Is your 5-year-old ready to know about the birds and the bees? In a move to meet state and national guidelines and to curtail climbing rates of sexually transmitted disease, the Chicago Board of Education voted to expand sex education in public schools, reports ABC News.
As part of the new program, kindergarteners through third graders will learn the basics of anatomy and reproduction, as well as good and bad touch. Fourth graders will be educated on puberty and HIV. In fifth grade, topics will include reproduction, birth control, abstinence and the transmission of STDs. Sexual orientation and gender identity will also be explored.
"From a public-health standpoint, it's an absolute imperative," Dr. Bechara Choucair, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, told DNA Info Chicago. "It can no longer be limited to a few minutes over a few grade levels."
Dr. Stephanie Whyte, the chief health officer for Chicago Public Schools, said that more than half of Chicago public high-school students reported having sex, with12 percent doing it before the age of 13, reports DNA Info Chicago. Over a third said that they had not used a condom the last time they had sex, and cases of HIV among Chicago teens have risen 43 percent since 2000. Whyte added that parents will be informed of everything that their kids are learning. Parents can also opt out of the courses in accordance with state law.
What do pediatricians say is age-appropriate for kindergarteners to know about sex? 5- to 7-years-olds are curious about how adults relate sexually, according to the healthyschildren.org, a web site of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and how that’s tied to making babies. What your child learns now will stay with them as adult so it’s important to teach them about sexuality in a healthy way to lay a foundation for good relationships.
Do you think that sex education should be mandatory from kindergarten and up? Leave a comment.