Sex education is must for all students but it is vitally important to begin the education as soon as possible. Thus, it is best to start the sex education when normal education begins at the five to nine years of age or middle childhood. Beginning education at this age allows the child to easily assimilate his or her education without a fuss, embarrassment, or a feeling of strangeness. Sex education becomes matter of fact; just like studying history or math. The education should start with very basics of anatomy, reproduction, relationships, sexual behavior, gender roles and sexual health.
Middle Childhood Sexuality Education
Middle childhood sex education is geared toward age’s five to nine. Sex education can never be started too early and when regular school education begins is the best time to start the sex education curriculum. If presented at this age in a matter fact way, sex education will be received without embarrassment, unwillingness to share, and ask questions. It should address age appropriate topics in the following areas: human development, sexual behavior, relationships, personal skills, sexual health, and society. During the education, the goals of being at ease with their own body, awareness of sexual health, and sexual orientation should be kept in mind (Implementing).
Human development must be presented first so each child understands their own human anatomy. Understanding the basic functions of your own body and that of the other sex is essential to understanding all other components of sex education. The following areas will be presented under the heading of human development: reproductive anatomy that discusses the names of body parts and the differences between boy and girls; the reproduction act including intercourse, conception, the uterus, and the result of a baby; body imagine includes discussion of shapes, sizes, and colors of people young and old; identity and orientation includes homosexuality, heterosexuality, appropriate labels and the respect for all sexual orientations (KidsHealth).
Handouts with labeled body parts for both girls and boys will be handed out. The instructor will have an overhead with transparency for each sex. As the instructor names the body part, the children will follow along and color the named part the color the instructor desires, such as, the breast is pink. Following the coloring and naming section, the children will then have the chance to see and touch actual female and male models of the genitalia. Next, a discussion on the body’s diversity will be held with the children sitting in a circle around the instructor, as, the instructor ask the children to name how we are different –for example: male/female, black/white, skinny/heavy/normal, tall/short/average with the different development groups of infant, child, adolescent, young adult, middle-aged, and the elderly. Giving out pictures of the different body diversities to the children when they call them out as a reward and encouragement for participation will be done. The reading of a book concerning and explaining sexual intercourse, conception, development of the fetus and birth of the baby will be done. A good book for this is the book, You Were Born on Your Very First Birthday. After reading of the book, the instructor will encourage the children to talk about and ask questions concerning the sexual act and its result. The next reading will be to cover sexual orientation, in regards to gay and lesbian sexuality, to introduce the children to these alternate sexual orientations. An acceptable book that covers these areas is, Love Makes a Family. Again, the follow up of the book should include time for questions and discussion between the instructor and the children.
Following the presentation of human development, the subject of relationships will be discussed. Families, friendships, love, dating, marriage and/or lifetime commitment, and the raising children or the decision to not have children will be broken down further in to subtopics. Under families a discussion will be conducted concerning the different kind of families found, how the family can change, and the roles of care for each other, and the different kinds of love within the family. The topic of friendships will cover the components of sharing, forgiving, hurting, and apologizing within the structures of various friendship structures. The importance of showing and sharing love and the different ways to show that love will be discussed. Dating will be defined and who dates, indicating teenagers, unmarried adults, and the single parent. Under marriage and lifetime commitments the reasons for marriage and divorce will be touched on. Under raising children, the instructor will cover the many reasons for having children, the effort and commitment it takes to raise children. Adoption will be discussed with the reasons and the desire for adoption will be discussed (Kids’).
The next step will be to have the children share the composition of their own families and tomake a “flow chart” on the blackboard as the children describe their families. From that chart add friends, who their older brother, sister or even whom their parent is dating or living with, who they love, for example, grandparents, their neighbors, their baby sitter, any pregnancies in their immediate and/or extended family, divorce parents, step-parents, step brothers and sisters. Finally, define and describe family morals and values to the student. Have the children role-play expressing their feelings – happy, sad, confused, afraid, etc. Last discuss who they should trust and who to go to when they are afraid, confused, or need help.
The next level to cover will be sexual behavior. These concepts of how the body feels good, curiosity of their body, acceptable masturbation practices will be defined. That is, who and where, shared sexual behavior is acceptable in regards to touching, hugging, kissing, and appropriate sexual behavior. Stressing that the sexual response is normal and healthy and how each sex is more alike than different (Davis). Sexual health will discuss contraception and abortion delving into wanted and unwanted pregnancies and who gets to make the choice. Sexual Transmitted Disease coverage will speak about the definition and causes, ways of getting STDs and ways to prevent STDs. Sexual abuse will cover body rights, appropriate touching and nudity, who to turn to if you feel you have been abused, stressing that the child is never at fault for the abuse and that boys and girls both can be abused. Reproductive and genital health will speak of the need for washing, cleanliness, doctor visits, the avoidance of alcohol, drugs, and smoking (Sex).
The instructor will talk about when we enjoy our bodies alone or with others, such as, swimming, playing ball, and hugging. Make sure they understand that their feelings are normal, healthy, and good. Masturbation will be described as a normal activity but it should be conducted in privacy noting that privacy does not mean in secret, as if it is something to be hidden (Davis). Have the children tell how each boy and girl’s bodies are vary. An open talk about health ideas, smoking, drinking, drugs, cleanliness, doctor visits, germs and illness will be conducted. The instructor will continue by describing the underlying themes of STDs while stressing that they can only get sexual transmitted disease from sex (Lets).
The final stage of discussion will cover gender roles, sex and religion, diversity and the sex coverage in the media. Gender roles will include similarities and difference between boys and girls, gender expectations of boys and girls, and parental roles. Sex and religion will involve similar yet different values (Coates). Sexual diversity is comprised of how differences are important, what stereotypes are and what sexual discrimination entails. Sexuality in the media contains both aspects of fiction and truth on television, in the movies, and on the internet. Age appropriateness in those medias will be portrayed (Lets).
Have the class chat about gender roles and the way that they and their brothers and sisters have learned these roles. Ask questions, such as, “How do girls get treated?” and “How do boys get treated?” Give very general and basic instruction to the children that different religions have different ideas about sex. Encourage them to speak with their parents about any specific questions they have concerning sex and religion. Discuss stereotypes and sexual discrimination; plus, have the children share their ideas and thoughts about these subjects. Then talk about what sexual and stereotypical things they see on television and at the movies (Coates).
In summary, the instructor needs to evaluate their effectiveness by the student’s ability to recognize the basic sexual genitalia and explain in very simple terms how reproduction happens. The students should then be able to describe basic relationships and when and whom to ask for help if necessary. The children should be able to verbalize how to take care of their health and define what a sexually transmitted disease is. Finally, the child should be able to convey the above information in a comfortable fashion and with the lack of embarrassment.
Coates, Nigel. (2008). Youthideas.co.uk.Retrieved from http://www.youthideas.co.uk/yw/talk/
Davies, Melanie. (2000). Tips for Talking with Kids about Masturbation. Retrieved from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/parents/2027-tips-kids-mast
Implementing Sex Education. Planned Parenthood. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.plannedparenthood.org/resources/implementing-sex-education-23516.htm
KidsHealth. (2014). Sexual Orientation. The Nemour Foundation. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/sexual_orientation.html
Kids’ Ideas about Love. Rinkworks. Retrieved from http://www.rinkworks.com/said/kidlove.shtml
Let’s Talk. Planned Parenthood of Indiana. Retrieved from http://www.ppin.org/education/education_documents/parent_packet.pdf
Sex Education – Primary School Children. (2013). Better Health Channel. State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sex_education_primary_school_children