In the recent past, most experts have focused on providing sex education to teens and young adults and neglected older adults. Though sex education in teens is crucial because this is the age when most sexually transmitted infections are common, we should also not ignore older adults.
Technological advancement has seen an improvement in the health sector. Thanks to technology and a change in lifestyle that includes regular exercise, older adults live longer and more sexually active life. This means their chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases have increased.
Here are some of the importance of sex education for older people.
Help them know their STD status
Drugs like Viagra that increase libido have increased the number of older people engaging in sexual activities, which is riskier because most of these are single. This makes them get involved in sexual intercourse with different partners increasing their risk of contracting STIs.
With sex education, older people will know the importance of knowing their STD status, going for STD testing, and avoiding having multiple sex partners.
Help them learn ways of transmitting STDs
Most of these older people didn’t grow up when STD cases were as it is now. Therefore, they were not taught how to transmit these contagious infections; it is important to teach them now.
After sex education, older adults will understand that some diseases are transmitted through sexual contact, others through skin-to-skin contact, and others through both skin-to-skin and sexual contact.
They will also know that even without symptoms, one can still transmit these infections though they are most contagious when there are sores or blisters.
Help them learn how to prevent these infections
Through sex education, older people will learn various ways of preventing sexually transmitted infections. They will know they should not be in sexual contact with anyone with STD symptoms or someone diagnosed with an STD.
They will also learn that abstinence is the surest way of preventing STIs, but if you can’t, one should always use protection like condoms or dental dams whenever having sex. And if you don’t like condoms, ensure you be in a mutually monogamous relationship.
They’ll also learn that some STIs are transmitted by having contact with contaminated objects and are transmissible by sharing items like toothbrushes, towels, or eating utensils. They will therefore be cautious of sharing to avoid spreading these infections.
Help them learn how to deal with stigmatization due to STDs
Sex education will help older adults understand the stigmatization that comes with STDs and embrace it. Most people usually shy away from sharing their STD status because they fear what people will say afterward. They usually isolate themselves from friends and families.
Sex education will encourage them to share their status with their partners, friends, and families, which can help them manage their stress.
Sexually education is important for people of all ages; therefore, we should not neglect older adults. Just like teens and young adults, older adults should know how to transmit STDs, their symptoms, and how to treat and prevent them at their fingertips.