Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.
When people learn that one of my objectives is to educate parents in the realm of sex education, the reactions are … different. I’ve been thinking about it a bit, because I don’t want to delve too much here, with respect to what I’m working towards…but answering (at least partially) one of the most common questions I get asked.
What is it that parents need to know?
The answer (answers, really) to that question is not singular or simple. It is a multi-layered question with several different answers.
Really, though, if I had to narrow down a quick answer simply: Sex education is not just about what adolescents learn toward the end of elementary school, during middle school, and in high school. The information dispensed is often mediocre at best. Sure, learning about menstruation is important. But the “just nuts & bolts” approach is not sufficient. True sex education isn’t something that is limited to that topic.
Sex education is a lifelong area of learning, and truly, parents need to know more. I have found that parents truly do not know how much they don’t know. Also, parents need to be helped to understand that sex education is more than when girls start their periods, when boys start getting wet dreams, and how babies are made (alongside the “just say no” approach prevalent in Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage sex “education”). There is a lot more to sex education than these things.
I thought about this yesterday while we were sitting in the pediatrician’s office, looking at one of the many pamphlets in the room designed to help educate parents. There were a few pamphlets about menstruation and such (of course)…and there was one pamphlet about the HPV vaccine. I was reading through that pamphlet and was amused by the section that discussed why boys receive the vaccine. Of course, being a parent x21 years, I’ve seen countless pamphlets over the years, along with the handouts given after well-checks about “Where Your ___-Year Old Child Should Be Developmentally” — and I feel like we have a long way to go in terms of helping parents understand why sex education needs to begin at home, before “The Talk” — and we need to ensure parents have the tools they need for exactly that.
In the image at the top of the page…the question of “What Should Children Know?” ~ well, that is a great question of course! But it isn’t the most pressing question, in my opinion. The pressing question is “What Should Parents Know?” And as far as “When Should [Children] Know It?” — that begs another question entirely…when should they know what precisely? Sex education goes far beyond what information they’re getting at this point…and the more pertinent question is “When Should [Parents] Know It?” ~ and “What Exactly Do Parents Need To Know?”
Answering those questions, gentle readers, is part of one of the objectives that I am working towards.
Happy Hump Day!