Sex Ed in KindergartenI can remember sex education class in sixth grade. Immaturity pervaded the room as boys giggled at the mention of menstruation and girls blushed at the word penis. That was little more than a decade ago, but children are much more advanced now than they were then. I blame the Internet.

Chicago Public Schools acknowledge the enhanced advancement of post-millennial children, so the school district has passed sex education for kindergartners. The policy would teach kindergartners appropriate and inappropriate touching and feelings, anatomy, reproduction and healthy relationships. It also requires sex education in all grades therefore.

The stork is no longer an option for parents. Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the district’s CEO, released a statement explaining the importance of the program.

“It is important that we provide students of all ages with accurate and appropriate information so they can make healthy choices in regards to their social interactions, behaviors, and relationships,” she writes.

Sex-ed instruction will also cover sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time. The school board is introducing LGBT and other terms to children to promote tolerance and awareness of different identities.

The district realizes the controversy of the policy, so parents will be able to opt out of having their children participate. Some parents are still uncomfortable with the proposed legislation.

Melissa Diebold, a parent, thinks the policy is inappropriate. “I don’t think its age appropriate. They have no concept of anything like that at that stage in life,” she told My Fox Chicago.

Another parent, Mikkel Nance, thinks sex education should involve parents.

“[T]he only concern is how they implement it, and if they involved parents in that process and if they do so they’ll make that transition smoothly,” he said.

Is sex ed for kindergartners inappropriate?

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    I think when I was in the 2nd grade is when sex-ed was introduced. Parents of course could opt out, and if my memory serves me correct some 25+ years ago, it was only my & another student who’s parents opted out.

    I think Kindergarden is waaaay to young to introduce sex-ed. Even though parents can choose to not have their kid participate, the fact that its available is crazy to me. I do think there should me some reiteration on what type of touching is and is not appropriate. That is something the kids can benefit from, but I do not think a young mind can or should grasp the concept of sexual relations. Hell, some adults still can’t!

    The way I think it should go is, schools should find a way to determine what kids have had “the talk”, before or around the time puberty sets in with their parents or guardian. If they have had no sex education, they should have a meeting with the parents to see if they wish the school does it instead.

  • http://gravatar.com/prxtence Salmon

    I know one of the goals of this program is give young kids tools to identify and report when adults are touching them inappropriately, which I think is very important.

    Although, I’m curious about how this curriculum is taught. I’m afraid that they may not even understand the content.

  • one love

    These children have no awareness of what these ppl are about to teach them. They know everything they need to know at that tender age; this is a boy and this is a girl. Why would you introduce sexual orientation to them at such a young age? Why complicate things any further? Let them be children.

    Ppl complain about children being exposed to too much and growing up too fast, but they’re being exposed to stuff like this.

    Opt out. There is a time for everything and kindergarten isn’t time for sexual education. Their time for that will come later in life. Once again, just let them be children.

  • CCN

    this is all so crazy, because even in my generation there were kindergarteners experimenting with sex, mainly because they had been molested.

    And this just normalizes sexual activity in children, where it will be harder to determine who’s being exploited and sexually compromised, even by the very people educating them.

    I’m scared for the future generations. And I am definitely home schooling mine.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    I definitely think they need education around sexual abuse(and parents should NOT be allowed to opt out,) but I don’t know that the other information is necessary.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Is there any empirical evidence of this enhanced advancement of post millennials?

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    Children are being introduced to sex early through the media and most through the home in addition to hitting puberty at an early age. No one is teaching them about the pitfalls and responsibility. You want to stop teen pregnancy, stop stds spreading, get to them when there young and who better than teachers?

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    This! I don’t see anything wrong with teaching the signs of sexual abuse and letting them be aware of it or even what considered healthy relationships but all the other stuff is a bit TOO advanced (hell I know adults and college students who still can’t grasp anatomy and reproduction…lol) for that age group.

  • GeekMommaRants

    This age is perfect for learning how to prepare to become an adult. Sex Education, Relationships, Human Biology should be taught when children are young. Before it matters to them.

  • b.

    Perhaps the course needs to be renamed and rebranded to something like ‘Health and Safety Education’ where age appropriate information regarding appropriate vs inappropriate touching and how to recognize and what to do when the latter occurs. The importance of washing hands after using the rest room. Again, all done with sensitivity to age appropriateness (real word?).

    Personally, I am matter of fact and use correct anatomical terms for private parts with our two girls (2yrs and soon to be 4yrs). As soon as they became verbal (which was pretty early on), as I changed their diapers, I would mention how only I or Daddy are the only ones allowed to change them, touch their vagina and that’s only for the purpose of cleaning them. No one else should and if they do, yell no and tell Mommy or Daddy. It’s ok. Also, I ask them questions to see their understanding.
    Also, the only man in the household is their dad, so they didn’t know that boys were anatomically different until one day at the pool shower stalls my 3 yr old saw a naked little boy.Again, matter of factly “boys have penis’ and girls have vaginas”
    For the longest time after that it was “girls have vaginas and boys have PEANUTS”lol
    …We are all works in progress:)

    When at the Dr. office and their Dr. is checking them, again, I reinforce that the Dr. is allowed to see them naked because Mommy said it is ok–and the Dr. would ask : “Mommy, is it ok, if I check….?” “Yes, it’s ok, because I am here…”
    It is very important that these lessons begin at home and are reinforced at school.

    As protectors of our children it’s difficult trying to find the balance between NOT scaring our little ones (prematurely robbing them of childhood innocence) and armoring them with information that can keep them safe. All we can do is try.

    Most moments are opportunities to teach and engage our children.Open dialogue, honest dialogue, non-judgmental dialogue beginning at a young age is what my household is about.

  • apple

    uh no.. i think 11-12 is a good age..thats when they tried to teach it to me year 1999-2000..however once i went to catholic school they tried to act like it never existed…:-/

  • Trisha

    I think sex education is appropriate for kindergarteners. By the age of 5 or 6, the kids should already know what they private parts are. The biggest concern is how it’s implemented. It is part of their anatomy. It follows that, a brief lesson can be taught about inappropriate touching. Unfortunately parent’s don’t sit down to communicate this info to their kids b/c they think no one will touch them. I think it is more beneficial.

    As far as reproduction and healthy relationship, I think 4th and 5th grade is the appropriate age.

  • lex

    listen, i know many will disagree with this subject being taught at such a young age BUT you would be suprised as to how much kids know about sex and about good touch and bad touch, i was a teacher and its amazing as to how far kids would go to fondel each other. just like any other age group, kindergarteners know how to elude suspicion as to what they are doing because in their young mind they know that what they are doing is wrong but they dont know the magnitude of how serious it is.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    In a perfect curriculum sex ed would be a part of the biology curriculum.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Apple that the age of sexual debut for many kids. Do any of you remember this being the problem with the Cervical Cancer vaccine. It was recommended for 9 years old and people went batshit at the thought of their daughters as sexual beings.

  • ChaCha1

    11-12 is too late, though. The first time a boy asked to feel on my butt or another asked if he could feel my vagina (I said no), we were 9 and 11. It is the same for many other kids. My parents told me the basics of sex and also inappropriate touching/requests when I was 5/6, and it was no big deal or taboo topic. So when I was older, there was no mystery.

  • Rue.

    An emphatic YES! And absolutely no opt-outs. Sex-ed does not always mean”This is the clitoris, and this is how you massage it to get a female aroused”. It can also mean being taught about molestation and abuse.

    Semi-related Rant: What’s it with the opt out business in schools anyway? I’m waiting with bated breath when Southerners can opt their children out of discussions about slavery.

  • Rue.

    ‘Why would you introduce sexual orientation to them at such a young age? Why complicate things any further? Let them be children.”

    FYI most gay people say they are aware of their sexual orientation from ages these ages. A la Wanda Sykes

  • Pingback: Should Schools Start Teaching Sex Ed in Kindergarten? | My Black Networks® -Black News from The African Diaspora

  • tish

    yes.

    i find it laughable that we can discuss every other “body system” yet the reproductive system is somehow off limits. this has nothing to do with the developmental state of children (because we expose kids to developmentally inappropriate shit, on the regular); this is about adults hang-ups regarding sexuality.

    also, sexuality education is extremely broad: hence, if developmentally framed can actually be very effective for every age.

    ironically, netherlands teaches about sex education starting in PRESCHOOL. taken a look at their teen pregnancy, STI and HIV rates?

  • tish

    you do realize that the average age of menarche in the US is 10 and nocturnal emission is 11 years old, right?

  • Treece

    The anatomy and appropriate/inappropriate touching piece is okay, but I would rather leave the discussions about LGBT and reproduction parts up to parents. I know that parents come from all types of backgrounds (religious, cultural) that may have certain beliefs about homosexuality and reproduction. I like the fact that they have given the option for parents to opt out. My opinion is that at that age, a lot of this discussion needs to happen at home first. But I also know that in some households it won’t. Thats why this school system felt the need to implement it at school. I kind of feel like it’s a shame that it has to come to this though…..I feel like this is evidence of how badly parents have “dropped the ball”. Its a bit jarring to think that officials in the school system feel like they have to step in and teach your five year olds about sexuality because you won’t, and that we are seeing this reflected in situations like the headlining story on Clutch’s home page (Boys growing up too fast).

  • Bren

    If so, it needs to be kept “rated G” if possible. Therefore no pictures and no x-rated details.

  • kc

    I disagree. Homophobia is never okay. I don’t care what smokescreen you hide behind, religious or cultural. If schools have to deal with the bullying and violence driven by homophobia, then school officials should be allowed to say “some people are queer and you shouldn’t malign them for that.”

  • East2West

    Teaching body science, not just reproduction young is so important. It can protect our children, make them more confident and self aware. Birdees sex ed app for PARENTS promotes this and helps parent’s communicate these topics young and in a non intimidating way. http://www.birdessapp.com

  • Elizabeth

    I’d totally support this. As a freshman in high school, I know a 14 year old in the grade below me that has never been in a sex Ed part of any class because his parents keep him out of it. In first grade, a fellow student convinced me to do things for him that I didn’t want to do. He threatened to break my toys if I didn’t listen. I didn’t think I had a choice. If I had sex Ed in kindergarten that said that was wrong, it might not have happened.

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