When is the right time to introduce sex education? The California Healthy Youth Act, which took effect in 2016, requires schools to do so in middle and high school. But for reasons I don’t understand, the Oceanside Unified School District board decided to jump the gun for children in K-2 (“Oceanside school district halts sex ed for K-2,” Los Angeles Times, Aug. 6).
I support age-appropriate sex education, but K-2 is far too soon. Children that young do not understand nor need to understand reproductive health education. Predictably, parents in the district objected, and the board reversed itself on the matter. I realize that attitudes and values about sex vary widely across the nation. What is acceptable in, say, California would be unacceptable in, say, Mississippi. But common sense should dictate that the primary grades are far too early.
A more nebulous situation exists when students are in middle and high school. Their exposure to graphic images, coupled with their raging hormones, make them prime candidates for sex education. How it is done, however, will always be the source of intense controversy.
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2 Replies to “Sex education in primary grades is risky”
How about education re child abuse, particularly sexual child abuse? Might make sense to do some education re these subjects starting in kindergarten?
Labor Lawyer: An excellent suggestion that is both age-appropriate and timely. Other aspects of sex education can be introduced later on.