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Sex education and the right to a humane society in Paraguay

Sex education and the right to a humane society in Paraguay

access_timeFebruary 29, 2016 07:49 pm

Although already a longstanding issue in recent weeks have become frequent news with different common male chauvinism, abuse, violence, raised to insulting features. This cocktail serves as a parameter of social and cultural problem that afflicts our society.

As often happens in these cases, the urgency overpowers important. Outrageous what each particular case reported in the news often nublarnos of the issue: Lack of sex education.

What does the sex education have to do?
When we talk about sex education we refer not only to the genitalia, but the construction of masculinity and femininity in the framework of mutual respect. We speak, therefore, of a sex education free from taboo or prejudice, essential in forming people able to implement the framework of respect in their relationships. It refers not only to condoms or changes in anatomy, but the formation of the image of oneself through self-knowledge, the opportunity to discuss and reflect on attitudes, norms and values in a relationship.


In addition to constant humiliations and inequality faced by women in different areas, ranging from harassment and sexual abuse to lack of access to equal opportunities, it also lies the erroneous and harmful conception of masculinity in men.


The excesses that cause traffic accidents, the reluctance to use condoms attitude, carelessness health, constant aggression, contempt for the possibility of diversity, the difference in expectation: of ideas taken wrongly by manly consequences arise life about women. Everything has as an origine the intricate process of deconstructing what is presented as the way to "be a man".


The Swedish experience.
The idea of sex education in response to this complex problem -again, understood as a broad concept that empowers all aspects of sexuality beyond intercourse, but in the relationship and communication between people- is not a concept drawn of nowhere. It's something even the UNESCO says.


For early last century, Sweden had a very similar situation to ours: Women had many children, the maternal mortality rate was sky high, poverty is perpetuated because of the lack of information to decide on something as basic and elemental as our body.


The debate on access to sex education was not based only on family planning, but intend to change the living conditions of the people. The Swedish government and its people understood very well the influence of this on the formation of values and attitudes in society. Thus, since 1953, sex education became a compulsory subject in schools across the country for 11 years.


Today, the legacy of welfare that measure -of which they were pioneers- is indisputable, against the conservative view on the topic. Sweden ranks 15th in the Human Development Index -Measuring that takes into account the comprehensive quality of life of the inhabitants of each country while Paraguay is at number 112.


Another illustrative fact is the rate of teenage pregnancies (between 15 and 19 years old)


While Paraguay has 58 pregnancies per 1,000 women of that age, Sweden has 3 as World Bank data. The, rampant in our country, teenage pregnancy is a social problem that strongly influences access to opportunities and dignified life of the inhabitants.


A political decision.
Very little use reproductive health programs and HIV prevention developed and supported by the Ministry of Health have, which meet international standards even with its limitations, when the rest of the state does the task. The Ministry of Education - the same as with conservative lobby rejected full a Master of Sexual Education Framework - The Ministry of Women and Youth bear full responsibility, in their negligence or omission of the criminal consequences that carry these misperceptions. Of little use awareness campaigns will have if they are not accompanied by information, training and more open about the way we interact with others and with oneself, which afflicts all without respecting economic differences vision, but accentuating the misery of thousands of compatriots, and is a result of the absence of such institutions.


Only the vision of sex education as an essential tool to improve the way in which we interact with others and with oneself can translate indignation at every sad case that thickens awareness and statistics in real changes. Overcome prejudices and taboos towards eradicating violence generated by these is an imperative step in the goal of creating a more democratic, more empathic more dignified, more humane society.

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Maximiliano Manzoni

Redactor, SOMOSGAY.