when should sex education begin?

  1. When should sex ed. begin? Since there is a continuous rise in teenage pregnancy, perhaps more could be done to educate our children on pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Should they be taught abstinence only? Or should we encourage abstinence but also educate them on contraception, condom use, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortion? I am doing a research paper and would like to know how you feel about this topic.
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   JAYNE :DANCE:
    AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE......AMERICANS ARE VERY RESERVED WHEN IT COMES TO THE SUBJECT OF SEX EDUCATION....WELL SEX IN GENERAL REALLY...............I THINK THE EARLIER WE CAN TEACH OUR CHILDREN ABOUT THE BIRDS AND THE BEES, THE BETTER OFF THEY WILL BE>>>>>>
  4. by   Robin61970
    The womb these days????
  5. by   Mattigan
    If they are old enough to ask the question - they are old enough for the answer. In terms appropriate for their developmental/cognitive abilities.
  6. by   nursenoelle
    Originally posted by Mattigan
    If they are old enough to ask the question - they are old enough for the answer. In terms appropriate for their developmental/cognitive abilities.

    Exactly.
  7. by   eltrip
    Ditto what Mattigan said.
  8. by   Gomer
    There is a wonderful book on the subject called, "Where Did I Come From". I highly recommend it. Written at about the 9-10 year old level, but younger kids can have it read to them. Has graphic cartoons (full frontal nudity), but a great book for moms and dads to read/discuss with kids. (I just read it with a 9-year old...her reaction, "....you and dad do THAT!" (Hard to keep a straight face at parts of your sex lecture)
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    When they begin to talk and discover their "parts", literally, is what I absolutely believe...... It is ongoing, on a LONG continuum. The teaching is applied to age/developmental level and I answer all questions honestly and fully as asked. NO question is taboo.

    I have addressed STD's, pregnancy, HIV, and other issues such as homosexuality (from a NON-homophobic standpoint) with my 10-year-old son. I rather he hear it from ME than the street, or at least have the opportunity to clarify what he hears in school/from friends. His education began when he was a toddler; e.g. "good touching" or "bad touching" and giving him permission to enjoy his own body in privacy (they start that very young, I learned). It just goes from there. Often, we will be driving or cooking or doing something quite mundane, and he will ask a question. Sometimes I am surprised at what he asks. I will answer it honestly and no matter what he says, don't act shocked. So far, it's working well. Time will tell, I suppose, in the choices he makes. I always emphasize HE makes the choices, I just give him the tools to help. It's how I handle this anyhow; he did not come with a manual on how to raise him! Good thread!
  10. by   OB/GYN NP
    My daughter, who is now 10, asked when she was 4 years old where babies come from. I told her. It's the best decision I ever made in teaching her about life. My Mom wouldn't even talk to me about sex. She made it seem like it was dirty and wrong, so I got all my info from the playground. I didn't want it to be that way for my daughter. She knows what sex is about, and knows how I feel about the abstinence issue, but above all, I have told her that when she is ready to have sex, I will not be angry with her, but I will make sure that she knows how to protect herself against unwanted pregnany and STD's. And she doesn't think of sex as some awesome thing that will change her whole life. It's just one of the many things that she needs to learn about life, and one of the many things that she will one day experience as a part of being an adult. Another issue that I feel strongly about on this subject is that the issue of morality, and when is it OK to have sex with someone, should come from the home, not from school. It's a service that parents owe to their children, to instill values. Too often the moral issue and the pure education of what the physical act of sex entails become intertwined. Whether it's right or wrong at certain times is a discussion that parents should have with their children, according to their beliefs. And the physiology of sex should be taught in the home first, then REINFORCED at school, not "the school movie" in 4th grade being the only info a child gets. OK, off my soapbox now.
  11. by   live4today
    originally posted by robin61970
    the womb these days????
    uhhhhhh...well......hell yeah......start teachiing them babies in "the womb"!!! :d

    the sooner the better, but make sure you believe in and practice what you teach your children about sex......or anything in life for that matter because them little rugrats are some pretty smart little people who don't mind calling you on the carpet if they see you living one way, yet requiring them to live another.

    be ye prepared parents!!! :d
  12. by   shrek
    As soon as possible, it beats them teaching themselves!! Let them know that you must take responsability for all your actions.
  13. by   colleen10
    I don't have kids but I say as soon as possible. A few months ago I caught a documentary type show on HBO. I really wish I could remember what it was called. In this documentary they followed a group of middle schoolers. Most were around 12 years old, on the cusp of teenage-hood.

    I was absolutely amazed and dumb founded at what these young children were doing regarding their sexuality and having sex. There were 12 year olds having sex and talking about oral sex and orgies and all the things that they are exposed to. They followed a group of boys and girls who that at 12 had come out of the closet and told their parents, friends, and teachers they were gay and all the things that they went through.

    Also, these were all middle class kids from the suburbs.

    I am only 27 and so I don't consider it too long ago that I was that age and I never even thought about having sex at the age and I probably didn't even know what homosexuality is.

    I just couldn't believe what these children are doing and what they are exposed to at such a young age.

    So, I think the earlier you can discuss sex with them the better off they will be.
  14. by   pollux
    Sex is natural part of life and even if it may be difficult to imagine our children having sex you would rather make sure that this experience will be a safe and agreable one. The only way is to answer questions being asked according to the age level of the child. There is no bad answers if it is done simply and with love. No matter what we do they will find answers and it may not be good or safe ones. As a professional, we have to listen to the concerns of our teenagers and again give them as much info as they need to make proper decisions about their sexual activities.

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