Boys Have Penises and Girls Have Vaginas -- Not Shmekles and Va-gay-gays
This past week, Ontario released a new Health and Physical Education Curriculum for 2015. This is the first such update since the mid-late 1990s and will cover important topics such as cyber-bullying, sexting and gender identities. Of course, our kids will also learn about the anatomical parts of sex and types of sex (oral, vaginal and anal) all of which has lead to confusion, anger and fear amongst parents.
Are we that scared of our kids knowing the real word for their genitals?
Much of the fear stems from the early introduction of sex education teaching, even in grade one. Some have voiced concern that grade 1 students are far too young to understand sex and it's implications. And I agree, but I can't imagine there are many seven-year-olds out there that don't know if they have a penis or vagina and that the opposite sex has the opposite organ. Our four and two-year-old sons know that they have penises and mommy has a vagina. Are we that scared of our kids knowing the real word for their genitals? More reasonably, in my opinion, is the objection that our children will be learning about oral and anal sex. But seriously, do we not think that teens in Ontario are familiar with these forms of sex? If we don't teach it will they never know it exists? For the record, living a healthy, active lifestyle will also be discussed. Who can argue with that?
Students will be encouraged to think through sex as an important life decision requiring thorough contemplation. Sexual abuse and other forms of sexual domination will be brought to the forefront to best recognize and squashed should they appear.
While it is true no sexual education plan will appease all parents and educators, I do believe this new curriculum makes some great strides. Students will be encouraged to learn about their bodies and how to keep them safe and healthy.
Our various differences in sexual orientation, gender, religion and values will be explored, and open to discussion. Students will be encouraged to think through sex as an important life decision requiring thorough contemplation. Sexual abuse and other forms of sexual domination will be brought to the forefront to best recognize and squashed should they appear.
Do I think kids are going to have sex sooner because of this curriculum -- no, I don't. Do I think some students will think long and hard about these important life decisions when they arise -- I hope so. If anything, teaching acceptance and tolerance to people different from us may stand to help at least a few, and that is benefit enough for me.
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