4th grade, already, they start it around here. And they’ve been doing it for 30 years. My own school, 30 years ago, had no such formal training. My teacher one day separated the girls from the boys, and told us girls why she requested a new pad machine for the girls’ bathroom (one of our 9-year-olds had already started her period).
Then she showed us the boys’ bathroom, because it had become a fad for girls to go in there. She wanted to de-mystify it, while it was empty, so they’d stop doing that. (I never did it.) I did wonder why the boys didn’t have doors on their stalls; wouldn’t they hate being seen doing their business?
Now, we did have a day of movies etc. in some middle school class. I believe birth control was discussed to some extent. And we did have a bit of a talk in biology class in high school. So we weren’t completely without sex ed.
But my ex Phil gave me the impression that his school in Wisconsin had more formal and extensive training, which he then used to show me how ignorant I was in thinking certain sexual behaviors were sex. (Actually, they are sex, but I believed him because of his fancy sex ed training, and put myself into risky situations, trusting him.)
It looks like the local schools have more formal training than we ever got where I grew up. They have special teachers trained to do this, and start in 4th grade already. They don’t go into detail at this age–it’s mostly about puberty changes, bathing, deodorant, that sort of thing–but they have special classes and videos. Then in middle and high school, they go into more about the sexual aspect.
I’m in favor of sex ed in schools, because I remember vividly what it was like going through puberty in elementary and middle school, how the kids teased each other, that one 9-year-old girl actually did have sex–and because I don’t want any other girls to be led by some selfish boy who claims fancy knowledge, to get her to do things she otherwise would not do.
(“No, no sex before marriage!” “But THAT’s not ‘sex.’ Sex involves penetration.” Next thing she knows, she’s pregnant even though she never had “sex.”)
The failure rate of abstinence-based education is very telling, as is the rate of premarital sex even among Christian teenagers/young adults. I don’t want my boy to get some girl pregnant because of lack of knowledge about how to avoid that.
I intend to make sure he knows that all the other “non-intercourse” sexual practices are indeed sex, and may lead to intercourse, which then leads to pregnancy.
But still–The thought of my little 9-year-old going through puberty and sex ed, when I could swear I just brought him home from the hospital a week ago–Where did the time go?