Mexico City, Sept 5 (EFE).- A lack of comprehensive sex education has led to 30% of pregnancies in Mexico being unplanned and at least 350,000 Mexican teenagers becoming pregnant each year, experts warned Tuesday.
“The biggest problem is that in Mexico, as in many Latin American countries, people do not have the confidence or freedom to ask questions about the issue. Sex education is often limited to schools,” said Erika Valencia, a specialist in gynecology and obstetrics.
The expert regretted that misinformation, lack of public policies, taboos, marginalization, religious ideology and lack of access to contraceptive methods contribute to the problem.
“There is a trend for young people to start their sexual life at an increasingly younger age, between 14 and 15 years old,” said Valencia.
One of the main problems, she said, is a “great lack” of educational programs. As a result, a large number of adolescents do not have enough information to avoid unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
M de Mujer, an organization dedicated to providing accessible and appropriate sexual and reproductive health information in Latin America, has launched a contact center to address the lack of information about sexuality.
“We want everyone to have a safe space, women, men, fathers, mothers and adolescents,” said Mara Aguilar, director of M de Mujer’s Contact Center.
This new space seeks to address doubts about sexual well-being by calling on a group of counselors trained in the subject, who can provide information from a scientific, comprehensive and respectful perspective.
The goal is to provide reliable information so that people feel free to make informed, autonomous decisions, safely and without prejudice.
Aguilar recalled that the World Health Organization has stated that sexual health is important for people’s physical, mental and social well-being, as well as for the economic development of communities and countries.
“We need a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the opportunity to have pleasurable and safe sexual experiences,” she said.
The space addresses questions about contraception, comprehensive sexuality education, menstrual management, pleasure, healthy vulva, relationships, and advice on legal abortion.
“It is a personalized attention, with humane, friendly treatment and accompaniment,” said Mara Aguilar.
Finally, Valencia specified that a good knowledge of sexual education can put an end to myths and false beliefs, as well as improve people’s self-esteem and self-knowledge for decision-making. EFE