Daytime TV host Tamera Mowry provided some insight as to why she feels sex education is important for children.
On May 21, the mother of two shared some information discovered by Johns Hopkins University researchers in Baltimore while co-hosting “The Real.”
She said that around 25 percent of boys in urban areas who are African-American and under the age of 13 are already sexually active.
According to Mowry, the researchers revealed that many of the boys said they felt pressure to have sex before they were ready.
Further, she said that nearly 40 percent of those boys expressed “mixed feelings” about their first time having sex. She added that another 10 percent said that the entire encounter was “flat-out unwanted.”
According to the “Sister, Sister” actress, researches noted that depending on where they attended school and their religion, many were not taught proper sex education. In other words, they were not aware of the risks and the responsibilities that come with having sex.
“And as a mom of a young boy, I think this is — I mean, it terrifies me. You know, it’s really scary, but I think this just shows the importance of having sexual education programs like ‘Reality Check.'”
“Reality Check” is a sex and relationship education program that encourages “youth and young adults to make healthy choices for their bodies and their futures.”
Mowry said she values that the program teaches more than just condom and birth control use.
“They teach the importance of being ready mentally, physically, and spiritually if you decide to have sex.”
The 40-year-old said the program offers education classes to children as young as those in the fifth grade. Further, they can train teachers in the curriculum as well.
However, Mowry warns that the curriculum isn’t sugar-coated.
“If you know early at the right time and appropriately, then you can make wiser decisions. They also teach about what a healthy relationship looks like, right, and the reality of sexual diseases. They show real graphic pictures that will scare your behind.”
Additionally, Planned Parenthood reports that kids and teens who regularly talk with their parents about sex and relationships are less likely to take risks with their sexual health. Further, they are more likely to be healthy and safe in their practices.
The site recommends that parents teach their children a little bit at a time instead of having one big intense conversation.
If you’re having trouble bringing up the topic, keep an eye out for teachable moments. For example, get a grasp of what they know already by asking questions when someone announces they’re pregnant or when sexual content comes up in the media.
As they age, you can introduce new topics and check in with them about their own personal experiences.
Most importantly, create a comfortable space for them to come back and talk to you when it counts most.
If you do it now, you will thank yourself later.