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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sex Education for Primary School children

I have to admit this is not an issue I had spent much thought on. However I have recently started following the'Catholic and Loving it' blog by James Preece. As a non-catholic Christian, it raises some interesting issues for me and I have enjoyed reading it. And this is one of those issues - Sex education in primary schools. In his post here he raised an issue of a pamphlet that had been approved to go into primary schools. It is less than ideal and I too had some concerns over it's use for children as young as 5. But what struck me also was the strength of some of the comments coming from people about the leaflet. I was going to include some of them here but I'm not sure thats either allowed or fair, so click through to see for yourself.

I also posted a comment to say that whilst I agreed it was wrong I felt the strength of the comments was very OTT. To which it was suggested I was being naive. So am I being naive? What should we be allowing our children to see? Is it the schools job to educate our children on sex or is it ours as parents? I think sticking ones head in the sand is not going to help. One can hardly say that children should not receive sex education until secondary age in an inner city school where for example 11 year olds are having sexual experiences with each other. No matter how we feel about that, saying we are not going to educate them is not going to stop them doing it, is it? And if we do educate them, then how?

Obviously the Catholic view is stronger than others might be, but they do have some valid points, aside from the suggestion of paedophilia... I am not knocking the Catholic view or this blog as I say I enjoy reading it, so please don't think I am starting a 'knock this blog' post, I would be really interested to know what others think. I mean for example I don't know what my childrens school policy is on this and perhaps I should? As a church school I like to think I trust them with this kind of thing but then they don't set the curriculum do they?

So, should we educate our under 10s on sex? who's responsiblity is it? and if so, how?


Suem said...

I had a look at the leaflet. I didn't think the main picture was at all explicit. I didn't have problems with words like penis or vagina being used with 5 year olds and I think that described in the context of love and mummies and daddies having a cuddle is just right.

I thought explanations about orgasms and masturbation or sexual orientation weren't appropriate or relevant at five, but it does say this material was to be used from the age of five upwards. I do trust schools and teachers to exercise common sense and keep things age appropriate. Certainly by the age of ten or eleven most kids will have heard all those words - or grosser equivalents in the playground.

The comments about the materials being a paedophile's charter are just daft. You can be entirely ignorant about sex and still be sexually abused. In fact ignorance possibly makes you more vulnerable. It is also unhealthy for children to be around adults who react with fear, horror, anxiety, disapproval, anger, secrecy or embarrassment whenever the subject of sex comes up.

Red said...

Hi Sue
thanks for that. I think you're right, it's about common sense really. Something has to be taught, as you say, it's just getting the balance right. And I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking some of the comments were a bit OTT - or daft!