Early Sexual Education: When and Where Should it Start?

Carolyn De La Cruz

Sexuality education for children and adolescents plays an important part for them to practice healthy sexual behavior. On July 14,2015, The Editorial Board of The New York Times wrote, “researchers are also studying whether teaching students about sexual health reduces the risk of assault.”  Many parents have the idea that sexual education for their children should start at school, while some believes that it should start at home. According to Alina S. Rusu in the article “The Role of Parents in Shaping and Improving the Sexual Health of Children – Lines of Developing Parental Sexuality Education Programmes” she writes, “ The debate concerning sexuality education continues to this day in term of: what, how, when, to whom and who better to provide it.”

When it comes to sexuality education parents tend to think that children in elementary school and middle school are too young to learn about sexuality, but according to the article “Getting Smart About Sex” from The New York Times,“Aspects of each concept would be discussed at each of four stages of development, starting at age 5 and ending at 18. A 5-year-old, for instance, would be told that everyone is born a boy or a girl; a 16-year-old, that sexual orientation is determined by a person’s attraction, fantasies and behavior.”

Professionals suggest starting sexual education as children learn how to walk and talk. Based on the Mayo Clinic, “Many toddlers express their natural sexual curiosity through self-stimulation. Boys may pull at their penises, and girls may rub their genitals. Teach your child that touching oneself is a normal — but private — activity.

In school, educating about sexuality mainly start in high school among adolescents. These schools that educate about sex, tend just to educate how to prevent pregnancy. Many parents consider that education about sexuality should start in school and that at home. While professionals advocate that schools do not provide them the information they really need to know about sex. “Some educators believe that it does, and that student should learn not just about preventing pregnancy and diseases, but also about how to decide when they want to have sex and how to respect other people’s decisions “says The Editorial Board of The New York Times.

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