Sex Ed-Are YOU Responsible?
As part of NaBloPoMo there is an overall monthly theme and daily prompts to write to each day. This month I started out sticking to the theme of love and sex, but with a spiritual focus. I did not stick to the daily prompts much.
Today’s prompt, however, I do want to tackle!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Do you think sex education should come from the parents, the school, or a mix of both?
I want to make this question a little more complex…you knew I couldn’t leave well enough alone!
Let’s reword it.
Do you think sex education should come from the parents, the school, the church, community organizations, or a combination or all of them?
I am a parent.
I am a public school teacher, however, all words in this post are MY PERSONAL OPINION and do not reflect the opinions of any specific public school where I am or may ever be employeed nor any other public school employee in this universe. (How’s that for a disclaimer?)
I am a volunteer in the church with various years of experience with youth of sex ed age.
I have served as a volunteer with both Girl and Cub Scouts in the past.
I think I have enough experience to have an opinion backed up by working knowledge to discuss this prompt.
Yes, I believe parents should teach their children sex education. I, personally, believe that individuals should practice abstinence until marriage. It is my job to teach that to my children. I can’t expect the world to do that for me. The world doesn’t hold my beliefs.
It is MY responsibility as a parent to discuss these things with my kids. However, I don’t like to. It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. I feel like a pervert.
Unfortunately, I know when and wehre I learned about the birds and the bees. On the school bus. At the ripe ole age of about 7.
Yes, is second grade a friend and I asked our teacher what ‘sex’ meant after hearing it on the bus. Our teacher told us to look it up in the dictionary. Which we did. And then instructed us to ask our parents any follow-up questions. Which we did not.
I received quite the education on the school bus. None of that education was tested on a state mandated yearly test.
Sex ed in school is controversial. What does/can public school teach? Abstinence? That’s a ‘religious’ idea. It doesn’t protect from pregnancy (WHAT?!?!) or STD’s (again, WHAT?!?!).
Do we teach the how behind sex? (Isn’t this teaching kids how to have sex? Won’t this encourage it?)
Do we teach safe sex? Birth control, condoms, sponges, diaphragms, IUDs, morning after pill, etc. How far do we go with this? Do we provide these items?
Do we teach the consequences for unsafe sex? Pregnancy, STDs, loss of virginity, etc. Do we do this simply to breed fear in students? Are we teaching sex as something to be feared?
When do we start teaching these things? This news report came out today mentioning age 5. Yes, age five. With more detailed education coming in fifth grade. This kind of reminds me of that scene in the movie Kindergarten Cop where the little boy stands up in class and states that ‘boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.’
Is this really appropriate for five year olds?
Sex ed in the church. You mean the church knows about sex?
Yes, if you’re still confused about this, God, creator of male and female, created sex. If God Himself created it, on purpose, then yes, the church should probably address it. It isn’t “dirty” or “nasty”, it is of God.
Talking about sex in the church with teenagers is not one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. But I’ve done it more than once, and I think it’s important. Someone needs to talk about what the Bible says about sex, dating, and marriage to teenagers. Many times even Christian parents are uncomfortable doing so.
If the church has youth attending that do not come from Christian homes, this could very well be the only Scriptural teaching on sex, dating, and marriage these youth will ever receive. Step up, church, step up!
What about those community organizations like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H, Kiwanis, etc?
Well, I remember my younger sister’s Girl Scout troop went to a class at the hospital on sexuality. She was five years younger than me. Guess where I learned most of the accurate information I learned on female issues?
Yep. At my sister’s Girl Scout troop meetings at the hospital. I never would have admitted it then, but I learned tons. If it wouldn’t have been embarrassing to take notes, this older sister/guest would have been filling up a notebook.
Some kids don’t learn about sexuality at home or church, and are too embarrassed to pay attention or ask questions at school. In that conference room at the hospital as an innocent observer I gained much needed information.
Some of those community organizations support organizations that aren’t accepted by conservative Christians, however. That may affect the decision of some on whether they should be allowed to teach sex ed.
It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child.
In the culture we currently live in, sex bombards our children 24/7. Unless you move to a remote location without media access or human contact, your children will be inundated with sex. Someone is going to teach them about it. You may or may not get to control who that someone is.
For me, it was a high school student on the back of the school bus at a very young age. By the time I was in middle school, well, I knew a lot.
My own children know a lot. I decided a long time ago not to bother pretending that they didn’t know. Although I do have a good time playing dumb every once in a while at their expense.
Did I answer the question? Probably not.
We can’t ignore sex education. We can choose to educate our kids when it makes us uncomfortable or we can choose to be uncomfortable when their hands-on education puts us all in an uncomfortable position.