WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE FOR SEX EDUCATION?

As parents and educators, we want to talk to our kids and students about sex and topics like consent and periods, but you may be confused about what is the right age to give sex education. You may also face pushback from the society for being too “open-minded” but don’t worry - if you feel that sex education is important, you are on the right track. Here is a guide on what topics to cover at what age.

0 to 4 years old 

  • Consent: Not only teach but practice consent by always asking for their permission before hugging, kissing, borrowing items etc. 

  • Anatomy: Names and functions of all body parts - yes including genitals too

  • The difference between safe and unsafe touch and how to say and respect a ‘No’

4 to 8 years old

  • All previously mentioned topics in ‘0 to 4 years’ plus the following topics:

  • Explain to children ‘where babies come from’ ‘how are babies made in a language they understand. Wondering how? Read this article.

  • Introduce and normalize different family structures like single parent, lesbian and gay parents, and couples that choose to not have children.

8 to 14 years old 

  • All previously mentioned topics in 0 to 4 and 4 to 8 years, plus the following topics:

  • Puberty and key characteristics: What to expect in puberty, what causes it and that changes are normal. It's always better to talk about puberty before it begins so that the children are prepared and aren’t shocked at seeing period blood or semen (from nightfalls) in their underwear.

  • What is sex, masturbation and pornography. Read this article to know how to talk about these tricky topics.

  • Attraction and expressing it respectfully and how to handle rejection maturely.

  • Sexual orientation: normalizing being gay, lesbian, asexual and bisexual.

 13 to 18 years old 

  • All previously mentioned topics in 0 to 4, 4 to 8, 8 to 14 years, plus the following topics:

  • Healthy relationships: qualities to look for in a partner, getting over heartbreak

  • Cyber etiquette: sexting, spreading rumors, screenshots etc. Let’s avoid a repeat of the BoisLockerRoom fiasco

  • Intimacy and safer sex practices: sex, contraception, STI testing, sexual harrasment and consent. 

JOSIE LANE

MARTIN REED

CARLA JONES

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