HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

Sex Education For Four Year Olds?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

No, I don’t effing think that children as young as four years old should be given sex education at school.

Two leading sexual health charities are calling for children as young as four to be given compulsory sex education.

Brook and the Family Planning Association argue that teaching children about sex from a young age would help cut abortion rates and sexually transmitted infections when adolescents. The charities said children should be taught the names of body parts and about sex and relationships.

The Brook chief executive, Simon Blake, said: “If we get high-quality sex and relationships education in every primary and secondary school across the UK all the evidence shows teenage pregnancy rates will continue to fall and will improve young people’s sexual health.

No, no, and effing no.

It’s bad enough there are retailers out there who produce sexy underwear, and stiletto shoes for under fives, but actually teaching them about sex? Absolutely not.

Children lose their innocence at a young enough age these days, the last thing they need is for that innocence to be taken from them at an even younger age.

What is the world coming to?


  • Emmy
    July 8
    10:40 am

    I’m curious as to how explicit educators will be. I don’t think it’s inappropriate to tell medical names for body parts. I’ve never insisted that my son call his penis a ‘peepee’ or whatever other silly names people come up with. I doubt the kids are going to be shown a porno or something.

    Children are being exposed to sexually suggestive material at younger ages via media. My son watches Disney Channel, and even their G rated cartoons and sitcoms infer bf/gf relationships, if not state/show them outright. Questions should be addressed, rather than brushed off with a ‘come back in a decade and we’ll discuss’.

    No, I’m not suggesting 4 year olds are out there oofing, or have a real need to know *precisely* how babies are made. But I do know that if you wait to broach the subject until you think your kids are old enough to have sex, they are probably already doing it.

    I didn’t get the birds and bees talk from my mom until I was 14…at which point my 15 year old sister was already 4 months pregnant.

    As a side note, my mother has been happily married to her wife for 15 years. My son has two grandmas rather than a grandpa and grandma. I’d be interested in seeing how a school would cover gay marriages during the ‘relationships’ portion of the curriculum.


  • The Profane Angel
    July 8
    11:18 am

    Children lose their innocence at a young enough age these days, the last thing they need is for that innocence to be taken from them at an even younger age.

    Mein Gott! Sex ed for four year olds? (And I apologize in advance for whatever comes out of my brain this morning, spent yesterday at the ER, and have decided Percocet is a wonder drug, but it does, shall we say, garble certain thought processes) My sons were taught the proper names for their body parts from day one, and since I was the only female in the house, was asked questions like where did my penis go and so forth, but I explained that there boys, and there were girls, and Mom was a girl – when they had questions I answered them appropriately for their age and comprehension skills – but would I have wanted my precious four year old boy being told about the mechanics of intercourse? I feel hypothetical regret for whomever stole his innocence in the the name of “health.” Maybe it’s just me, but a child’s innocence is a beautiful thing – it’s why I think child molesters, rapists, and murderers should be locked away forever in special prisons. I know Europeans think we have strange attitudes about sex, but I view it more as valuing innocence, as looking at sex as an expression of commitment, not the equivilent of shaking hands, as the Germans seem to see it, and I know our children are losing that innocence earlier and earlier, but to have the State, through the offices of the Department of Education, participate in that rape of innocence by “providing quality sex education” to small children is more than my addled brain can deal with. Will the Queen volunteer her great-grandchildren as students in the first class of pre-schoolers to learn all about sex? Take the wonder and innocence away from our little ones and what will we have as the end result?

    Sorry for this semi-coherent rant, children and animals are my buttons – push those buttons and watch this mild-mannered aging hippie turn into Towanda. Guess I’ll go listen to Crosby,Stills,Nash, & Young and contemplate the real end of the innocence of a generation, the day we learned our parents were willing to see us shot down on a college campus, on a sunny day in May…tin soldiers and Nixon coming… Somehow it seems appropriate. TPA


  • Dorothy Mantooth
    July 8
    11:26 am

    You know, I don’t want to sound like some kind of reactionary, but am I the only one who’s noticed that the abortion and teen pregnancy rates keep rising the more “sex education” we throw at kids? Isn’t it time we tried something different?

    I would have a fit if someone tried to teach my four-year-old about sex. My child asked me a few weeks ago where babies came from. I asked where she thought they came from and she told me the stork brings them. I decided that was just fine. In a few years we’ll discuss it further (or of course if she asks again), but I beleive I have already started laying a strong groundwork in teaching my children to respect themselves, that their bodies are not toys for public display, and that physical affection is something to be shared with important, special people they really care about and who have proven they care back, and not anyone who happens by.

    And I plan to continue that line. I plan to tell them they should wait until marriage. I’m under no illusion that they actually will do so, and when they reach maturity I may change my tune, but I at least hope that by stressing the importance of sex they may wait until they’re actually in a caring relationship and old enough to deal with any consequences.

    Obviously all parents don’t do this. It’s not that I don’t think there is a place for sex ed in schools. But I really question the wisdom of a system that continues throwing good water after bad when it’s proven this is not working.


  • Ghetto Diva
    July 8
    12:42 pm

    My daughter is 5, and that is too young to learn anything about sex.


  • Heidi
    July 8
    12:42 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks that we shouldn’t be worried about dropping the “abortion rates” among teens – but rather the “pregnancy rates” among teens?

    I have a four-and-a-half-year-old and she knows the correct names for everything. She knows that you need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby—but at the moment she doesn’t need to know that you need the mommy’s egg and body and daddy’s sperm—or how the two get together. But when she asks questions we give age appropriate TRUTHFUL answers.

    I agree that there is never a good time to sit down and have “the talk”—especially if you wait until you think your kid is ‘ready’. Because by the time parents think their kids are ready ‘the talk’ is invariable way overdue. I think it’s better to have an open channel of communication where you grab your opportunities as they come. My daughter and I have had chats when she found out one her friends was going to be a big sister, and sometimes when she watches something on TV or hears something out of a book. It can be as simple as asking her what she thought about what she saw/heard and having a dialogue where we filter in the facts (again, age appropriate facts) and show that talking about stuff like that isn’t a big deal or something to be embarrassed about. I’m hoping it pays off when she’s older and starts wondering about the bigger things.

    Even if hubby and I aren’t on the right track, I still think we’re doing a better job than my mom did…at age 10 I came home from a friend’s house and told her my friend said that babies come out from ‘down there’. My mom told me that my friend was a horrible little liar and I wasn’t allowed to play with her anymore *chuckle*

    Anyway, before I comment on whether this “compulsory sex education” is appropriate or not, I would want to know what they’d be teaching. I mean, many would consider what my daughter knows as too much for her age—my mom probably would 🙂


  • Dorothy Mantooth
    July 8
    1:11 pm

    Perhaps I should clarify re the “stork” discussion. If my daughter had suggested in any way that she knew the reality, or was genuinely curious, I would have been happy to explain (and yes, I would have told her the full story if she seemed to want to know). But the question was precipatated by seeing a baby on tv; she was asking in an idle sort of way, not a genuine request for information. She knows that babies grow in Mommies’s tummies, she just wasn’t sure how they got there, and she didn’t seem particularly into the conversation.

    I believe in telling them, I just think we should let THEM be the ones to lead the conversation. Some kids might be ready for further discussion when very young; my seven-year-old isn’t.

    And I do think I’m the best judge of that. I don’t agree at all that by the time I think she’s ready it will be too late. I know my child. I think far more important than the mechanics of sex at this age is teaching what I said above, about self-respect and privacy and how special her body is and she’s not to share it with anyone who happens to stroll by. I really don’t think knowing the proper words for body parts is anywhere near as important as that message, or is any indication of how mature they are. (I don’t mean that as a dig or an insult or anything of the kind, Heidi, please don’t take it that way. There’s nothing wrong with them knowing those things, at all, and I’m absolutely certain that you also know your child and are doing a great job.)

    I just find myself bothered by the implication of programs like this, that knowing what sex is and how it works is a real life skill, an armor against teen pregnancy and disease, rather than just a biological factoid. I think treating sex like “no big deal” or like it’s just another bodily function is a terrible message to send to young people, especially young girls, who will learn later that it is in fact a pretty big deal. Letting someone else into your body is a big deal. It doesn’t always have to be, no, but isn’t it better when it is?

    There’s a reason why we use “getting intimate” as a euphemism.


  • That young?

    Hell, no.

    This is something that needs to start at home, parents explaining it to the child when the child is OLD enough. Doing it too young is confusing and confusion over sex & sexuality is NOT going to make things all better.

    Parents need to discuss it openly and honestly-when the child is ready. That period comes different for every child.

    However, this:

    The charities said children should be taught the names of body parts

    I agree with. From a nurse’s standpoint, it’s the safest way to handle things. I’ve seen kids call their vaginas their ‘monkey’ or a penis a ‘bo-bo’. If they have a bad run-in and then actually tell somebody like a teacher, minister, friend, etc that Uncle Bob touched their monkey…too easy for the trusted adult not to to understand or just brush it off. However, that same kid tells a trusted adult that Uncle Bob touched their vagina-much different reaction.

    Not that I’m going off on a tangent or anything….


  • Dorothy, I’m not at all offended or insulted.
    I completely agree with you about teaching about self-respect and the emotional side of sex – in fact, I think that it’s a lack of that kind of information that leads teens to thinking that sex is no big deal.

    I’m actually quite torn about the subject of who gets to teach children about sex. On the one hand, I don’t want anyone else being responsible for teaching my daughter. But on the other hand, I have worked with teens both in and out of school and know that many parents aren’t talking to their kids about sex – the physical or the emotional side. And while I’m a firm believer that parents are responsible for teaching their kids about sex, it’s a sad fact that SO many of them aren’t fulfilling this responsibility.

    I once overheard a conversation three sixth graders were having about blowjobs. One boy was moaning that his girlfriend of a few months still wouldn’t go down on him. The other two boys were encouraging him to dump his girlfriend and go out with one of three other girls in their class who did give blowjobs. There was even a disagreement between 2 of the boys – they had both gotten a blowjob from 2 specific girls and they disagreed about who did it best. Frightening! And when I went to their homeroom teachers and we talked with one of the boy’s parents (the one who was in my English class) the parents were in complete denial. They insisted that their son didn’t even know what a blowjob WAS *rolls eyes*

    So, while I’m sure that you’re an involved parent who knows your child – the same can’t be said for a large number of parents out there.

    One of the reasons that I mentioned how important I feel it is to know and use the names for things is that in my house, we didn’t. In fact, my husband laughed his ass off when he heard that I called my private parts “a front bum” – as opposed to my “back bum”. Growing up, it made me feel like there was something dirty and shameful with having “the part that shall not be named” *g*

    My daughter is actually very sensitive and a bit of a follower – and we work very hard trying to build her confidence and tell her all the time that she doesn’t have to do something she doesn’t want to do just because someone else wants her to. When she’s gotten into trouble for doing something I’ve asked her what she thought about doing it before she did it – and when she’s said that she knew she probably shouldn’t, I try to tell her that if inside she doesn’t think it’s right, that’s a sign it’s probably not.
    I’m hoping that by teaching her to respect herself and have confidence in herself and her intuition will carry on into her decisions when she chooses someone to be intimate with. I also feel that my hubby plays a big part in this – I’m hoping that by seeing how much he loves and respects me will make her want the same kind of relationship – so she won’t accept any old boy that comes around.

    I agree with Shiloh when she said that this period comes at a different time with different kids – which is another reason why I worry about sex ed. in school – when I said age-appropriate I should probably have said child-appropriate.

    And in all fairness, while I know that I’m, not making the same mistakes my mother made—I do realize that I’m probably making a whole new set of mistakes 🙂


  • I have nothing against sex ed starting at birth.
    Proper names, the idea of a loving committed relationship and good touch/bad touch are all age appropriate up until about 7.

    About 7-8, the educators need to start talking about body changes. That sounds early, but my 8 year old is in a AA cup bra! And she has classmates that are as well.

    By 10 and 11, there needs to be full-on comprehensive education, with the loving, committed relationship part firmly in place. Also, a lot of lessons on sexual violence, since this is the age when it tends to start for both sexes.

    It absolutely needs to be done through the schools. Too many people are embarrassed and worry their kids will do the same things they did.

    I live in an area where having a kid or two before a girl gets out of high school is considered normal. Too often, these babies are by much older boyfriends or relatives. This probably colors my perspective.

    I have 4 kids. They know what they need to know. My 16 had her head together enough to come to me and say “I need the Pill.” My response was “Do you have condoms too?”


  • Sex education at that age can be ‘tell Mommy if someone touches you here or hurts you’. It isn’t necessarily going to be willies, vaginas and intercourse.


  • Dorothy, I just wanted to add that I hope you weren’t offended by anything I said. When I re-read your comment I realized that you might have wanted to clarify the stork comment because of something I said. When I said that we tell our daughter the truth I was reacting to my own childhood – not your story about the stork.
    After my mom told me that my friend was liar, I heard her laughing about the whole thing with my aunt – about how she had to come up with something quick because I was too young to know that my friend was actually right. It made me feel really bad that she lied to me and laughed about it and made me wonder what was so awful about giving birth?
    When my daughter asked how babies get out I told her that I went to the doctor and he took her out. She’s seen my c-section scar so it seemed reasonable and she just left it at that. I didn’t go into how most women don’t have c-sections. I told her how she came out and that’s enough for now.
    I think that by being willing to talk about it all and by having the lines of communication open, you’re doing a good job – I just get cranky when parents deny there is a need to talk about it or worse – blatantly lie when their kids come to them with questions because they’re uncomfortable with their kids knowing/asking.


  • The police I talked to say it’s more for the children’s safety and protection. So they know what’s wrong and can articulate it. And I don’t think four is too young to know the proper terms and to know that someone is touching you inappropriately because there are child molesters out there who don’t think so.

    EDITED because it’s way too early for me.


  • Ghetto Diva, I am there with you. My girls are 6 and that is too young to get sex ed. I tell my kids not to let others touch them and things like that. Anything beyond that is too young. Why let our kids think on sex at 4, 5, 6? They have other things to do like learn their ABCs…and make sure they get to the potty BEFORE they pee.


  • Considering the narrow comprehension of a four year old, I can’t imagine the “education” will amount to much.


  • I’d certainly don’t see any harm in kids learning the proper names for things or being encouraged by their parents to tell them if someone touches them in an inappropriate manner. But institutionalized sex ed? Nah. Too young. The Educational system (at least in the US) already holds far too much power and sway over the value systems children are taught (or shall we say indoctrinated?). I think this is the major reason parents are opting for home schooling more and more these days.


  • Dorothy Mantooth
    July 8
    4:39 pm

    Lol Heidi, I did the exact same thing with my c-section scar! Both kids looked at and touched it while I explained what it was for. They thought it was really cool.

    I wasn’t offended at all; it was just your comment made me think how mine *might* have looked (“She lied to her child and refused to answer her questions!”) and I wanted to clarify it.

    But institutionalized sex ed? Nah. Too young. The Educational system (at least in the US) already holds far too much power and sway over the value systems children are taught (or shall we say indoctrinated?). I think this is the major reason parents are opting for home schooling more and more these days.

    Capo, I totally agree. I don’t want my kids’s schools either forcing strict moral codes on them or removing the ones I try to instill (like that sex-ed uproar in MA several years back, where the instructor explained fisting to the kids and told them a date could be nothing more than “straight-up fucking on your parents’s couch.” No, seriously). I don’t homeschool, but I’ve thought about it, and I’ll scrap pennies to send them to private schools where I can at least have some say in what they’re taught.

    I know a lot of it is simply making sure I’ve taught them well enough before they get there, but let’s face it. If everyone but their parents is encouraging them to think or behave a certain way, eventually they’ll wear down even the strongest of children.)


  • My son has known the proper names for his body parts since he could talk. As a former child abuse investigator, nothing drives me crazier than the ridiculous names folks come up with for body parts. I had one girl who referred to hers as her ‘shamies.’ Try explaining that one in court. So I can’t argue against learning body parts. Sex and relationships? Hmmm, not sure I want anyone but me explaining that one.

    Of course, when my little guy saw me get out of the shower one day and asked where my penis was I had to explain that girls don’t have penises. (He was very distraught because he thought something had happened to mine. Being that he’s so fond of his, this would be a tragedy.) That was well and good until the day he asked what do girls have. Of course, he had to announce it to his daddy one evening when he got home. “Daddy, mommy is a girl and girls don’t have penises, they have vaginas.” My husband’s response? “And I thank God for that every day, son.”

    BTW, he was all of 2 years old when this happened. As for where babies come from, my son understands that they come out of mommie’s tummies and that daddies put them there. He also understands that he was once an egg of sorts, but, of course, he doesn’t understand the mechanics. Actually, that whole conversation was initiated by a children’s cartoon about a bird who kept the egg she was hatched from and two monkeys being confused because they didn’t have eggs. So, I had to explain that in a way we do have eggs, but not with hard shells like birds. Having a smart kid is hard work!


  • Your hubby’s a man after my own heart, Roslyn! 🙂

    But I’m not overly comfortable with the “babies come out of Mommy’s tummy” take. I remember my grandmother told me that when I was little, and for days I had gory visions and nightmares about bursting out of my Mom’s belly. I felt just terrible, until I finally broke down crying to Mom and begging for forgiveness. Only then did MOM tell me where babies actually come from. I guess the stomach thing applies if you were a C-section kid, but in most cases, that ain’t the way it is LOL


  • “Daddy, mommy is a girl and girls don’t have penises, they have vaginas.”

    Heh. Sounds like my son. Something very similar happened. 😉


  • I think you’ll find institutionalised sex ed at that age *is* knowing some names for things. Sex ed isn’t intercourse ed. It starts with ‘there are two sexes’ then goes what menstruation is so a girl knows *before* she thinks she’s bleeding to death and after puberty it hits safe sex and contraception. I don’t think copulation is covered very much at any level beyiond the basics of how you get pregnant–beginning at the age where this might be biologically possible.

    Sex ed outside the home is a minimum safety net for kids who are being abused and may not even know it isn’t normal, or aren’t given the basic information they need to stay safe. Sex ed in schools, at every level, routinely uncovers kids in need of immediate rescue not just from abuse but severe undiagnosed medical problems and other things such as dicovering the parents are letting them watch porn, or sex acts with siblings and other things that shouldn’t be happening.


  • Of course, he had to announce it to his daddy one evening when he got home. “Daddy, mommy is a girl and girls don’t have penises, they have vaginas.” My husband’s response? “And I thank God for that every day, son.”


    I’m fairly certain educators aren’t going to be getting into the mechanics of intercourse and methods of birth control and STD prevention with 4-year-olds.


  • But institutionalized sex ed? Nah. Too young. The Educational system (at least in the US) already holds far too much power and sway over the value systems children are taught (or shall we say indoctrinated?).

    I sooo have to agree with this.

    I have had discussions with teachers that told me teaching the children manners and such is NOT their job, it’s the parent’s job. I agree with this completely! My girls have very good manners and I take credit for that, thankyouverymuch. :p LOL

    So then why would educators think it’s ok to teach someone else’s child (especially a 4 year old) sex education?

    No matter “what” they are teaching them, whether it be the correct term for body parts or straight up sex. There are actually people out there that don’t want their child to know those terms at that age, (don’t look at me, my kids know them :p) so why go against their authority as parents?


  • TracyS
    July 8
    8:08 pm

    I agree with kids using the correct words for their body parts. however, I have a very stubborn child and once he has an idea in his head TNT cannot remove it.

    He called his penis his “pee thing” once he was potty trained. I told him that it was his “penis”. He shook his head and said “nope, it’s a pee thing” Oooookay. I figured the word he used was at least descriptive enough that if someone touched him there inappropriately and he told someone they’d know what he meant.

    Same thing happened when he was 3. His little brother was born and he watched me feed him. I’m large breasted and there is no hiding what I’m doing when I breastfeed LOL He started calling them “feeder things” bwahahahahahahahaha It was so cute, and I was so tired, I just let it go. A year later I was dressing and he walked in on me (no privacy I tell ya and no locks on the doors~we have an old house with the skeleton keys and they don’t work right). He asked what my bra was and I told him what it was for and he said “oh, it holds up your feeder things!” I explained that they were not feeding his brother anymore and they are called “breasts”. He said, “nope, they are feeder things”

    LOL crazy kid.

    Then he relearned “penis” in first grade when a friend at school said it and he spent a week working that word into as many conversations as possible!

    Boys are such an adventure!


  • SamG
    July 8
    8:33 pm

    My kids always had the right terminology too. I also think that at 4 it would be naming the parts and saying no one was to touch those parts (save mommy, daddy and the Dr.). By 6 or 7, when they no longer needed bathing help etc., it was just the Dr.

    Of course, I have 12 year old boy/girl twins, so they bathed together etc. always. So, they knew what the other gender has/doesn’t have anyway.

    Now though, I have one that asks questions constantly (the boy) and one that says I don’t want to know. I answer any question he has. I figure if he can articulate a precise question he’s been thinking about it and I’d rather I taught him than the school…or the kids at the school that know…or think they do.

    That being said, my hubby think we’ll have grandkids before they’re out of school because I do discuss this stuff.



  • I am conflicted on this.

    On the one hand, I agree that parents should be the ones teaching things such as this to their own children.

    On the other, I look around and see so many young kids who are not being taught anything of the like–too many parents either on the “if I ignore it, it won’t happen” or in the “just tell them is a sin and they’ll be safe” bandwagons.

    As Heidi said, better to prevent teen pregnancies than to deal with the consequences (or even the possibility) of teen abortions.

    And then, there’s the damned-all-the-way-to-the-bottom-circle-of-hell predators. I was seven when it happened to me. My sister was three. Perhaps talking about it would have helped, perhaps not.


  • shirley
    July 8
    8:58 pm

    It’s bad enough there are retailers out there who produce sexy underwear, and stiletto shoes for under fives…

    You know, I was just flipping my lid over this yesterday afternoon. I took out my youngest granddaughter – she’s seven – and we hit a couple of the trendy stores for some shopping. I was disgusted at the clothing on the rack. Maybe I’m way out of the loop, but there is absolutely no reason a seven year old should be wearing a crop top and low riding jeans, let alone a two inch heel. We finally managed to agree on an outfit, but I still think the top was too tight and the jeans too low cut.

    As to the sex ed thing, well, I never told my kids to call their private parts hoo hoos or winkies. It was penis and vagina, thank you. And they knew how babies were made – sperm and egg – before they went to school. However, I didn’t get graphic or nuts with it, but when you have kids every couple of years there comes a point when the older children want to know how come you keep getting babies in your tummy, so to speak.

    I think children should know proper body parts and how babies are made, but I don’t think they need to be learning about STD’s, oral sex, alternative lifestyles, or seeing pictures of sexual disease until they are at least in their early teens. Moreover, I don’t know that it should be the school’s job to teach them these things.


  • shirley
    July 8
    9:17 pm

    On the other, I look around and see so many young kids who are not being taught anything of the like–too many parents either on the “if I ignore it, it won’t happen” or in the “just tell them is a sin and they’ll be safe” bandwagons.

    This is a really good point, AztecLady. I read in a medical journal some time back about a study done on abstinence only programs versus sex education and the teen pregnancy rates in the surrounding areas. The oddest thing was that for *both* the pregnancy rates were higher per capita, which would seem to suggest neither works to curb teen unsafe sex.

    However, there was an interesting notation regarding abstinence programs, which were paired with sex ed *and* female empowerment efforts. In those areas, places where abstinence was suggested with a full knowledge of sex and STD’s and where young girls were taught that their bodies were their own and were given lessons on building self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-respect, the teen pregnancy rates dropped dramatically. If I remember right, it was like thirty percent or more. Now the study was done a few years back and I can’t remember what journal it was published in, but that’s certainly food for thought.

    Maybe instead of sex ed we should teach self respect ed. Maybe that would be more effective.


  • cecilia
    July 9
    4:29 am

    My mother had a policy of answer all questions truthfully, but without elaborating unnecessarily. I did the “where do babies come from” thing when I was about 5, and then pursued till I had the whole sperm and egg story. I didn’t believe her, and said as much. On the basis of “it didn’t do me any harm” I’m going to disagree with people who think that’s too early to know.

    I think there’s a big difference between telling a kid the biological facts of life and the sexualizing of children. The “sexing-up” of kids in tarty clothes and the various other marketing strategies is repulsive, partly because the kids who are targeted aren’t ready for sexual relationships, and most of the time probably don’t really understand what the skankiness is about, beyond a primitive sense that they’ll be popular or powerful.

    Sex ed is a totally different issue, to my mind, and one with totally different goals – where the marketing of sex is about manipulating consumers, sex ed would be about informing people so they can make healthier choices.

    In the same way that we just start teaching kids to read in the early years and get to The Grapes of Wrath much later, I don’t see the big deal in introducing some of the basic facts of life early. I don’t think a young child needs to be looking at the Joy of Sex or learning how to roll on a condom, but I don’t see a problem with them knowing what the plumbing does. You don’t have to go into the details about how much fun it is, and it seems to me that demystifying and treating it in a really matter of fact way would give sex a lot less cachet in terms of (pre-)teen rebellion. And has it not been demonstrated repeatedly that the places with the most restrictions on sex ed are the places with the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STIs? I don’t know if this is the same study, shirley, but a 2007 one in the US showed that the same number of kids were having sex, no matter what kind of program they went through; the difference was that the abstinence-only kids were less likely to use birth control.

    I agree with the view that the idea of this being institutionalized is unappealing, but as a high school teacher, I also know that there are many many many parents who have the idea that their little darlings aren’t even ready for “the talk”, while those innocent babes want to know if all the blow jobs they’re giving are having an impact on their diets.

    If I were in the UK, I’d want to know more about what they’re proposing to teach and how before dismissing it out of hand.


  • Maybe instead of sex ed we should teach self respect ed. Maybe that would be more effective.

    Shirley, I totally agree with teaching our kids self respect. I believe as long as they are comfortable with themselves and love themselves then no matter what information they receive, they’ll have the smarts to figure out how to use it.

    I have 4,5 (nearly 6) and 7 year olds. They’ve all asked various questions at different times about babies, but none have needed the nuts and bolts of making them yet. When they ask, I will tell them.

    The best question from my son was when he wanted to know how his bones and blood got under his skin. Did it happen in my tummy or did the Doctor put the skin on when he came out?

    They all know how the baby comes out, but none have yet asked how it gets in there.


  • I haven’t read all the comments on this (yet), but I did want to mention that I wrote on a paper on this topic. Or, rather it was an argumentative paper on whether or not Sex Education should be taught in Elementary School. My argument was not the physical, sexual act being described and taught (as parents *should* teach this), but rather about the early maturation of young children and the earlier and earlier issue of girls starting their period. I think children even as young as thought should be told what to expect so that they CAN comprehend the changes and the consequences of what can happen, so that they don’t get pregnant at 14.

    I got a B+ on that paper, by the way. LOL


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment