We all remember this moment
” Hold the tip of the condom, and roll down the shaft”
Yes, that’s correct.Those dreaded sex education classes that were held during Junior High physical education classes. We would all snicker, and huddle in our shirts just praying for the class to end. Move forward a few years, and we are now parents in a much more advanced era, and sex ed is new the hot topic of the day.
As many of us know, the Government of Canada has recently introduced the 2015 Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum. The stir that this has created only brings one question to mind ‘What is the big deal? ‘The last update to the curriculum was in 1999, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, children have become much more resourceful in educating themselves. By way of internet, social media, and by experimenting.
The program has been re-written and is being presented at an earlier age, however,and this is the most common misconception, they will not be teaching sex tactics and positions to little children. Let’s take a look at the new changes. It’s not as bad as it seems.
In Grade 1, where the children will be 6-7 years old.They will be educating children on the appropriate names of their genital parts, and learn what is right and wrong in regards to inappropriate touching.
In Grade 2, where the children will be 7-8 years old. They will be learning about the natural changes that occur in our bodies. Learn how to, and the importance, of standing up for themselves, and teach the children how to support one another and the effects of name calling.
In Grade 3, where the children will be 8-9 years old. They will be learn about what a ‘healthy relationship’ looks like with friends and family. Discuss individual differences in each and all of us, and learn how to stay safe while using the internet.
In Grade 4, where the children will be 9-10 years old. They will begin the discussion about puberty. The natural change that occurs in all our bodies. Teach the importance of personal hygiene after the onset of puberty. Discuss how social media can be helpful, but harmful as well. Identify different types of bullying and how to handle the situation.
In Grade 5, where the children will be 10-11 years old. They will start learning about their reproductive system, both male and female. They will learn how to handle the new stress that comes with these changes that are happening to their bodies.They will discuss how their actions, in person or online, can affect others personally and publicly.
In Grade 6, where the children will be 11-12 years old. They will begin learning about they how they identify with themselves i.e body image, gender identity etc. Identify the new factors in relationships, now that they are adolescence mode.
In Grade 7, where the children will be 12-13 years old. They will begin learning about sexual transmitted infections, and how to identify their symptoms. Discuss how to prevent STI’s and unwanted pregnancies. They will also speak of the ramifications of sex-ting, and the dangers associated with it.
In Grade 8, where the children will be 13-14 years old. They will be discussing sexual activity decisions. Learn and understand gender identity and sexual orientation. Learn the use of contraception, and the meaning of No.
In Grade 9, where the children will be 14-15 years old. They will re-focus on the use of communication, the effectiveness of birth control, and study the knowledge of sexual health and safety.
In Grade 10, where the children will be 15-16 years old. They shift focus to mental health. How their sexual choices affect their mental status. Identify the misconceptions of sexuality as it is viewed in today’s society.
In Grade 11, where the children will be 16-17 years old. They will introduce what to look for during breast and testicular exams, how to identify mental illnesses and addictions.
In Grade 12, where the children will be 17-18 years old. They learn the legal side of their actions, and how to develop and maintain a healthy relationship.
So after breaking it down to the bare basics, does it seem as bad as some are making it out to be? The reaction that many parents have expressed is that they want to teach sex ed to their children, and it no place on the schools. But the reality is that in today’s society, children can access this information faster than we know. Most even know more about the topic, and are engaging in sexual acts by the age of 13. Learning within a group setting with their peers may ease their fears about the topic, and encourage them to become more engaged in discussing the topic.
The fact is that a lot has changed since 1999. What is being taught now in the schools does not reflect the changes that our children are faced with in everyday society. Our curriculum needs to change with it. Teachers are very resourceful. They can teach any material, in any depth of the topic. They will be trained fully on these new topics and changes, and will present it respectfully to our children so that they understand.
Now there are so many misconceptions and rumors swarming, and no one knows what to believe. Are our children being forced to attend these classes? Will they be discussing anal sex with 7 year old? Who’s responsibility is it to teach our children sex education? If parents would take a step back, read the facts, they would have know that the curriculum is not out to ruin our children, but teach them how to protect themselves and understand the changes that are occurring.
This mom right here is pro-change. We need to evolve with the times, because if we don’t our children will be either left behind, or learn in the wrong environment. Both are neither options that sit will with me.