Schools are probably the last place where a child will learn about the concept of sex. The mainstream media are full of oversexualized content — from half-dressed models in fashion magazines to lewd comedy on television to raunchy music and music videos. And think about it: right at their fingertips, children with computers or a smartphone have access to outright pornography via the Internet.
Amid our sexualized culture, it is our duty to teach our children what is right at a young age. If it is withheld, their naive curiosity will only get the better of them.
Premier Kathleen Wynne is putting into play a new sex education curriculum for students in Ontario. The curriculum hasn’t been touched since 1998, and by almost any standard, it’s badly outdated. Still, many people are angered by the changes. Parents and various religious groups are saying that it is immoral to teach children about things like oral sex and sexual orientation at such a young age. There have even been public protests and online coalition campaigns to stop the changes in the curriculum.
Yes, it can be a scary notion to think about your child getting sexually involved. But if the curriculum serves to teach them how to be safe, not only with sex but with interactions on the Internet, why should the information be withheld?
As a society, we let our children drive cars at 16, let them go off to college or university at 17, vote at 18, drink at 19. Children are expected to grow up faster than ever. So why are some people so blind to the fact that this new curriculum is simply a reflection of the need to keep up with the maturity of our children?
This new curriculum will not only teach children about positive relationships and what it means to consent to something, but it will also help prepare them (and not terrify them) into making the right decisions about intimate relationships.
If you think that comprehensive sexual education is simply going to make children want to have sex, then maybe it’s time to look in the mirror — and consider moving your own thinking into the 21st century.