Sex education in schools: the issues raised

selon-vice-presidente-federation-autonomeThat’s what this month implanted the sex education pilot project in 15 schools in Quebec (12 public schools, three private schools), which will run for two years. The Ministry of Education has unveiled what the program contains. Overview and reactions.

In the first year, students will be exposed to gender stereotypes – in games, crafts, etc. They also learn to recognize situations of sexual assault and to protect themselves (eg by shouting or saying no) and denounce them if they are victims.

At the end of the second year, children will know the name and function of sex organs and they will learn how is a baby. We also discuss their personal hygiene, modesty and the diversity of feelings they may have towards the people around them.

In the third year, we will review the various forms of sexual assault (forced exposure to pornography, exhibitionism, sexual contact) and will discuss “stereotypical representations of femininity and masculinity.”

In Grade 4, we will talk about puberty and gender inequality. Furthermore, it will address the issue of the difference between friendship and love.

In the fifth year, we still deal with the prevention of sexual assault, insisting on strategies of the attackers and the importance of being careful on the web. It will also discuss hormones, sexual desire and masturbation.

In Grade 6, the discussions revolve around sexism, sexual diversity, love and sexual awakening.

In high school

In Secondary 1, it will make young people aware of the place of attraction and romantic feelings in adolescence. We will discuss the “continuum of sexual orientation: heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality.” We also discuss “the gradual nature of the discovery of his sexual orientation.”

In the second school, we will look at the social pressures of all sorts, the broken heart, the “sequence of sexual behaviors ranging from mild behavior (kissing, fondling) to genital sex.” It will also discuss contraception, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy rates among youth.

In Secondary 3, he will again question of contraception, “barriers to safe sexual behaviors (alcohol or other drugs).” It will also address the question of desire and love and sexual fantasies.

4th high school youth will be asked to reflect on violence in amorous context, the various manifestations of violence, the importance to “give time before committing to a relationship.” We also speak of damage to reputation, consent and double standard, as the one who made sure that “girls and boys who have sex are not judged in the same way.”

In Secondary 5, we will return on sexually transmitted infections on pregnancy, on the civic (“eg, stop having sex when one is infected with a STI, notify a presentation partner, use the treatment properly “).

What think the unions

If unions do not oppose either during or its contents, they were against the way the program, which should make 5-15 hours per year, was born.

To date, notes Josée Scalabrini, president of the Trade Union Federation of Teachers, “we still do not know who will teach these concepts. Teachers? a sexologist? a nurse?”.

It notes that it is talking about a “program” and not an ongoing formal and that this program was developed without really involving teachers.

Nathalie Morel, vice president at the Autonomous Federation of Teachers (FAE), believes that this will result in an “additional task for teachers, so we already have difficulty teaching the current program.” AWF requires that sex education is a subject in the curriculum and teach that those who “are trained accordingly.”

The example of our neighbors

In Ontario, the new sex education program continues to be strongly contested, because of its content – sexual orientation issues, masturbation and sexual identity are some particularly wince – but also because it has not been the subject of prior consultation.

At this, the Prime Minister Kathleen Wynne replied that there was no consultation either when a new geography or math program is established and that his government did not see why it would be different in terms of sex education.

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