‘Parents should dispel myths, educate children about sex’

October 2nd, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) When your child asks you where babies come from, telling him or her that a stork flies them in or they are found under cabbage plants may not be the ideal way to address the child’s curiosity, says Australian sex expert Rosie King.According to King, it is essential that parents provide their children with right information because “in due course of time they’ll have to unlearn the fairy tales and probably learn unreliable information from passive sources like schools, peers and the Internet”.

“Children are born curious. Till the age of four their concepts are fluid, in the sense that they don’t know the difference between a boy and girl. So that’s when they should start getting correct information from their parents. Parents may feel uncomfortable using words like penis and vagina but even using slang like willy or winnie will do,” King told IANS.

King, an academician and sexual therapist who has authored several books on the subject, stressed that it was important that parents speak to the children on a personal level about sex because the moral values that are distinct to the different beliefs in individual households cannot be learnt at school.

“Even if your child walks into the room while you are having an intercourse, don’t shout at the child since that will just push him away. Calmly stop what you are doing, ask the child if he wanted something and if the child is older explain that you were making love,” she said.

King added that misconceptions about erections, usage of viagra and sexual well-being were prevalent in India and abroad.

According to her, the topic of sex is kept under wraps in India because not only children but also their parents don’t have access to basic information.

“In fact, when I tried to do some research here about sexual dysfunction in males a few years ago there was no information that even I could use,” she said.

King was here Wednesday along with microsurgeon and andrologist Rupin Shah, and Pfizer India’s director of medical and regulatory affairs Chandrashekhar Potkar to release a snapshot of a survey titled “Asia Pacific Sexual Health and Overall Wellness (APSHOW)” by Pfizer International.

The survey is the first to provide India-specific information. Of the 4,000 sexually active adults aged 25-74 years (including 400 from India) who participated in the survey, 57 percent of men and 64 percent of women said they were not satisfied with their sex life.

Greater levels of sexual satisfaction resulted in greater levels of satisfaction with life - love and romance, overall physical health and family life, the study said.

“Women feel that viagra may convert men into sex maniacs but it doesn’t - it just enhances performance. It is mostly used in ageing men, for treating erectile dysfunction. In younger men, therapy and counselling works well enough,” King said.

“Unless parents play an active role in dispelling their own myths first, children will be guided by the western idea that sex is all about the 59 different positions in the Kama Sutra.

“I always say that sex education is like a song, schools give the lyrics and words (technicalities) and parents give the music - the values and morals,” King added.

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