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Are we teaching sex education too early?

LaineLaine Deactivated Posts: 2,762 Boards Guru

An interesting topic gets brought up a fair bit that i thought we could talk about as i find it quite interesting :)

It is now recommended that children from the age of 5 and up should have sex and relationship education as part of their curriculum. Some people think this is too young and someone agree it could have its benefits.

Its worth noting that children from around 5 won't be learning about actual sex and more about what is a healthy relationship, the different relationships you may have(parents, siblings, uncles/aunts, etc) as well as what to call their body parts and that animals have babies.

From around 11 onwards its focused on reproduction, sexuality, and sexual health as well as safety.
The gov website states that this does not cause early sexual activity or any particular sexual orientation.

So where do you guys stand on it?

I'm interested to know if you went to school whether you had education too and felt it was good enough? or whether it needs to be better taught? maybe you got better advice from someone else?

Sexual health is a topic i find interesting because its good to talk about it but it can almost feel too taboo sometimes still in this day and age.I may make a few posts around it aha.

Remember to be respectful of others and most importantly to make sure any potentially triggering content is met with a warning.

I'll post my opinion in comments tomorrow :)

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  • BubblesGoesBooBubblesGoesBoo Posts: 3,590 Community Veteran
    edited February 2020
    I personally think its a good idea, throughout sex education at school it was mainly focused around well sex haha, but we didn't get the healthy relationship side of things, we didn't learn what to do if your partner is being controlling ect … so learning this from a young age could be beneficial.

    I became sexually active when I was about 8, but I had no clue what it was, an older boy just said it was a 'game' I know it still wouldn't be aught to this age group. but maybe if I had known the basics I wouldn't of gone along with it
    ' So I put a bullet where I shouda put a helmet, and I crash my car cause I wanna get carried away, that's why I'm standing on the overpass screaming at myself 'hey, I wanna get better''  
  • Han93Han93 Posts: 309 The Mix Regular
    Hey @Laine

    I actually think it's a really good idea, and I do agree with primary school children being taught about healthy relationships - I think it's really important for people to be socialised as early as possible on things such as consent and hope that it will in tackling issues related to domestic abuse and sexual assault as a result.
  • MaisyMaisy Moderator Posts: 531 Incredible Poster
    I think it's a good idea. I think what might put some people off is that they might think it's sex ed for kids, which it isn't at that age because it will focus on healthy relationships. I think this is very important and something that I wish I had the opportunity of learning when I was younger. It's so easy to access inappropriate content these days, and without the right guidance, it can lead to all sorts of problems. 

    I will be interested to see whether it offers a balanced view e.g. what should someone do if they themselves recognise they are behaving unhealthily in relationships.
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  • Tee ATee A Posts: 123 The Mix Convert

    Hey @Laine

    I think teaching children about sexual education from a young age is great idea!

    I think it is a good way to fight taboos surrounding sex but more importantly to teach children what is considered healthy and unhealthy in a relationship. When I was growing up, I was never taught this. My school only taught sexual education as a reproductive strategy. For this reason people like me might have to learn what is healthy, the hard way, through trial-and-error in real life.

    I think most people worry about teaching children about sexual education at such a young age because they think it will be somewhat explicit. However, I think if children are not taught about this topic in a safe environment, such as schools, they will teach themselves in unsafe ways such as the internet!

  • GreenTeaGreenTea Posts: 12,938 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    I think it's a good idea, kids are so sexualised these day tbh. I've had conversations with 8 year olds about sexualised language etc. Learn about sex and relationships early, is positive as children do need to know what is and isn't appropriate in relationships between friends, parents, strangers etc.
  • tkdogtkdog Posts: 281 The Mix Regular
    edited March 2020
    Depends on what exactly they tell and all. I mean at 5 I barely understood anything and I do feel like there are more important things that weren't taught. I think the most important relationship to teach then is like friendships. And stuff like healthy role models this kind of thing and moving beyond gender roles. Especially with all the gendered toys they sell which really give a bad or misleading message to kids. There was so much that they didn't help with at all. I remember as a kid really struggling and being left out. The worse thing is they discriminated against younger kids by letting them into nursery and reception classes later yet they expect just as much development and people who join later to make friends with kids already there. How was i supposed to do that as a kid who prefered to play alone and was bilingual so got confused with words.
    I don't know how much things changed though.

    The thing is different people are different. For me I do feel it is too early to go into much detail at all. Reading a story book or something about this would be alright perhaps. Or stuff about body parts. But at younger age I also rather learning would be more exploratory and less ppl telling u this and that. Such as through toys or asking questions. So it really depends but they really must keep things very basic.

    I do remember that the second half of primary school we were taught plenty about sex education. Talking a little more about the relationships generally is good but just depends. At that age i dunno what that stuff is about nor really had a reason to care beyond safety and all. (I guess internet safety) Whereas some kids at a young age may have had relationships or has interest in it but everyone is different. But I don't think at any point thr education i had lacked in that and generally kids were clever enough to work things out and at a much younger age mostly learnt stuff from parents. I remember there was a class which cleared up misconceptions about sex related things etc.

    I guess it is not the same everywhere. One thing that I wasn't taught at all at school at any stage (not directly related just mentioning it for interest) is like anythinh relating to homosexual relationships or anything else unconventional (poly etc.) but I know things have really changed for many places.
    Post edited by tkdog on
  • independent_independent_ Community Champion Posts: 8,412 Legendary Poster
    I think teaching about relationships and what’s healthy and what’s not is really important at all ages @Laine, it might help younger kids who might be being abused or neglected at home to recognise that it’s not normal (not to mention being informed for romantic relationships when older).

    In terms of sex, I didn’t learn about sex until I was a teenager (genuinely, sex ed at my school was shit) and there were some things I didn’t learn about it until I, well, did it. Some of things really should have learned before that. We did learn about puberty, periods etc and how babies are made aged about 11, and about STIs aged 13 or 14, but that was it - we didn’t learn about contraception, sexuality etc at all - or the emotional aspects of having sex either.

    11 is definitely not too young to learn about it IMO.
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
  • ThePigeonsThePigeons Posts: 199 Trailblazer
    I think it would be a good idea. With appropriate topics ofcourse. Children could learn to be nice to each other and what a healty relationship would look like. Later on also romantic relationships. We had pretty good sex ed at school. I can't remember elementary school but at age 13 the topics were puberty, what is going to happen to our body and what happens inside the body.

    At age 15 we got the topics of hormones, sex, sex between the same sexe, std's you could get and how you can prevent it. We also talked about that someone could change their mind during the act. And the stereotypes about each other.
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