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Thread: How much should children be taught about sex?

  1. #1

    Default How much should children be taught about sex?

    (By schools, that is)

    Right, read this:
    Sex education: why the British should go Dutch - Times Online

    And then for a different opinion from the fear-mongering Daily Mail:
    Now schools introduce a sex guide for your six-year-olds | Mail Online
    (Read some of the comments too...)

    The articles are referring to fairly recent plans for schools in the UK, but discuss the idea more generally.

    I think an honest approach to sex is probably a good idea, and I think we should be more natural about sex generally. I think it's only right for children to be taught about sex, the only people who are going to be traumatised are some parents!

    But with that said, when I was in Amsterdam this year the openness to sex did seem very strange. Walking around the red light district in the day when children were around too seemed bizarre.
    But then clearly the Dutch are doing something right.

    I think it's wrong to say that it's "too much, too young"... children are like blank slates, they aren't affected too much by the assumptions of their cultures.

    Why do you think?
    Do you think things such as homosexuality/S&M/fetishes should be taught in schools (not necessarily to children)?

    Sex education in my primary school was non-existent, expect for a one-off video we saw once. In secondary school it was quite vague, and towards the end of secondary school it was just ironic, since (what seemed like) most of the class had already taught themselves about sex practically.

  2. #2


    I think children should be given honest knowlege about sex, I have raised three children and my wife and I gave them information as they inquired about it. Sex info is no different than any other subject, your goal as a parent is to create well rounded knowlegable individuals who can think for themselves. I belive a lot of early sexual activity is caused by curiosity, and a lack of knowlege can lead to a person being taken advantage of with misleading or wrong info. This must be taught in school because some people will mistakenly think thier children are safer if they know nothing, but that is false because they will gain a little info from other peers, media etc, just some of it will be wrong. You do not want your children to make important decisions based on false info.

  3. #3


    I think sex should not be tought to a child intil they reach middle school so that would be around 11-12. I think it's up to the parents not the school, and this is coming from someone that was watching sex ed videos at 10.

  4. #4


    In my school (middle school) we have sex-ed in PE. It's call Personal Hygiene and there are no girls in the class, only guys. What they tell us is mostly to abstain from having sex until we are married. We also get taught about STD and AIDS, but they can't tell us about using protection because that would be promoting sex experimentation. Weird? My friends and I already know about sex anyway. So what's the point of telling us about something that almost everyone knows? I think they should tell us about how to use protection because I know there are a lot going on even in my class and also with kids younger than me. It's the lack of knowledge about using protection that gets people in trouble and those who are responsible for giving us the proper information should share a lot of the blame.
    Last edited by Zekk; 26-Nov-2008 at 19:01. Reason: Misspelling

  5. #5


    Teach them early. It'll keep them from making retarded jokes in middle school.

  6. #6


    I think teaching 6-7 year olds about sex is a bit much. Maybe if it were taught as part of a lesson on anatomy. I didn't get a sex ed class until my 12th grade year (18 years old), which just shows how pathetic public schools were when I was growing up. I think sex education should be taught at age 9-10.

  7. #7


    I personally think that not nearly enough is done. What is was for me was a teacher reading from a book that explained nothing when I was 10. I came out of that knowing no more than I did going in.

    Then when we were 13 we looked at it in biology - but that was from an entirely biological view point - we don't look any further than what the apparatus was made out of.

    We didn't look at it in any detail until we were 16, at which point we have gone past the age of consent.

    The best age for it to have been covered would have been when I was 10, maybe even earlier. Beyond that age you become increasingly immature and self conscious about such things, until eventually you reach an age where you go beyond that at which point it is usally too late. Perhaps not the nitty gritty details but more than the When Mummy and Daddy love each other very much they hug in a special way rubbish we got. Also, stuff about contreception and STIs needs to be done earlier as well. I didn't realise how little I knew until I was taught it at 16 (past age of concent = too late).

    I personally think "too much, too young" is far better than "too little, too late" and don't see where the taboo of sex comes from in the first place. It is a perfectly natural thing.

    I think kids should be aware of the fact that there are different sexualities, and should be taught that there is nothing wrong with that. If there is an emphasis on tolerance it is more likely the children will pick it up. As for fetishes and so on - there existance should not be denied and they should not be criticised if the topic comes up but the idea of acceptance should again be emphasised. I don't think a point should be made of mentioning them however, at least no more then in passing. If it were to be covered then perhaps that would be a good topic to cover with older teenagers - it requires a certain level of maturity that the physical process of sex or stuff like STIs or contraception does not. Those are quite factual whereas fetishes and so on are more likely to result in an almost entirely open ended discussion - that sort of discussion over that sort of topic requires a maturity that I doubt younger kids could bring, even if they understood the topic.

    EDIT: When I saw this thread, this is the first thing I thought of. Hope you enjoy:

  8. #8


    I think the whole sex issue is a really tricky one. It's hard to say what the best way to do it is because there's no way to know the best one until you've tried everything in every situation.

    I've always felt the main problem with sex (at least in the other countries I don't know if the issues would be the same) is the consequences that come from people having unprotected sex. Overpopulation, people becoming pregnant when they're not ready, and the spread of STD's and HIV are all big problems associated with sex. In addition, I think there is something to be said for self-control concerning sex, just like anything else.

    So one argument I've heard a lot is that the reason why people have so much unprotected sex is that they're never taught about protection...if we educated our children early about sex (or if we teach them about protection and whatnot in our public schools), then they will have less unprotected sex, which alleviates the problems that come with it.

    There's probably something to this idea, but I do think some people take it too far. I really don't think just because people are educated about safe sex means they're going to go out there and use condoms all of the time. Sex is particularly a problem because people get so caught up in the moment...if everyone thinks sex is ok as long as you use a condom, then they might have sex more often..and in the moment ditch the condom.

    In addition, we teach our kids about eating healthy and exercising and the dangers of smoking. Does that stop our kids from becoming obese or smoking in high school? For some, yeah...but to say just because it's taught in school will change the way everyone behaves is naive.

    Ultimately, I think it should be up to the parents. Every child's situation is unique and parents know that best.

    The reason why I'm not greatly against the abstinence-only education is that if a parent wants to teach their kid that protected sex is ok, they can do that....I don't think the abstinence-only part undermines that, it's like an extra part. But if schools teach that protected sex is ok and a parent doesn't want their kid to have sex at all...the kid is going to think "well, my teacher said having sex is okay"...and it kind of undermines what the parent thinks. So basically, I view the abstinence-only way as the safer way as far as it correlates with what parents want.

    On the other hand, I do think that schools should teach more about homosexuality at a young age. I think homophobia is the root of all problems associated with homosexuality, and that if children were taught at a young age that gay people are just as "normal" as straight people, then there would be a lot less of it. True, it wouldn't have as much of an effect if the kids don't hear the same from their parents...but at least it would be a positive step.

    Now I know you might be thinking I'm contradicting myself on these two one case I'm saying it's ok to undermine parents, in the other I'm not. The difference is that in the sex situation, I think there's no definite right or wrong, that it should be up to the parents. In the homosexuality one, I think it's wrong for a parent to teach their kids that homoosexuality is bad. It's kind of like race to me...some parents might teach their kids to be racist, but I don't think that means that schools can't teach against racism. It's the same with homosexuality to me.

  9. #9


    Kids should be tought everything about sex in school, that way there wouldn't be as many unwed mothers due to the lack of education.

    And alot of the guys think they know it all, and are afraid to ask anyone in there family,or anyone else, I'm speaking from my own experience here, but with the use of the internet things are better now then when I was a kid.

  10. #10


    It depends on the kid's age, mentality, religion and parents. All of that seams to play a role in it I think, that's as simple as I can put it.
    Last edited by Fire2box; 26-Nov-2008 at 23:06.

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