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"One of the most frequent shortcomings in the Education of children is the insufficient time devoted to them."

Interview with Jokin de Irala, Full Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the University of Navarra and member of the committee of experts of the workshop Interdisciplinary on the Family.

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PHOTO: Manuel Castells
19/01/15 11:58 Carlota Cortes

Jokin de Irala, Full Professor de Preventive Medicine and Public Health e researcher main project 'Education of Affectivity and Human Sexuality' of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), is a member of the committee of experts of the workshop Interdisciplinary on the Family. The interdisciplinary workshop 'Family and Society in the 21st Centuryis coordinated by the Institute for Culture and Society on the initiative of the Office of the Vice President for Research. In this interview, Jokin de Irala explains the importance of the family from his discipline of Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

How does your discipline, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, relate to the institution of the family?

Preventive medicine not only seeks to prevent disease but also includes the restoration of health and even, when this is not entirely possible, the rehabilitation or the insertion of the person in the life he/she wants to lead, even though he/she may have some disability (residual or not, from a previous disease). Preventive medicine thus has an impact on each of the family members, thus ensuring a better "family life". But it is not only possible to take care of the family from the health-disease binomial, but also from the achievement of better educational styles, communicative styles, which also end up having an impact on the family's wellbeing.

What challenges does the family face in today's society?

There are many challenges, those of "life itself" I would say. But if I were to point out one in particular, I would mention the need to reconcile the work with rest and leisure (staff and family) with the Education of the children because the Education without dedication of time is pure theory. One of the most frequent deficiencies in the Education of the children is, in my opinion, something as simple as the time, insufficient, that is dedicated to them. Another challenge is to transmit certain values in a heterogeneous environment and many times aggressively contrary to the values we want to transmit to our children. We parents may be convinced that this is where we are playing with our children's ability to develop fully as persons and therefore to achieve happiness, but we sometimes have to rely on an environment that does not facilitate our educational work.

Are there new trends to overcome these challenges?

As each era has its own educational challenges, it can perhaps be said that it is of some importance to overcome these challenges that fathers and mothers try to continuously train ourselves in order to be able to make better educational decisions.


Professor Jokin de Irala is graduate in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Navarra. He completed a Master in Public Health in Scotland in 1987; he obtained the Degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1990 and, in 2000, a second doctorate in Public Health in the United States. Since 2011, he has been Full Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

He has been Associate Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Navarra. He is currently a professor of Methodology of research, Human Sexuality, and two subjects of the University Master in Marriage and Family.

Dr. de Irala is a project evaluator and actively participates in groups of research funded by public and private entities. His scientific contributions include numerous papers and communications in national and international congresses, the publication of 12 books, 59 book chapters and 129 articles in national and international scientific journals.

She is coordinator, researcher Principal, of the project multidisciplinary "Education of Affectivity and Human Sexuality" of the high school of Culture and Society of the University of Navarra.

He has lectured to some 80,000 young people and adults in different countries. He is the author of the following books of knowledge dissemination: El valor de la espera (dBolsillo, Palabra), aimed at young people, and Nuestros Hijos Quieren Querer. Pautas para una Education afectivo-sexual (Universitas) and Nuestros Hijos Quieren Saber: 60 preguntas sobre sexualidad (EUNSA) for parents, educators and students of teaching, pedagogy and psychology.