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Chapter 19

Psychology 2075 Chapter Notes - Chapter 19: Sex Organ, Prenatal Nutrition, Main Source

Course Code
PSYCH 2075

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Sexuality Education
Human sexuality - chapter 19
Sexuality education: the lifelong process of acquiring information about sexual behaviour and
forming attitudes, beliefs and values and identity, relationships and intimacy
Purposes of sexuality Education
The goal of sexuality education is to promote healthy sexuality
The sex information and education council of Canada is active in promoting high quality sex
education in Canada and coordinated in the development of the Canadian guidelines for sexual
health education
According to their guidelines, sexuality education should help people both to achieve positive
outcomes and to avoid negative ones
Effective sexual health education integrates four key components through a variety of activities
these allow individuals to develop
o 1. A deeper understanding that is relevant to their specific health needs and concerns
o 2. The confidence, motivation, and personal insight needed to act on that knowledge
o 3. The skills necessary to enhance sexual health and to avoid negative sexual outcomes
o 4. A safe, secure and inclusive environment that is conductive to promoting optimal
sexual health
The guidelines recognize that students need to make their own informed and responsible choices
rather than have choices imposed on them
In the home, in the school, or somewhere else?
School is the main source of sexuality education for grade 9 students in Canada’ 41 percent of
the girls and 51 percent of the boys gave this response
Relying on friends is the classic blind leading the blind
There are problems with the internet in that none of it is filtered (no quality control)
Sex education in the school is not instead of education in the home
o Some sexuality education programs actively involve parents by including homework to
be done jointly by parent and child
o Students receiving classroom instruction plus homework felt more able to refuse high
risk behaviours
Only between 24 and 38 percent of children are getting excellent or very good sex education at
37 percent rated the sexual health education they had received in school as very good or
The youth indicated that neither schools nor parents promoted meaningful discussions about
sex, rather they perceived that both sexual health education and discussion with parents focused
on prevention of pregnancy and STIs
Youth also said that there parents gave not so subtle hints that sex was off limits

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What to teach at different ages
Children’s sexual knowledge
o Children begin to develop an understanding of pregnancy and birth at a very early age
o Bye age seven or eight, kids may know that three things are involved in making a baby: a
social relationship between two people such as love or marriage; sexual activity and the
union of sperm and egg
o However they may not understand that the sexual activity involves intercourse, at age
12 some children can give a good physiological explanation of reproduction
o Some 10 and 11 year olds understand that one of the reasons parents want to be alone
is to have sex
o Educators need to be aware of the level of the child’s understanding and should not
inundate him or her with information inappropriate for his or her age, you should
attempt to clarify misunderstandings in the child’s beliefs
Children’s sexual interests
o By age 11 many kids are asking questions related to puberty
o At age 13 or 14 many youth have specific questions about sexual activity
o High school students agree that sex education should begin in early elementary school,
and should progress form the simple to the complex
o High school students don’t just want bio questions, they want the emotional and more
sexually based topics (condoms, arousal etc.)
o An analysis of questions emailed to a reproductive health web site found that 23
percent of the questions involved misconceptions about reproduction
Attitudes toward school- Based Sexuality Education
6,833 parents in rural southern Ontario found 95% in favour of sex education in the schools; 82
percent felt it should being in the primary grades and continue throughout high school
The vast majority of schools with sex education programs have not experience and conflict
Keep in mind about people that protests: it is very rare, it is usually in minority, and its not over
the course as a whole, but over something in particular like a video or book
The curriculum
Quebec recently changed its health curriculum so that sexual health education is no longer part
of the curriculum (they are suppose to incorporate it into all classes) topic differ from school to
school and school board to school board
There are few resources tailored toward specific groups such as GLBT youth, youth with
disabilities, or youth from specific ethno cultural communities or the aboriginal community
With people who object to the curriculum often arguing that sexuality education should not
provide specific types of information too early, in order to protect, the innocence of children
Having sexual knowledge is helpful and not harmful to children
One area that is particularly controversial is whether the curriculum should address homo-
Most classrooms will have one or maybe two students who are not heterosexual
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