( By Dr. Vithal Prabhu )
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Values In Sexuality
Values are strong feelings or beliefs about important issues in life. Values guide our behaviour and give purpose and direction to our life. Different individuals have different values. Different families and different cultures have different values. Values are influenced by traditions, religion, mass media, social and political situations.
Values help people decide how to behave and interact with others. Children learn values from their parents and other family members, community, religious teachings, teachers and their peers. Parents want their childern to develop values similar to their values. People who behave according to their values feel good about themselves. Values influence decisions of an individual about sexual relationships, friends, money and work. Relationships are stronger if the two individuals share similar values. Values are taught to children by giving example.
Children many change their values later in life depending upon their education, personal experience, social changes and scientific advances. Working women, intercaste marriages, limited family size, gender equality are some of the positive changes in the value system.
Values in Sexuality:
- Sexuality is a natural and healthy part of living.
- All persons are sexual.
- Sexuality includes physical, ethical, psychological and emotional dimensions.
- Individuals express their sexuality in varied ways. People should respect and accept diversity of values and beliefs about sexuality that exist in a community.
- All sexual decisions have effects and consequences.
- Sexual relationships should never be coercive, exploitative or lead to ill health.
- Sexual relationship is associated with honesty, equality, responsibility and social acceptance.
- Premature involvement of sexual behaviour poses risks.
- Abstaining from sexual intercourse is the most effective method of preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and HIV/AIDS infection.
- The society as well as children are benefited when they discuss sexuality with their parents, teachers or other trusted adults.
- No discrimination should be made on the basis of sex, culture, language, religion, caste or colour.
- Love is different from infatuation.
- All children should be loved and cared for.
- Men and women are equal, but they are different in respect of their sexuality.
- Men and women are not OPPOSITE sexes, but COMPLIMENTARY sexes.
- Menstruation is not a curse but a boon for motherhood.
- Nocturnal emission (in boys) and masturbation (in girls) are natural sexual outlets.
- Virginity is in the mind, not between two legs.
- Sex organs and their functions are natural and not “dirty.”