Sex Education vs. The Stork

09/03/2011 at 12:14 pm (Education)

Sex education in schools is an emotive subject.  Of course it is – no parent wants their child to be given the wrong start.  When I was growing up, I had sex education, which at the time was a relief.  My parents always said they were prepared to give the talk and give all the facts if we asked.  Thing is, I’d be far too mortified to talk to my parents about sex!

I think it’s very important for a child to have an understanding of their bodies.  For sex to be “hidden” until maybe their teens is a bit of an odd perspective to take.  The question, “where do babies come from?” should be given an honest answer.  Okay, no need for all the intimate details, but it’s important to give facts.  We don’t want legions of kids checking under the gooseberry bush for a new brother or sister.

The other key question is “will teaching sex education at a younger age lead to having sex earlier?”  Do we have evidence of this?  As far as I’m aware, this is more about a lack of education and understanding that leads to pregnancy and the spread of STDs – perhaps the most indicitive sign of sexual activity that can be measured.  In my own experience I remember talking to a young man many years ago who had been for his second visit to the clinic, but had no idea what his scrotum was.

I was inspired to write this following a report that religious groups were appalled at the idea that sex education might be a bit more detailed.  This just seems like a knee-jerk attempt by some organisation to quash any attempt to broaden the knowledge of our up-coming generations.  From the commentary by the Guardian’s Mortar Board blog about more widespread and explicit sex education, it seems that much of this is sensitively handled.

Don’t get me wrong, parents and guardians should ask questions about the appropriateness of the subjects being taught to their children.  I’m not even particularly aggrieved by a Christian movement encouraging parents to ask such questions.  What worries me is when such a movement becomes the mouthpiece of moral outrage.

There’s nothing of value about a blanket “NO!” to educating the young about a human being’s lower portions.



  1. sarah said,

    Have you been watching Glee? The new episode is all about this.

    • peacockpete said,

      I haven’t, but it’s clearly a hot topic (and probably always will be)!

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