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Sexuality Education Ch 19.docx

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Psychology 2075
Corey Isaacs

Sexuality Education 4/18/2013 2:49:00 PM Chapter 19 Purposes of Sexuality Education  Sexuality education – the lifelong process of acquiring information about sexual behaviour and forming attitudes, beliefs and values about identity, relationships and intimacy o The goal is to promote healthy sexuality  SIECCAN – the Sex Information and Educations Council of Canada o National resource for up-to-date information, research and publications on human sexuality o Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health – provide a framework for sexual health education for persons of all ages and from diverse populations that balances the well-being and desires of the individual with the needs and rights of others and society  Effective sexual health education integrates 4 key components through a variety of activities that allow people to develop: o A deeper understanding that is relevant to their specific health needs and concerns o The confidence, motivation and personal insight needed to act on that knowledge o The skills necessary to enhance sexual health and to avoid negative sexual health outcomes o A safe, secure and inclusive environment that is conducive to promoting optimal sexual health In the Home, School or Somewhere Else?  School is the main source for sexuality education amongst teens o Some people object to providing sexuality education in schools o Other sources include parents (at home), TV, magazines, internet and friends  Most people feel that sexual education in schools must be paired with education at home o Student receiving classroom instruction plus homework felt more able to refuse high risk behaviours and more often intended to delay the initiation of intercourse  According to a New Brunswick study, only 24% of children (according to students) and 38% (according to parents) are getting excellent or very good sex education at home What To Teach at Different Ages  Children’s sexual knowledge o Very young children believe that a baby existed somewhere else before it got inside the mother o By age 7 or 8 children may understand that 3 things are involved in making a baby:  A social relationship between two people, love or marriage  Sexual activity (they might not know about intercourse)  The union of sperm and egg o At age 12 they might understand the ideas of conception and that it’s the product of genetic material from both parents  Children's sexual interests o Children's knowledge is reflected in the questions they ask o High school students agree that sex education should begin in early elementary school and progress from simple to complex Attitudes Toward School-Based Sexuality Education  The vast majority of parents are in favour of sex education in the schools  Parents favoured teaching a wide range of topics including HIV/AIDS and other STIs, sexual decision making, sexual communication, sexual assault, birth control, abortion and homosexuality The Curriculum  All Canadian provinces and territories have province-wide school based sexual health curricula (aside from Quebec)  Problems: o Not all curricula meets the Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education o Curricula only tends to go up to grade 8 or 9 even thought students in grades 10 or 12 are the most likely to be engaging in sexual activity o There is little discussion of the positive and pleasurable aspects of sexual relationships, few resources tailored toward specific groups such as LGBT youth, youth with disabilities or youth from specific ethnocultural communities  Early sex education o The first programs developed 30 years ago had the goal to reduce the number of teen pregnancies o In the 1990s the focus of sex education shifted from pregnancy prevention to HIV/AIDS and other STIs  These programs are designed to focus on disease prevention  They have goals including removing myths about STIs, encouraging delay of sexual intercourse, supporting condom use and abstinence from unprotected intercourse  Abstinence only programs – programs that promote sexual abstinence until marriage as the sole means of preventing pregnancy and exposure to sexually transmitted infections o There was a passage by the US Congress of an act that limits the use of US federal funds to abstinence-only programs  Sex Respect – designed for middle schools students, all had to take a “chastity pledge” and were taught that many condoms fail, which isn't in fact true o Neither the federal nor provincial governments in Canada have supported the development or implemen
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