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Sex Education for Youngsters

Would You Approve of Sex Ed in Kindergarten?

ABCs, 123s and the birds and the bees? Most people anticipate two of these three subjects to be taught in kindergarten, but parents usually expect to take on the sex ed conversation on their own or much later in school.

In England, a new national curriculum will require teachers to introduce lessons to their five-year-old students about their body parts, gender differences, friendships and feelings. While it may not be a class on intercourse, some parents are concerned that school is not the place to be learning about such personal matters, especially at such an early age.

What's your take on the issue?

addictCLOTHES addictCLOTHES 8 years
Kindergarten, where children are five years old, teaching them about that, I feel, is incorrect. Many don't have an idea about what something is, nor do they understand it. I feel that it's just robbing kids of their innocence, I feel that fifth grade is fine like corcar86, because their bodies are going through these changes and they understand more. Kindergarteners don't have that mentality yet. It is up to a parent at that age, they can tell them what's what.
corcar86 corcar86 8 years
I am definitely on the fence about this one I think that, while it is good for a young child to become aware and comfortable of their bodies and to sate their curiosity about gender differences (i.e. my favorite line in Kindergarten Cop "Boys have penises girls have vaginas" (i lol at that every time p.s. why is it spell check let through penises but sited vaginas as a misspelling? haha ok back to topic...)I think that Kindergarten is too young for parents not to have a say in it. Many children learn things at different paces and although you don't want children picking up things in a crass or inappropriate way from a classmate I think that it is up to the parent at this age to set them straight. I think in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade when puberty is looming it is a little more necessary to begin "body education"
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
I think "gender differences" is far too subjective of a topic to be taught in a school environment. I respect that people have differing views on what constitutes gender, but I take a quite liberal stance and wouldn't want someone oriented to the right teaching my kids from their ideological perspective. Perhaps elementary schools are quite different now than when I attended, but my former school was fairly conservative. If the schools are talking about this kind of education for children strictly on a "I have this sex organ, you have that sex organ" basis I'm fine with that... but I would pull a child from a school that took it upon itself to define the "characteristics" of a boy or girl. Defining gender differences at such an early age seems like a breeding ground for both confusion and intolerance. Oh I should add that I'm not suggesting that schools are solely responsible for creating this type of intolerance - I give that credit mostly to parents. I'm just suggesting that they stay out of it. End of socially-liberal rant :)
Purple-Damsel02 Purple-Damsel02 8 years
I think it is an excellent idea.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 8 years
for children who will be taught about these issues by their parents, this might be a waste of time. for children who are in danger of being molested, this could help with their having a safe and happy future. i was taught about the things mentioned in kindergarten and a bit every year after. we were taught to tell an adult if we heard about another child being molested. one of my friends told me something weird about her dad, i can't remember what exactly, but i told a teacher that it sounded like she was being touched, and later her mom (her parents were no longer together) called me to thank me for being brave and telling the truth. the problem of child molestation is not going away, and children need all the info they can get to defend themselves. it might feel sad to think about kindergartners learning about sex or these other things, but unfortunately, if they know nothing they will hear /learn about it from other children, and will be in more risk of being coerced into being molested
Vaadsfweytes Vaadsfweytes 8 years
I got my first sex education in school when I was in about 3rd grade. My parents were too conservative to talk about it. It wasn't traumatic for me, at all.
nicole-gauthier nicole-gauthier 8 years
We learned about this stuff when I was in kindergarten... And it really wasn't actual sex education or anything. They taught us that girls and boys have different body parts. They said that when a mother and father love each other very much they have a baby. They didn't get into detail, but they taught us what was appropriate for our age.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
Well "sex ed" sounds way different than the curriculum proposed for England's schools. I have a problem with kindergartners learning about what sexual intercourse is, but not about gender differences and body parts, etc.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
I have to say no. Resoundingly. We cannot expect the schools to teach our kids the fundamentals AND add sex ed at this early of an age. At some point it HAS to be the parents responsibility. I get that they teach it in JR High, and while I'm STILL not OK with that, I get the need for it at that age. There is no need in kindergarten. If the kids are picking stuff up on the playground, they will talk to you about it when they get home. But you have to TALK to your kids. Ask them what they talked to their friends about today. Ask them if they learned anything at school that they have questions about. TALK TO THEM. My kids have known and understood sex since a young age because I asked the questions. If you don't KNOW how to talk to your kids about it, there are tons of books out there to help you. My thought has always been that if you're not comfortable talking to your kids about sex, you're in trouble, because the kids are comfortable talking to their friends. If you're not talking to them as well, they are getting bad information.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I think it takes away from actual class time to teach this. I don't see how it can't, especially when you're talking such specifics as what's safe touch and what's not. I feel bad for teachers and other school officials that people are starting to require them to pick up parents' slack. It's not like they don't have enough on their plate already. And what are the "gender differences"? Beyond women having babies and men not, what are they? Ok, penis and vagina. Father and mother? Won't that be a problem with single-parent homes or households with two mothers/fathers? Women clean and men do the yardwork?
death-by-chocolat death-by-chocolat 8 years
As a former preschool teacher and someone who studies child psychology, I do think this is a good idea! There are very subtle ways for the more sensitive issues to be introduced with this age group that do not necessarily need to be a special time in the class. For instance, the schools may just tell teachers that now if a girl asks why she pees differently than a boy, the teacher is allowed to say "because boys' bodies have a penis, but girls don't". I would also encourage the running theme in all ages, preschool and up, of "safe touch". This gets people uncomfortable sometimes, but really, its as easy as the teacher establishing with the children that if someone touches you in a way that makes you feel weird, especially if they touch you where your bathing suit goes, then need to tell a grownup. You don't need to take time away from academics to enforce this- there are plenty of chances to bring this up in storytime, or even if the kids are changing clothes to go swimming. It definitely saddens me to see some people claiming these are not important issues for your children to learn in school. And yes, it should be taught at all homes, but there is something to be said about having an authoritative consensus (e.g. my parents AND my teachers tell me this, it must be important!) No one says we should refuse to teach kids about sharing... I feel that personal safety and self awareness are life skills that should always be encouraged in the classroom.
psterling psterling 8 years
I'd be allright with long as is sticks strictly to gender differences, friendship, etc. I wouldn't want my kids learning the nitty gritty at that age, but I don't think anyone's really suggesting that.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 8 years
I'd prefer if the school systems left that topic up to me to educate my child. Stick to Math, Science, English and Reading. If your kid's not educated on personal topics like that, it's your fault.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
I don't see a problem with it. I would have a problem if it was sex ed, but it's teaching them about their bodies, and teaching them to respect them and be comfortable with them. I don't think it's too early for that discussion. And all education shouldn't end at the classroom door, what kids learn in school should always be reinforced at home, whether it's english, math or "sex ed". If your children have questions in math do they only talk to their math teacher, or ask you to help them at home with their homework? So the idea that they will only talk to their teacher about sex, etc. if it is taught in school is probably incorrect.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
I get really tired of the, "because some parents might not teach it, we are going to teach to all of your children whether you like it or not," bit.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
I am on the fence too. Age 5 is a bit young but a lot of parents, mine included, did not really talk to me about 'sex'. I am sure they did about gender and what not. I don't see the problem with this topic. Now if they were discussing sex and babies, that would be FAR too young. But gender differences is educational.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
I'm on the fence on this one no because that is my duty as a parent to parent and educate my child on issues like this, and i don't want children experimenting with what they learned because they are too young and don't know any better. yes because it is unfortunate that some children don't have parents that want or care to educate their children, or maybe they are just to embarrassed to get into detail with their kids, and that leaves uneducated children with the curiosity to explore, innocently of course but because they don't know any better that it is wrong. I think what lickety was trying to interpret, i may be wrong but that she has her children in private school so the public system wont educate them in things she feels is her right and duty, as oppose to private it is strictly academics.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 8 years
I believe school is for academics, period.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I don't think the few of us who mentioned private school said it would avoid our children being wild. That's a totally different topic from the one at hand.
cheersdarlin916 cheersdarlin916 8 years
I like how some of the parents on here think that if they send their child to a private school that they will be much better off. Some of my most wild friends were private school attendees. They had the best drugs and wildest parties (granted that was 17 years ago but I can't imagine it has changed all that much)
Greggie Greggie 8 years
jenious, I think you bring up great points.
cheersdarlin916 cheersdarlin916 8 years
At that age parents should be talking with their child about it and establishing communication with their child so that later in life when the topic gets harder to discuss they will feel comfortable coming to talk to you. That is what I did with my son and he is 12 years old and comes to me with all of his questions.
jenious jenious 8 years
I think having it taught in school, though getting kids "on the same page" creates an important barrier between the child and the parent. At that age, it's important for parents to create that bond while they can. If they hear something on the playground, who do you want them to turn to as a kinder? The teacher or a parent/guardian? For me, it's all about age.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
The more I think about it, the more I think that yeah, I'd pull my child from that school. Not with a big huff or protest, just quietly remove them and do private school.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I understand, Lovely. But that's going to happen with everything, not just sex. I think leaving this up to teachers at the kinder level is just a bad idea. It takes time away from the actual learning curriculum, and like I said above, the actual points they're addressing are incredibly subjective.
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