Sex Education in Schools is Not Sacred
“A six-year-old should be learning how to tie their shoes and playing with Barbies” Lisa MacLeod, Tory MPP says in Thursday’s Globe and Mail in response to why she doesn’t think grade ones should learn the names of body parts.
But it just so happens that playing with a Barbie provides the perfect chance to ask: Why doesn’t Barbie have a vagina?
My kids have asked me that. They’ve asked about penises too. All kids should know the words for all parts of their body, not just the ones that some people feel are ok. And yes, school should be teaching them about their bodies and how boys and girls are different, how babies are made, how families are different and how to say 'no ' until you are ready. School is a place of learning and just because some things make people uncomfortable doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be taught.
The Premier of Ontario just pulled a new sex ed package that was supposed to be released to the provincial school boards because of the outcries of the usual anti sex-ed suspects. The new guidelines would have taught six-year olds the names of body parts and eight-year olds about homosexuality and sexual behaviour.
According to The Globe, the new guidelines wouldn’t be that different than the old ones, they would have just clarified some language and incorporated age-appropriate ways of talking about difference as well as sexual readiness and respect.
I am a strong believer in Family Values, real family values are when your recognize that families can be different but all are built on love and commitment. All my kids have friends in their classrooms that have same sex parents, and those kids' families should be recognized for what they are -- a family unit. Same sex marriage is legal in this country and should be incorporated into the curriculum.
I’m glad we don’t live in the 50s with all its stereotypes and rigid values. I’m not so happy that kids are subjected to so many sexual images on TV, in movies, and one click away on the Internet. These are different times and I think the sex education in school needs to keep up with the reality of kids lives.
I even think the focus on pleasure in sexual education is a good one because I want my kids to know that sex is about love, respect and pleasure.Because once you incorporate that into your thinking it alot harder to give away.
The irony is that the people who say it is the parent’s job to talk about sex are often the ones who are not talking about it with their kids and those are the kids that I most worry about.
Truth is, despite the new guidelines I don’t really believe that the school will do a great job. But I will. When the kids of the parents who don’t talk about sex start asking questions and spouting ridiculous myths; I want my kid to know the truth.
I realize that this is a complicated issue; religion and culture are all mixed up in it. We can’t let fear and being uncomfortable guide us. I am upset that the guidelines got shelved because the government allowed a group who yells the loudest to get their way. So this is me yelling: The world is different now. Our kids need to be armed with as much information as possible because they will see it, even if we don’t want them to.