I posted this on Positive Women’s Network (our mother ship) a couple of weeks ago, but it bears repeating!
My reaction to the headline that said “Sex Education Should Start as Young as Ten” was “Are you kidding me? Ten is too late!”
As the parent of two kids- one is eleven and one is almost fourteen- I think sex education should start way younger than ten. Ten is a lovely age, for sure. It’s (generally) before surly tween-ness settles in. Kids are old enough to have great senses of humour and love their growing independence. But they may be getting shy about their changing bodies, so introducing sex ed at that point could actually be too late for ongoing conversations.
Sex education is about more than sex. We have to get away from the heterosexual-centric physical only “Slot A goes into slot B” mode of thinking. It narrows thinking about what brings a person to have sex, and when.
Sex education is many things. It’s instilling comfort and pride in your kids about their bodies and what they can do. It’s acknowledging their sensuality, which starts at infancy and can be celebrated or denied (please, not the latter!) It’s teaching them the proper names of their body parts and how they work.
Empowering kids with sex education can help them feel good about choices as they mature and move into puberty. It can also protect them from predators. If a kid has a confidence in their body, a good understanding of personal space and relationships, an understanding of how sex happens between people, and what permission and consent mean, they can better identify if something happens that is off.
Start young: kids feel good from the start and are alive in their bodies. We must honour that.
I just read a New Yorker article handed to me by a co-worker. The photocopy has made the rounds in the staff, so the paper’s a little softened now. Death of a Revolutionary tells the story of Shulamith Firestone, one of the prominent voices of 1960s feminism. Firestone wrote the Dialectic of Sex in the […]
I loved the article Why I’ll Never Read Another Parenting Book. Writer Samantha Schoech taps into the parental mindset of “If I read just one more book, I’ll turn out the best people ever!” I have read my share with these hopes, which is ironic, because I am the first to admit that my kids […]
For people who can’t conceive in the traditional way, assisted reproduction can be amazing. Granted, not everyone can do it: it’s expensive, and health coverage differs in various provinces and by extended health plans. But let’s just say if it’s possible, it can offer hope to singles or couples, queer or straight, when hope can […]
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