Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sexual Education

An article on CBC states that sexual education should begin in Kindergarten in an "age appropriate" manner. What age-appropriate is, I cannot say, but I have been thinking about the subject. My preference is to have parents teach kids the basics of sex ed and puberty. I remember getting a book detailing puberty when I reached the age of eleven or twelve. It didn't talk about sex, but talked about the changes in the body and what to expect as a young female. That knowledge was not taught to me in school at all. We had a brief two week course on sex ed, which I only remember vaguely as a couple of videos that basically said you put one body part into the other. (I ended up skipping out of those classes). I am hesitant to put sexual education into the hands of the Education system.

First of all I think Kindergarten is too young. Children should be taught (and I would hope by parents) that people don't have a right to touch them in their "private areas," but beyond that they are too young from my standpoint. If they ask questions - as children are wont to do - I see no harm in explaining things to thing in basics. And, the proposal, in some ways sounds good: educate teens about sexual relations. A lack of information isn't a good thing after all.

Interviewer David Anokye said teens want to hear about more than HIV/AIDS, pregnancy and birth control, which are covered in Ontario's sex ed curriculum.

"A lot of people talk about more the scare tactics and not much the pleasure part of it," Anokye said. "I mean, we know people are being sexually active, and we know people are out there doing these things, but no one's really teaching us about it."

I do not agree with his proposal. While I personally believe that sex should be saved until marriage - as I myself am doing - that doesn't mean everyone believes such. It may be unfortunate, but, it is fact. I think educating teens about STDS, birth control and safe sex is necessary. However, to teach them different techniques and tricks about sex is too much for me. It is one thing to keep them safe from STDS, but it is not the responsibility of public schools to teach the techniques of sex. It seems like general teaching would change from "sex is bad don't do it" to "sex is good, here is how you do it." I disagree with both approaches. If a teen wants to have sex, that is their (perhaps unwise) choice. But, I would hope they would at least be safe about it. But to say that sex is natural, should be done and to go as far as one individual in the comments said that it is "bad to not have sex" is not right. It should be taught that having sex is a choice and that people can abstain.

To condone sexual activity and condemn abstinence is just as bad as or worse as not informing teens about sex at all! The information provided to teens -and I admit to being ignorant in what is currently taught - should be factual. It should tell them how to be safe IF they CHOOSE to have sex, and that abstinence is perfectly fine. I do understand the difficulty in teaching about sex. Some teachers may believe that sex should wait until marriage and (more likely) others may believe that it should be done by teens. Both of these beliefs shouldn't be taught in the classroom. Those beliefs are something teens should decide on for themselves through facts about sex, and their own religious (or non religious) backgrounds and parental influence. The school system should not do so for them.

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