I remember the day I first heard the word puberty and did not know what it meant. It was grade 4 and the last week of school, when different reproductive organs of the body were introduced. We spent one hour on it in total. One hour in grade four was our introduction to the touchy topic of sex.
Children are curious and immature. Most do not know what to make of the information they are being provided. Introduction to the topic at such an early age spells disaster especially when it’s one class right before the break. Many people have different religious and cultural beliefs about sex. Many times, things are taught in these classes that go against the religious belief of many parents. I’m not 'anti-providing' sexual information in schools. But, I do believe it is too early, even in grade four, and I do believe that what is considered as acceptable sexual behaviour should be left to the student and their parents.
The looming provincial elections saved the curriculum from being implemented this time. But, one thing is for sure, the topic has been brought up and as soon as the elections are over we will be back here talking about the same issue.
Here is what was proposed in the new curriculum:
“It included discussion about relationships and respecting differences — where same-sex couples may be discussed — in Grade 3.
Grade 6 covers the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and teacher discussion points include talking about how wet dreams are natural, and masturbation is something people “find pleasurable.”
In Grade 7, students learn about delaying sexual activity, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and how to prevent them, including abstinence. That could spark discussion about oral sex or anal intercourse and how they too can be risky.”
It’s ironic that everything about sex is introduced first and four years down the road abstinence and the harms of sex is taught in grade 7.