I think it's like any subject, it depends on the quality and accuracy of the school system vs the knowledge of at least one of the parents. But as it happened, my parents were no more qualified to explain how a baby was made than a cab driver is in explaining his vehicles mechanics, so I was very appreciative in having sex education classes to educate me on a number of misconceptions which i was able to share with my parents. On the other hand if your parent was say a gynecologist, they probably should be educating the teachers and running the class.
I saw my parents having sex, when I was about ten years old. I found that quite educational. Over here, during the Eighties, sex education in the elementary school was clinical and styled "there's your penis, there's your vagina, they get together, ejaculation, sperm, egg, miracle of life, the test is next Friday." I'm glad I heard, what I needed to, from the older boys around the corner.
I don't know about other countries, but I think it is a subject we do not handle well in the US. Beyond the argument of whether it should be taught by parents or schools, whomever is addressing the subject should do so in a comfortable and age-appropriate manner. I'm really not an advocate of either "the birds and the bees" discussion by parents or the "sex ex" class in schools.
"Sex ed" classes are about more than just the mechanics of it, but also feelings, appropriate actions/reactions/interactions, rights, and morality. To my mind, most of these things (sexual acts excluded, of course) are best taught by example, and that means it begins at home. None of these things are exclusive to sex, but encompass all human interactions. A child who learns to always treat others with respect and that no one has the right to abuse them in any way will naturally segue those into the sexual realm.
As far as the mechanics of it all, most kids ask a lot of questions, they should be answered, but not over-answered. A five-year old watching sharks mating on the discovery channel who asks what they are doing doesn't want or need a technical answer, for example, but just being told they are making baby sharks may satisfy their curiosity. A child's question should never be left unanswered, should always be answered honestly, and the child's lead should be followed as to how in-depth an answer they are seeking.
I've got no problem with the schools teaching the biology of sex, contraception, etc. age-appropriately. A kid in elementary school doesn't need to be taught how to put a condom on a banana, for example.
I think some schools go too far...and some parents not far enough.
That would be fine if all parents were knowledgable and good. Some parents don't cut the mustard. If their kids depended on them for sex education they would probably go out and fuck a stump somewhere. :) JMHO
Will, I agree that many parents don't do well with teaching their kids about sex, but kids do get a large sense of their morality from home. Kids are always going to learn about sex and it's going to happen, even if nothing is said about it in a school or at home. (I think we are living proof of that) From some of the things put out these days, you'd think that people were all ignorant about sex for the past few thousand years. I'll go out on a limb here and say that my ancestors a thousand years ago, knew where babies came from and how they were made. :)
I agree that the human race would continue on without any help from schools. I just think a little factual knowledge could help a lot kids from making mistakes at an early age that will affect the rest of their lives. If we want them to take responsibility for their actions, I believe we should at least give them some sound knowledge to do so. JMHO.
I agree Will. The problem I have with schools today, is their idea of "sound knowledge".
Yes, there is that too.
Well sure, but not many kids want to hear what a naked man and a naked woman do in private from their parents.
Either way, can we at least wait until they're out of pre-school?
I agree with teaching the biology of sex in schools. I don't agree with teachers or schools imposing their own beliefs on what is right or wrong, normal or abnormal, permissive or not permissive, when it comes to sex.
I agree. Just the facts of life. They have plenty of time to figure out the political end of sex and relationships.
Sex and relationships are complicated enough with out throwing in politics. We all know that politicians are well versed in screwing people in a million different ways.
The problem is, not all parents are willing to discuss sexual matters with their children and many children are unwilling to come to their parents with questions. I know a couple people who came to their parents with questions about sex, but their parents were so uptight that they refused to talk about it. The schools teaching it ensures that at least all students have the possibility of learning the biology of sex and puberty (some students' parents will still opt them out of "sex ed", of course, and I can only hope those that do will discuss it effectively with their children).
I believe that kids have a right to know about sex and puberty when their bodies begin to change; I can imagine being quite freaked had I not known what a "wet dream" was ahead of time, and I can see the same for girls not knowing what menstruation is before it happens or shortly after it first happens. Kids should not be kept in the dark about sexuality; it doesn't solve anything. Kids will find out anyway from their older siblings and from the internet; it's better than they at least learn the basics in school first (or from their parents). The internet is certainly not a good teacher.
I don't believe that public schools have a right to dictate morality on sex other than to speak of the immorality of harassment or rape. But whether or not, for example, homosexuality or sex before marriage is right or wrong is not something for the schools to discuss. Obviously, if you attend a private religious school, the results may be different.
Sex ed for me began when I moved to the United States and started in 6th grade (so I was 11). I was a late bloomer, so most of the descriptions of puberty's effects didn't apply to me until a few years later, but I was glad to have the information. My parents seemed to have wanted a jump start on the schools, so a couple months before I had sex ed, my parents sat me down and had "the talk" (telling me what sex was, telling me what an erection was, etc.); it was beyond awkward, but I appreciate that they did that. I would probably do something similar with my kids: I'd probably want them to hear it from me before the school talks about it (and to know they could always come to me with questions), but I wouldn't mind them hearing it from both.
Yes. My parents never taught me anything, but my siblings did.
For me it was a bit of biology from school and some " adult " content
I'll bet the "adult" content was more interesting? lol
for a 12 year old alone at night? Yeah, it was a teachable moment.
Knowledge is power. If you want young people to make good decisions, you have to give them good information. As a human being living on earth, it's important to have a good understanding of the biological aspect of sex, because it's a fundamental part of the human condition. But I believe it's also important to have a good understanding of the moral aspect of sex, because sex is a powerful thing that can have huge life consequences, and just because you understand the biology of sex doesn't mean you appreciate the entirety of the situation. Bottom line though, ignorance is not an advantage in life, sex ed is important.
"fools die for want of wisdom" Proverbs 10:21
Very true when it comes to sex, no?
I think morality should be taught at home.
I have no problem with sex ed, the biology of human sexuality, being taught in school.
agreed, sex, teen abortion, std's all went through the roof since sex ed in school
You believe sex education made sex, abortions, and STD's increase? So ignorance would make them decrease? Just trying to get a handle on your thought process.
Should be but parents won't even take the time to have a meal with their kids let alone talk to them about sex. At my school we got body education nothing about sex, my parents never told me anything cause I lived next to a farm those bulls always showing off or jumping on their herd of cows. Also my mom raised popodles and scotties at times doggies needed to be held so I saw it all my life.
Put the Bible down !!!
Sex education is just that. "Education" and as such should be taught by educators with training and knowledge on the subject.
Most don't learn about sex at home anyway. They learn about it on the street corner and the playground.