Birds, Bees and Beyond: How Much is Too Much?

A proposed health and nutrition education program in Helena, Montana has drawn the outrage of parents who fear that the sex education portion of  the curriculum is inappropriate for the target audience.

The proposed curriculum calls for teaching kindergarten students about same-gender love and the anatomically correct terms for body parts.  In addition, fifth graders will be given the specifics about intercourse and all its variations while high schoolers will get lessons on erotic art and performance anxiety.

Too much? Lots of parents think so, but supporters say the curriculum is exactly what kids need:  Honest, science-based information.

I am all for honest, science-based information, but sex education in schools is always a touchy subject. Everyone has different opinions about when and how much information a child should be given and trying to craft a one-size-fits-all curriculum is bound to ruffle some feathers.  Because not only do parents have conflicting opinions on the matter, not all kids are ready to learn the details at the same time.

Which is why I think schools should stick to the basics when it comes to sex education.  I am a big believer in giving kids all the information they need when they need it or are old enough to ask for it. But because all kids are different, that time won’t be same for everyone.

Image: Chris Bede/Flickr

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