Lately, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding how we teach kids about sex, as well as where they are taught about sex and who is teaching it. You don’t have to live in Ontario to know (or rather have heard) at least a little bit of what’s going on with the Ontario Sexual Education Curriculum.
The Ontario government put forward a new curriculum for Health and Physical Education with a lot of updates to the small section involving ‘sex-ed’. These changes were impart brought by two very impressive 13 year old girls, who created a petition asking that issues of consent be addressed in sexual education. You can check out their page for yourself. Their push lead to a lot of other youths stepping up and asking for better education on sexual-health in general. The information being taught right now is dated and even harmful. The new curriculum will be put in place next year. You can read all the arguments for and against (I’m not including a link against it, if you Google Ontario Sex Education the list is full of some pretty biased, offensive opinions against the update).
I support it the new curriculum. You can’t rely on every parent to give their children an accurate lesson regarding sexual education, just like you can’t expect every parent to be able to teach calculus, biology, or music. It’s been said a few times but if you don’t give kids access to proper information, they will just find out on their own. Usually via the internet and while I believe the internet can be a glorious wealth of information, I firmly believe the internet is cannot teach children about consent.
The internet is no place to learn about sex.
While there are some very sex-positive, body-image positive, intelligent sites that offer a lot of valuable information, you have to already know to look for those sites in order to find them.
Have you ever typed just ‘sex’ into Google? Or even ‘sex education’, I dare you to type ‘Sex Education’ in the Youtube search bar (but actually don’t, it’s not good). I don’t remember when I first looked up ‘sex’ online but it probably involved Urban Dictionary and it definitely was just the single word ‘sex’ (followed by other words I had heard in the hallways). I don’t want to fear monger but it’s something you should be concerned about. It’s a lot harder to undo ‘bad’ learning (the stuff that comes out of looking up sexual terminology in Urban Dictionary) than it is to start off teaching the right stuff.
One of the better but still very troubling “sexual education” videos
If someone is lucky enough to find something actually educational in their online journey, it often comes off as stunted and uncomfortable –it is after all an uncomfortable topic. The videos don’t cover a borad amount of topics and so they inevitably lead to more Googling.
The real problem, is even the content online is still too passive. Throwing a bunch of somewhat facts and leaving the audiece to interpret it as they chose doesn’t always work, especially here, Until someone comes up with actual integrated media, that’s interactive (in a way that leaves room for questions and answers) I believe sexual education is something that has be done face to face and with someone actually trained to teach the subject