Physical Relationship Education.
Sex education is complicated. It's about procreation, right? The mechanics, the biology. But it should also consider a variety of sexualities, a variety of genders, a variety of activities aside from intercourse. It involves learning about risks and, maybe the most uncomfortable topic in some conversations, pleasures.
It should be all of this, because when it's not... well, over and over we see that when it's not, people don't stop doing all the things - they just do all the things without the knowledge of how to do so in healthy ways.
That said, is there a time and place for what we call sex education? Sure. No three-year-old is capable of understanding anything about sexual behavior, from the mechanics to the emotional implications. This is why sex ed is often tackled near puberty, when it becomes a timely topic for their physical and emotional development - and even then the information should be imparted with care, because it's big stuff.
But with all that sex ed encompasses, it does make sense to start early in that, at its core, it's just about physical relationships, and those begin at birth.
Imagine two children:
One is taught, even as a baby, to respect physical boundaries. Biting, hitting, or other agressive actions are not ok, and as they grow they learn that hurtful or disprespectful words are not ok. This kid is encouraged to understand their body parts and they have healthy models of both body confidence and a sense of privacy. Information about bodies and, eventually, relationships is given with candor and without shame as appropriate for their unique personality.
Another kid is never given real names for their body parts and, in fact, is not allowed to talk about them, let alone draw attention to or touch them. They probably learn that biting and hitting isn't ok, but beyond that there's no example of how to respect anyone's body, even their own, because the topic is simply off the table. The lack of those conversations leave this kid to conclude that bodies are taboo - maybe a joke, maybe gross, maybe shameful. They don't develop a sense of how their words and actions might affect another person's physical or emotional security.
These scenarios are pretty extreme, especially the latter, but they show how early exposure to some of the concepts sex ed will cover is absolutely ok. Which of these kids do you think is going to have an easier time learning about the more provocative topics? Which one will have an easier time navigating an eventual physical relationship? Make that any relationship?
Sex ed can - and should - begin very early, at the appropriate level. It will all become relevant when the topic of sexual behavior does enter a kid's consciousness. If calling it sex ed makes you uncomfortable, call it physical relationship ed.
I really don't mind if anybody is part of the lgbt+ community, as long as they don't bother me about it, which is probably why it gets so much hate.
They Won’t Know Until They Learn
He didn't know it was bad until I taught him. I can still remember being afraid, cringing as this child told me what was happening at home, and looking into his eyes and seeing that he had no idea this was wrong. No one taught him. Yet, he experienced it just like other little kids I grew up with and watched grow up. An adult stealing his innocence and this child being saddled with the burden of having to deal with the loss of something precious behind closed doors because he couldn't say anything to the adults around him.
Many teachers have this story. The story of learning that one of their students are being sexually abused, and trying to navigate the waters of what to say when. Even without the sinisterness of abuse, kids ask sexual questions that make even the toughest adult squirm at the thought of this caterpillar becoming a fully grown butterfly (or moth if you must be technical). When asked why touching in certain parts feels good or how babies are made, adult brains clam up. I hate this. As a child who was often asking all of these questions, the lies were more frustrating than the untruths and I could've saved the internet a lot of work if the adults around me had just been straight with me. This is why I would not mind being a sex ed teacher.
Our bodies are innately sexual. That's the name of the game. If we weren't sexual, Adam and Eve would just be the names of biblical fertilizer. Yet, at a certain age, we give this half-assed "Birds and Bees" talk that basically says, "you're growing up and I am terrified". In my grandfather's day, The Talk was basically just validation for you trying things out with the girls down the street (or boys if you were in a closet or a Vietnamese barrack). In my dad's day, you found your dad's girly magazines and crunched some numbers. In my day, we just google everything, and before Safe Search, parents could walk in on familiar blue site with yellow writing and be traumatized for life.
The internet taught me more about sex than school did. Though my parents intervened, I was still not taught about masturbation, homosexuality, or various kinks and fetishes. It wasn't until ninth grade, when my third sex ed teacher of the school year, after having the carrot of retirement pulled from him once again, gave up and told us what we really wanted to hear. By the first day, he had earned all of our trust. Students who would skip every class wouldn't dare miss a day of Coach Marks' antics. Any question from us was readily and truthfully answered. I learned more in that class than I did in any other sex class I would take, even the one in college (so far). That honesty can't just come from a teacher who is ready to give his higher-ups a reason to fire him. Had I had his class earlier, I would've been able to navigate the world better. I would've avoided a lot of bad relationships, scary porn, and long, confusing weeks trying to decipher men that I don't remember the name of.
It's important to be truthful to kids when they grow up. It's important to normalize at least talking about sex with kids so that many issues like abuse, break-ups, teen pregnancies, and sexuality can be dealt with in a better, timely manner. The Gen Xers and Millenials opened a door of "what if things don't have to be this way" but are taking things too far. We have to educate first before asking people who they are or what they identify as, and that's the piece that keeps getting missed. Teaching has to be parent-friendly (since kids understand most of what is thrown at them and oftentimes any predisposed opinions come from their environment) and objective rather than based on opinions or religion or politics.
If we expect a math teacher to teach math objectively and expect a literature teacher to focus on the books, then why is it so unrealistic to let a sex-ed teacher teach objectively about sex and let a kid form their opinions on their own? Isn't having regulated teaching better than having the next generation try and pull meaning and understanding from pornos and bullshit that politicians say?
Should children be taught about sexual behavior or is it embarrassing?
The British government has developed guidelines for schoolchildren to begin dating at the age of 11, which includes topics of sexual consent. This was prompted by a new parliamentary report that concluded that sex education should be compulsory for all students.
Sex was never so widespread in British society as it is today.
Even if you look at the TV, you will see sex, advertising, and sexuality even in school.
Although pornography is banned in the country, you can easily find it on the Internet.
One indication that society has become "obsessed" with sex is the teenage pregnancy.
The number of teenage girls who have become pregnant in the country is steadily declining and has been at its lowest since 1969. However, recent research has shown that Britain is the fourth-highest pregnant teenager in the EU.
Girls are fourth in the UK in terms of pregnancy
The situation is improving, according to children's charities, as a result of government efforts to have sex education.
The British government considers itself to be doing even more in this regard.
Education Minister Nikki Morgan says children are under enormous pressure when it comes to sex, and they need support when they really are in danger.
"We want to make sure that the lessons our girls receive are not only enhancing their educational potential but also preparing them for modern British life," she wrote in an article in one of the newspapers.
This means that despite the fact that the law provides for age 16 in the country, it also teaches children how to properly engage in school sex, including sex.