Sex Education for Children: Why, What, When and How?

Sex Education : Did you know that there are 116,000 searches conducted on the internet every day for child pornography?

In the age of information and communication explosion, when a major chunk of life of both adults and children are lived out on the social media, the average age at which a child first sees porn is 11, according to the latest statistics on pornography on the internet.




Sex Education For Children: Why, What, When and How?

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Why sex education?

Why should children be educated about sex by their teachers and their parents? Why should sex education be part of the school curriculum? These are hotly debated questions these days.

Sex education should be given to children by both the school and the parents. Why? Because, if the school and the parents do not give it, there are thousands of other dangerous and misleading ways in which children will learn about sex, online, from friends, and from perverted adults. Before our children fall prey to such predators, they should be informed about sex in a way that is understandable to them, and that satisfies their curiosity. Also, at an age when child trafficking and child pornography are a harsh reality, children should be informed about such dangers, and also how to guard themselves against them.

Age-appropriate sex education for children

The following are some guidelines on age-appropriate content for sex education in schools and families.




A. Grades K-3 (preschool, kindergarten, lower primary)

  1. Good touch and bad touch
  2. Understanding the parts of the body, proper anatomical names, stages in the basic growth process of a human child
  3. The concept of communicable/non-communicable diseases
  4. Behaviours that reduce the spread of communicable diseases such as washing hands, not sharing eating utensils, using tissue
  5. Accepting one’s uniqueness and inculcating a positive regard for oneself and others
  6. Recognizing risk behaviours (sharing body fluids) and methods of prevention
  7. Drugs and other unsafe edible items and behaviours such as glue sniffing
  8. Unsafe objects such as needles, broken glass and drug paraphernalia
  9. Refusal skills (How to say no), role-playing
  10. Personal hygiene in detail
  11. Emotional development

B. Grades 4-5 (upper primary)

  1. The reality that children are not ready for sex
  2. Simple biological explanation of the anatomy and physiology for puberty and reproduction – physical and emotional changes
  3. HIV and infectious diseases prevention (avoiding body fluids, needles, etc.)
  4. Unsafe objects (needles, syringes, etc.)
  5. Infection control, hand washing
  6. Communicable/non-communicable diseases
  7. How to say no without being impolite
  8. Developing and sustaining healthy attitudes about oneself and others
  9. HIV/STI risk, personal plan of prevention
  10. Gender respect (boy/girl relationships) and equality despite role differences
  11. Personal hygiene
  12. Realistic body image
  13. Media influences
  14. How to be safe online
  15. Awareness of child pornography, child abuse
  16. Discussion of different types of relationships (i.e. friendship, family, romantic)
  17. Sexual expression is a healthy/pleasurable activity for most adults
  18. How to identify unhealthy intentions of people with sexual intention

C. Grades 6-8 (upper primary, middle school)

  1. Sexual intercourse should only occur in marriage
  2. Abstinence from sexual intercourse is the safest and most effective method to prevent HIV/STIs and unintended pregnancy
  3. Young teenagers are not physically or emotionally ready for a responsible sexual relationship that include intercourse.
  4. School-aged teenagers should not have sexual intercourse or engage in risky sexual behaviours
  5. There are many ways to express love, attraction and connection to a partner. Sexual intercourse or other sexual activities are just one way.
  6. Teenagers need to talk to their parent(s) or other trusted adult before they engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual risk behaviours, seeking reliable advice
  7. Differences between male and female thought and behaviour patterns
  8. Effective use of contraceptive and disease prevention methods
  9. Masturbation and related issues
  10. How to be safe online, how to escape porn addiction
  11. Puberty and maturation
  12. Positive body image and healthy identity
  13. Reproductive health, conception, personal hygiene
  14. Dating violence, gender respect
  15. Refusal skills, resisting negative pressures, and asserting personal boundaries
  16. HIV/STIs and the immune system, symptoms, effects testing, self
  17. Examination
  18. How to identify unhealthy intentions of people with sexual intention
  19. Vaginal and oral intercourse
  20. Sexual perversions
  21. Chain of infection
  22. Skills for making responsible decisions and choices
  23. Social issues with regard to abstinence and non-abstinence
  24. The effects of alcohol and drug use in making responsible sexual decisions
  25. Family structures and dynamics
  26. Disease treatment, past/current/future research for HIV and STIs
  27. Laws pertaining to financial responsibility

D. Grades 9-12 (high school)

  1. Sexual intercourse and other sexual activities are just one way to express love, attraction and connection. There are many other ways which can help in displaying one’s affection.
  2. Human sexuality decisions can impact our health.
  3. Review of HIV/AIDS/STIs symptoms, effects, testing, self-examination
  4. Accessing contraceptive disease prevention methods, resources and community services, adoption and abortion
  5. Prevention of diseases through responsible decisions and choices
  6. Refusal and communication skills to maintain sexual limits and healthy relationships
  7. Review of Male and female anatomy, reproduction
  8. Masculinity/femininity, gender identity and sexual orientation
  9. Gender respect, respect for oneself and others, and individual differences
  10. Family structures and dynamics
  11. Media influence, peer and parental influence on sexuality
  12. The effects of alcohol and drugs with regards to responsible sexual decision-making
  13. Vaginal and oral intercourse
  14. Social, physical and emotional benefits of making choices that are right for us and that fit with our personal choices and boundaries, and are freely chosen
  15. Unacceptable behaviour in dating relationships
  16. Laws pertaining to financial and sexual responsibility
  17. How to identify behaviour with sexual intention
  18. How to identify one’s own sexual/porn addiction, and to seek help.
  19. Review of masturbation and related issues
  20. Identifying sexual predation, and alerting authorities

Age-appropriate sex education is a dire need of the modern world. Parents and teachers at school should be responsible to see that every child is educated in sex-related matters so that children may not fall into the trap of sex predators and may not engage in risky sex behaviour themselves.




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