Sex education in primary school

 

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credits:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/03/06/now-sex-education-compulsory-time-prepare-students-real-life/

 

A growing number of teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, unhealthy relationship and sexual abuse is the result of unawareness and inaccurate information spread through media and the Internet. Due to the absence of sex education subject in the curricula of many schools, children learn about sexuality from mass media, parents or older friends. And it is difficult to hold control over the content provided online or transmitted through mass media. The subject of sex education (sexuality education) teaches not only about the biology and sexual intercourse but about keeping safe and building healthy relationship. Raising awareness about sexuality from primary school can prevent adolescents from making mistakes and languish in misery. 

A compulsory sex education subject is going to be integrated into all the schools across England starting September 2019 (BBC news, 2017).  BBC news also relays that a representative of organisation Christian Concern, Andrea Williams says: “Children need to be protected, and certainly when they’re [still at primary school], we need to be guarding their innocence” thus disagreeing with the incorporation of sex education into the curriculum (BBC news, 2017). But sex education is not aiming at destroying the innocence of children but conversely at protecting them from harms they may do to themselves out of ignorance. Again, all the information provided at the lessons will be age-appropriate. It means that primary schoolers will not be taught things they cannot comprehend but what they need to know at their age. In an official website of BBC news, it is stated that the focus of the subject in primary school will be on “building healthy relationships and staying healthy”, and secondary school students will be studying “sex as well as relationships”.  In addition, these classes also will cover the issues of sexual abuse and “the dangers of sexting, online pornography and sexual harassment” (BBC news, 2017).  I think that information of sexual minorities, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement and the human rights should also be included in the content of the subject. These measures will raise awareness regarding these matters from a young age and help children to adapt to adult life in the future.

Children grow up mentally as well as physically. And when they notice these changes they have to be informed and prepared. Only with a proper guidance will they be able to avoid making terrible mistakes and mature healthily.

 

Reference

Sellgren, K. (2017, March 1).  Sex education to be compulsory in England’s schools. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/education-39116783

 

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11 thoughts on “Sex education in primary school

  1. I do agree that it is an important subject for the children to be safer and more protected in the future. Not knowing certain things by appropriate age might pose great danger to the health and future lives of students.
    Do you think that Kazakhstan should adopt a similar approach? Will our society accept it as a part of the curriculum?

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    1. Thanks for your concern, Soothdayer!
      I do not think that Kazakhstani society is ready for such changes, especially when it concerns primary schooler. For now, at least middle schoolers and high schoolers should have sex education as a subject I believe.

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  2. Dear farihandro, thank you for your post on this controversial topic. In Kazakhstan, many parents may oppose the idea of sex education in primary schools misinterpreting the purpose and content of the subject. Besides, there will be a fear that sex education might end up triggering early sex among teenagers due to their curiosity and tendency to try out new things. So, perhaps it will be better to educate parents on how to raise awareness of and teach sexuality to their children instead.

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    1. I do agree with you, Ariyavv!
      Raising awareness among parents is the first thing to do. But I think teaching sexuality shall be done by professionals not the parents. As it concerns not only the ‘thing’ but other side issues like those mentioned in my post. Parents not aware of them will do no help.

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  3. Dear farihandro, thanks for raising interesting topic. I deem it is one of the thought-provoking issues of the 21st century. Moreover, raising awareness about “adult life” is controversial in our traditional Kazakh families. I believe our society are not ready to support the sex education. This type of the knowledge contradicts our mentality, traditions and upbringing. Personally, I agree with previous comment that it would be better to raise awareness of parents about it rather than children. Parents should play an active role in forming their view about sex and relationships with opposite gender.
    By the way, can you elaborate more about the idea that says the knowledge will be transmitted in accordance with age? How this gonna happen?

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    1. Well, I did not elaborate on it on purpose. If I did, I would have to use explicit language. Primary schooler will not have to learn the details of sexual intercourse, rather they just touch upon it. They will learn about the changes that will happen with their body and what to expect from it, how to be prepared. Also, they will learn about the difference between sex and gender, gay marriage and other stuff that exist in this world. Then, gradually, they will learn more about men and woman, healthy relationship and stuff like that.

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      1. This is a relevant topic for our profession, @farihandro. I do agree that children need to know the facts about their bodies. But the age of “readiness” for such topic is still vague and needs to be studied. It is important to mention that early pregnancy tends to occur not only due to the interest of children to try out new knowledge, but rather due to the absense of that knowledge of how and what exactly makes a girl pregnant so they are not afraid to try it. Another example, many poor countries have high birth rate and low survive rate among infants because of poverty. Unplanned pregnancy in these countries occur not only among young girls but also among women. One of the major reasons is the same – unawareness. I believe that the problem of overpopulation in the Earth is not due to the lack of population control measures, but due to the insufficient education. Educated population need no control.

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      2. Yes! That’s what I am saying. There are so many aspects it is impossible to write about them althogether. Now, sex education is being integrated in the curricula in Great Britain. Hopefully, early educated children will be better prepared for the future.

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  4. @farihandro, I wonder what parents tell their children about birth nowadays? In my time, the legend was “we found you in cabbage” :). But seriously, I don’t think “society’s readiness”, or some parents outdated beliefs should be criteria for including in the curriculum something as important as sex ed. No matter what some people think, ignorance is not innocence. Since the consequences of one person’s ill-informed behaviour can affect other people as well, it is the school’s social responsibility to provide appropriate information to minimise risks. And it doesn’t have to be a dedicated subject (to reduce some conservatives’ protestations). For example, in late Soviet secondary curriculum there was a chapter in the biology book and a whole lesson on sex ed. Surely, today we can do better than the Soviet curriculum.

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    1. I am reading tons of literature on this subject, and believe me deciding what is appropriate for what age is not as simple as black and white. Each school decides if the cohort is mature enough to teach certain things. Everything is just too complicated, too sensitive.

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  5. Kudos @farihandro for picking a touchy subject and treating it with care and sensitivity. (5/5) Be careful to use the plural “relationships” when talking about “building healthy relationships”.

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