I need to post my response first:
have included links to many sources you can use to answer these questions. If you use other sources you must cite them. Check the daily local newspapers, as there is a big meeting at the CCSD this Friday on this. Use your book also, Chapter 8 will be very helpful.
The Clark County School District is currently in turmoil over offering medically accurate sex education for students K-12.
I also need to response or give opinion to my classmates post below (atleast 7-8 sentences):
- In the past, CCSD used abstinence only education, and looking at the numbers from a few years ago, it was not effective. I Googled Nevada’s teen pregnancy rates, and I got a few different results, but we’ve been pretty close to the top. One source I found said in 2011 we were 15th, and another said that we were 4th in overall teen pregnancies (but not births.) The one with SIECUS said that we’re 17th. It seems to me that, if the numbers I found were accurate, then Abstinence only education really isn’t working out so well for us. This curriculum was used because parents usually have a problem when schools try to teach students anything about sex.
- I think sexual education should be mandatory. I suppose that, for the sake of being diplomatic, kids should be allowed to “opt out,” but honestly, a medically accurate sexual education program should be available and mandatory not just to kids in Nevada, but kids everywhere in the U.S. A lot of kids are told (probably by their parents) absolute garbage about human sexuality and they have a right to know the truth and what scientific findings are reporting. My parents are uneducated conservatives and I was given the same anti-sex, puritan garbage, but no one was there to tell me the truth about STDs, pregnancy, and everything else. My school really didn’t teach us about any of the important things either except on a very basic level.
- I think the reason so many parents are afraid of sex education in school is due to many, many reasons. One of them is cultural. I earnestly believe that our puritan roots have doomed us. Sex is getting more and more acceptable every day, but there’s still a lot of shame about it, and I really do believe that it can be traced back to our religious background. Other countries are not like this. France, which was hugely Catholic and a little more relaxed about religion (after all, it wasn’t founded by the extremists in that group) does not necessarily have the same issues today. This extends to most of Europe too, actually. There is really nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to sex in Europe. The human body is not something to be ashamed of; neither are breasts, nor penises, nor any other body part. In fact, you can easily walk around the streets of Paris and see nude sculptures all over the place. I have yet to see one naked sculpture in America, even living in Las Vegas. In France, the 50 Shades movie was given the equivalent of a PG rating because of tame it was considered. America’s aversion to sex is very cultural, as well as religious (the religion really affected the culture), and that’s something I earnestly cannot stand about this country. Every time I think about what a bunch of prudes Americans are, it makes me miss France even more.
- SIECUS is the organization of people who want to make sexual education available to everyone, and do away with abstinence only education. Apparently, in Lyon County, Nevada, a sex education program was approved that teaches people about HIV/AIDS as well as STDs. It seems that they might actually be making progress.
- If I was given the task to devise a curriculum for sex education for kids aged 10-12, I would put on it: an explanation of what sex is and why people do it, biological functions of sex organs, different types of sexuality (homosexuality, heterosexuality, etc), types of gender, and types of contraception available. Here are my explanations for all of them:
What sex is and why we do it: Most kids around this age will probably start to experience sexual desire for the first time and might not understand. I imagine there are probably some kids who, at this age, have not been told what sex is and what it is for. So before beginning with anything else, I would want to explain exactly what it is and why anyone would do that with their genitals before even getting into anything else. I would also mention that very many people think it feels good, so don’t be ashamed of your urges, kids! They’re natural!
Biological functions: Okay, so now that what sex is has been established, I would want to talk about how reproductive organs actually work. This would include basic anatomy and what happens during sex as a process and how it goes from sperm + egg to how you get a baby out of that. Nothing too complicated, but just the basics of how that all happens.
Different Types of sexuality: If my curriculum was taught to enough kids, there’s no doubt that at least a few of them might not be heterosexual. I think it would be a good opportunity to talk about different types of sexuality, and tell them that there’s nothing wrong with them if they’re a boy and are attracted to another boy, or are a girl who is attracted to another girl, their potentially homophobic parents be damned. Kids around this age might already be feeling attraction towards one another, and if some of those kids happen to be gay then they shouldn’t be left out. Even if a course doesn’t outright state that homosexuality isn’t normal, it could still be implying that by not mentioning it at all. If I was attracted to the same sex I might wonder why my feelings/urges weren’t even addressed and therefore feel like some kind of freak for not liking the opposite sex, even though homosexuality has been a part of every single society for thousands and thousands of years, no matter how oppressed.
Gender: Maybe it’s not directly related to sexuality itself, but gender definitely plays a huge role. I think it would be a good idea to address the fact that transgender individuals exist, as well as the fact that gender is basically a social construct that has nothing much to do with biology. After all, just because someone is born with XX chromosomes doesn’t mean they’re fit only to do housework and cook, or that someone with XY chromosomes can’t be a stay at home dad. Those are things that our culture tells us are our gender roles, but they change completely if you look at other cultures. In Japan, samurai were expected to be able to do flower arranging as an art, and were regarded as some of the manliest men in all of Japan at the time. But here in America, such a thing sounds absurd because flowers are very feminine in our society. Boys can cry and girls can be tough. (That’s something that public school never taught me, but I wish it had!)
Contraceptives: I wouldn’t say that a huge, in-depth demonstration would be completely necessary for this part of my curriculum, but I would want to introduce the idea of contraceptives. After all, many kids aged 10-12 will start having sex within the next couple of years. (I had sex for the first time at 15!) There’s nothing wrong with at least knowing what some of these methods are, and knowing what they do. For instance, the pill will keep you from getting pregnant, but it won’t protect you from STDs. That might be good information to have for the eventual teenagers who don’t plan on or ultimately aren’t going to wait until marriage.
http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/reproductive-health/states/nv.html (Links to an external site.)