Sex Ed and…. Kindergarteners???!?!
All right, so a warning to you right up front. I am about to get on my soap box and preach here for a moment about something I feel very strongly about. CAN WE PLEASE STOP FORCING OUR CHILDREN TO GROW UP SO FAST????
Okay, I know it’s not polite to yell but my exasperation with an article I just read caused me to shake our head and wonder what is up with our society.
In Chicago, the school board just decided to introduce sex ed to all school age students, including those 4 and 5 year olds who’s biggest subject should be learning to count to 100. The current age for sexual education is fifth graders. (Which, call me old fashion, I still feel like is too young to be learning about this)
The reason? Well, because according to their studies, since children are having more sexual exposure at such a young age, they should jump on board and just make them learn about it anyways.
As a parent of an almost 8 year old boy, I would be incensed if my school saw it fit to teach my child about sex. At 5 years old, he barely had a concept of boyfriend/girlfriend status’, declaring at one point he should marry me because he loves me. (A different conversation would need to take place about who can marry whom, but that’s one of a much more light hearted nature). Why is it that we accept the annihilation of our children’s innocence with such a cavalier attitude? Instead of thinking we should force all children into this state of mind, shouldn’t we be wondering what about our society has children thinking that sex is what everyone (5 years old and up) is doing?
I can tell you one thing that is leading to this rise. The sexualized content of nearly every TV show has children thinking it’s okay to have sex. You look at the fact that we glorify teenage moms who have gotten pregnant and we wonder why girls would want to have a child as such a young age. We make babies look fun and cute; a plaything you can dress up and get ooh’s and ahh’s from strangers in the store. Do we show baby-dom from its truest aspect? The sleepless nights, the poop out onto your clothes in the middle of dining out, the fevers, tantrums, teething… any parent knows this list can go on and on. It’s work people! Work to raise a child! I hope, because I run a childcare where there are frequently screaming, crying and tantruming children (wait that makes it sound like I run a horrible childcare, which I assure you is not the case. It’s just a point of fact that when you have multiple little ones in your house all under two that at least one will be crying about something!) Regardless, I will choose to look at the bright sides of all those tantrums and it’s that I hope they will make parenthood look more revolting to my children. (At least until they are old enough to understand the full weight of what having a child is like.)
It totally (insert sarcastic font here) makes sense to address the issue with the lowering of the sex age to give them more information on what sex is (at a younger age). Let’s plant the seeds even earlier (no pun intended)! Because giving us sex ed in high school (I might be dating myself, but I also went to a private school until my high school year) definitely deterred most of the students from wanting to have sex. (Once again, I see the real need for someone to invent a font that is solely used for sarcasm!) So then, when teenage sexual activity went on the rise, the solution was that we needed to educate them at a younger age. So, we moved it to 5th grade.. and now, since the age is once again getting lower, we decide to educate the kindergarteners. Right.. that all makes sense. “Here, you five year old, just in case you are thinking of having sex, there are a few things you should know first?” What happens when you’ve run out of ages to educate and the number of students having sex continues to grow? Then will society realize it’s an issue of what we are exposing our children to?
There may be some people out there who disagree with me (and to these people, I sincerely hope you don’t have children!) The very same day that I saw this article, I was watching on the nightly news an interview with a young man who is being idolized by young women all over the country. He is known to have the boy next door look… if the boy next door to you is a porn star. Much of what this very clearly self absorbed man was saying was disturbing to me and made me thankful I didn’t have a teenage daughter lusting after him. But mainly what caught my attention, and perhaps because I had been racking my brain as a way to bring even further proof of why we shouldn’t feel it’s necessary to educate our children all of the in and outs of sex, was the fact that this man said he knew what porn was and had been exposed to it when he was six. (Who are his parents!?)
So there was proof for any argument against my opinion. No, since I don’t want my child to grow up to want to be a porn star (an exaggeration I realize, but for me a valid point) and believe that it’s all okay that young children engage in looking at porn. I don’t think we need to expose our children to any more sexual content than is already out there. In fact, we need to do quite the opposite. We need to moderate more what we allow our children to see. And yes, this takes work! Sometimes, it takes being the unpopular parent and yes, it’s about not being a lazy parent and actually caring about what your child is exposed to. We need to call for there to be more wholesome things for families to watch together. And we certainly do not to expose our kindergarteners to the “reality of having sex.”