe stress.

Early adolescent (ages 12 to 14) is known as a crucial and painful stage in human development. The drastic physiological changes of puberty cause a profound disequilibrium in the life of the easily adolescence. At the same time adolescents are confronted with a frightening new cluster of role expectations, that are often ambiguous and about which they may be ambivalent. In early adolescence the peer expectations begin to shape the youngsters’ behaviour to ever increasing degrees. Peer expectations begin to carry more weight than family or school expectations, putting the adolescent in a position of acute choice activity. Adolescents are also beginning to become involved in heterosexual relationships. Certainly this most crucial phase of this process in early adolescence is the development of sexual identify. The resulting coping behaviour that need to be learned at the time are social behaviour, sex-appropriate behaviour, and achievement-oriented behaviour.

Development is a lifelong set of psychological, social, physiological process that encompasses the entire scope of existence from birth to death. Two development combines growth, maturation and, learning. It is influenced by environmental factors and development process must be understood within this context.

Horney feels that all conflicts are avoidable if the child is reared in a loving, accepting home in which warmth trust and affection characterises of the parent-child relationship. But it is lacking in most homes, where the traditional authority of parents prevent and further, greatest single source of it ethical determines in counselling results from questions of confidentiality which is non-existent in the Sri Lankan school system. The generation gap is astonishingly yawning in home, the school and in the wider community at large.

Education, is not just something that happens in the head. It involves our muscles, our senses, our hormonal defenses, our total biochemistry. Nor does it occur solely within the individual. Education springs from the interplay between the individual and a changing environment. When we introduce change, high level of novelty to the environment, we create a totally new relationship between the limited reality of the classroom and the larger reality of life. As the rate of change alters technological, social and moral realities, we are compelled to do more than revise our abstractions. We are also forced to test them more frequently against the realities they are supposed to represent or explain.

Students learn best when they are highly motivated to do so and despite a great deal of mythology to the contrary, the motivation rarely comes from ‘mispired teachers’ or ‘well designed texts’ alone. So long as students are cut from the surrounding society, and kept in an interminably prolonging adolescence, many are de-motivated. As a result the class -room has transcended to be ‘a hotbed for breeding….”. . A girl in particular encounters a barrage of conditioning. The better her personality resources, the more stress she can withstand, the more severe the stress, the better the resource she needs of she is to cope adequately with it. Today almost every... highlights.. and by adolescent the pathetic cases of sexual harassment are given by adult students of the school. In suicidal behaviour of, these cases- the actual cause of the behaviour is generally considered to be loss of self-esteem and failure to live up to parental expectations. For most suicidal students the precipitating stress appears to establish, on the loss of a close interpersonal relationship. In none of these cases which occurred in schools, the students had not planned suicide. Suicide is most successfully defined in terms of intention and outcome. True suicides involve individuals who intend to kill themselves and who actually do so. Outcomes are obvious - the individual.

Do we effectively develop and utilise the resources of our youth. The energy, idealism and intelligence of youth are the prime resource of each nation. In sexual matter individual either survives or dies-intention..not....recorded some suicide cases in Sri Lanka society clearly indicate lethal intention, a jump from the roof of a high building or the firing of a bullet through the brain. Other such as the talking of a few extra sleeping pills immediately followed by a telephone call to friends informing them of the action or a superficial cutting of the wrist, just as the car is pulling into the garage, seem to suggest less than lethal intent. In the West, there are such cases, on a telephone message, homes are visited and immediate action is taken.

Research has made it clear that parental neglect, rejection, and lack of love are likely to have serious detrimental effects on an early development and later competence.

Bertram Russel’s research “The night rule in simple until a child is nearing the age of puberty teach him or her no sexual morality whatever, and carefully avoid instilling the ideas that there is anything disgusting is the natural bodily functions. As the time approaches when it become necessary to give moral instruction, be sure rationally and that at every point you can give good ground for what you say”. Direct psychological records on sexual harassment to suicide suggest dynamics of suicide, we can learn much that may help us understand this flight from living by studying those cases in detail. They are a strong feeling of life’s injustice, misconception about the stage of adolescence, over strict parental attitude and school attitude sense of powerlessness to exert. The point of importance of psychological, sought and  development of adolescence and the school management structure in dealing with such cases. Leadership skit not to be utilizing their knowledge, or their intellectual administrative and to biological need. It is worth mentioning that Albert Bandara and Richard Walters, found that youths had a history of conflict with their parents, associated sexual arousal with aggressive feelings. Among other youths sexual arousal was coupled with tender feelings. These are the factor for understanding the behavior of students in a school setting. If it is in harmony with much observations and it has certain social implications.

According to the Principals and Staff and parents who pose off as marshals a broad-based sex-education programme, including factual information attitude manipulation, practice and counseling in relationships, can have major behaviour consequences.

These have recognised the emotional development problems prevalent in our schools today. The role of the school Counsellor should be recognised in an attempt to help individuals cope with these problems. We should present a broad view of the foundation, theories and practices of counselling. The abandonment of the school counseling in our schools has unquestionably resulted in these bitter crises of unwanted suicide among students is relation to sexual matters.

Do we effectively develop and utilise the resources of our school-children. The energy, idealism and intelligence of children are the prime resource of each nation. Almost all individuals run into difficulties in the process of growing up. Few completely achieve all of their development skills and the various unique expectations and requirements imposed on them by significant parents, principals and others often leading to sex problems. Certain inconsistencies on the part of significant other can result in children learning behaviour patterns that one inefficient, ineffective, or both, counselling service will contribute to enhancing coping skills. This should be the role that schools should play. They should facilitate behaviour change, improve the student’s ability to establish and maintain relationships, promote the decision-making process. Any teacher in the school cannot sight as a Counsellor. They should be professionally qualified in their professional behaviour as Counsellors on four different areas, personal qualities, professional knowledge, and specific skills and commitment to individual human values.

In counselling results from question of complicity. The requisite lapses of having a room extensively for counselling must be there in the school Hornby feels that all conflicts are avoidable if the child is reared in a loving, accepting home in which warmth, trust and affection characterises the parent - child relationship. But it is lacking in most homes, where the traditional authoritarian attitude of parents prevail and persist.

The schools are no better. The generation gap is yawning in the home, in the school, and in the wider community at large resulting in unwanted suicide by school teenages. The most important response to any inappropriate behaviour is to take seriously, by an effective counselling service, as it life depends on the Principal being concerned about it. (DM online)

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