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Sex education for 5 year olds????

(140 Posts)
etta81 Thu 13-Jan-11 16:28:37

My daughter is only 2 at the moment so don't really have to worry about this yet but am I mad to be disgusted at the thought of a 5 year old getting sex education at school?? I would even consider taking my daughter out of the lessons!! Why do they need to know about he facts of life at such a young age? I didn't have it and I didn't get pregnant at 13, I think its got more to do with your upbringing and your social circles whether or not you get pregnant at a young age. You can give some kids all the education in the world and they'll still go out and get pregnant because its what their friends are doing.

Maybe the problem is really due to the fact that having kids before marriage is sociably acceptable nowadays and there's no shame in being pregnant at 14, you no longer have to hide away. I don't think that you should be hidden away or that its wrong to have kids if you're not married, its just a thought.

Am I just being naive or does anyone else feel like this.

cumbria81 Thu 13-Jan-11 16:30:57


They are called the facts of life for a reason - they are about life. It's not a dirty secret to be hushed up. Handled sensitively, there is no reason why a 5 year old shouldnt't know where babies come from.

It's attitudes like yours that lead to ignorance and teenage pregnancy.

noddyholder Thu 13-Jan-11 16:32:09

It is not just about avoiding teenage pregnancy!Sex education should be part of life and be an ongoing dialogue between you and your children and with some of the 'facts' introduced at school as well as home.Most people have sex it is hugely enjoyable and when the time is right gives us our dcs.What is wrong with educating children on ahuge part of life,

ChessyEvans Thu 13-Jan-11 16:34:35

I think from the media stink that there was at the time, the really early stuff they do is more about relationships and body awareness, not invading people's space or saying nasty things, that kind of thing. I don't think they're going into the nitty gritty with 5 year olds.

Vanillacandle Thu 13-Jan-11 16:35:52


It's ridiculous. Just another knee-jerk reaction to paper over the cracks in society. Give kids something better to do, stop them having to become adults at 10, let kids be kids. Then they won't even think about making babies until they are old enough to understand what makes a proper relationship.

cestlavielife Thu 13-Jan-11 16:36:48

the curriculum for sex education for five year olds is dfferent from the one for 12 year olds - ask the school exactly what they will be teaching them - eg it is more about about what is a boy what is a girl that kind of thing rather than "sex".

the facts will be rpesented at the right level for the age group.

that should put your mind at rest.

Greythorne Thu 13-Jan-11 16:38:42

why would you NOT want your DC to have age appropriate facts, just as they would learn about the planets, geography, etc
don't understand your POV at all

my dd is 4 and I have told her how babies are born

how much she has retained, I do not know, but I plan to add to her knowledge incrementally so we never have to have a big sit down with The Birds and The Bees (or whatever) at an age when self-consciousness has set in.

Start early. Get in there with facts before the playground misinformation.

ThistleDoNicely Thu 13-Jan-11 16:40:33

My parents taught me the biology of reproduction at the age of three - when my mum was pregnant with my little brother. Apparently I would announce to strangers 'you've got a willy' and 'you've got a vagina' blush
On the issue of sex, my mum tells me I had just two questions after it was explained to me:
1. do you have to go to hospital? (answer - no)
2. do you have to take your trousers off? (answer - not really, but it helps grin)

So I don't think there's anything wrong with finding out the facts at a young age. I would imagine this is is better than picking up misinformaion from friends' older siblings.

BargainBasement Thu 13-Jan-11 16:41:04

What kind of 'sex education' do you think is given to 5 year olds?

I agree with the importance of childhood and preserving it for children, but many 5 year olds will be having baby brothers and sisters, asking questions - I don't think they demonstrate sexual intercourse in KS1.

I would be more anxious to keep an eye on the sort of party onvitations that come in, since some parents of 7 year olds seem to think that pole dancing is a good party activity for them.

Which suggests that education in the importance of love, respect and relationships (the kind of thing talked about in primary schools) can't happen soon enough.

PlentyOfParsnips Thu 13-Jan-11 16:42:36

My DC were asking 'where did I come from?' type questions by this age. I answered their questions as simply and honestly as I could but not every child has parents who are capable of or willing to do this so I'm glad the schools are tackling it.

AMumInScotland Thu 13-Jan-11 16:42:43

Before you have a fit at the idea, why not find out what schools actually mean by "sex education" for this age group? In most cases, in fact in all cases in UK schools that I have ever heard about, it has turned out to be messages about "Looking after your body" and "Respecting other people", both of which lead on, very gradually, to "How our Bodies change", "How Boys and Girls are different", and only later to "Where Babies Come from"

The things they teach to 5 year olds are the basic building blocks which small children need to make sense of the stuff which comes later. It is sex education, but its only the very early steps.

It leads on to them knowing about puberty before it starts happening, and knowing how pregnancy happens before they are at risk of finding out in other ways. Both of which are good things.

It is not about showing 5yo how to use condoms.

Eglu Thu 13-Jan-11 16:43:02

YABU. It is important for children to understand that it is normal and natural.

Shakirasma Thu 13-Jan-11 16:49:34

It's not about sex as such, more about knowing proper names for body parts, the differences between boys and girls, inappropriate touching etc

etta81 Thu 13-Jan-11 16:50:22

I'm not saying its wrong to teach your kids about it but surely shouldn't we be given the choice of when and how we teach it. I probably will tell my daughter about it at a young age, I'm not a prude,but I'd like to do it how I want to do and not how the government dictates it to be done. Perhaps its because I'm a bit of a control freak and don't like being told what to do!!!!!!

JoBettany Thu 13-Jan-11 16:54:26

The 'sex education' provided for 5 year olds is age appropriate and involves teaching children the 'proper' names for body parts.

Just because it is called sex education it doesn't mean they are being taught the 'facts of life' aged 5.

There is a lot of nonsense written about this in the press.

EricNorthmansMistress Thu 13-Jan-11 16:54:44

Wind yer neck in, check what this 'sex education' actually involves, and calm down.

PlentyOfParsnips Thu 13-Jan-11 16:55:29

In an ideal world etta, I'd agree, but there are religious nutjobs parents who would prefer their DC to know nothing about sex until they are married and others who are just too embarrassed to deal with it at all. What happens to their DC?

AMumInScotland Thu 13-Jan-11 16:59:11

The advantage of her learning it in school is that all of her class will know the same things. If you keep her out of the lessons, she'll not necessarily understand what others are talking about, either because you haven't covered something yet, or you've used different words, and she'll be confused.

Honestly, by the time she is at school, and the teacher explains what they're going to be covering and how and why, I don't think you'll find it at all unreasonable.

You may well be willing and able to explain it to her, but not all parents do, and it's important that no child is left in ignorance about these things because their parents are uncomfortable or just don't bother.

ashamedandconfused Thu 13-Jan-11 16:59:37

yes, op, dont worry about this - they will learn the basics of body parts and the basics of how babies are made - at this age they are not embarrased or shocked, just interested and quite capable of absorbing the facts and then going off to play lego/dolls whatever - they are NOT going to teach them about contraception, STDs etc, and the kids are NOT going to want to start "experimenting" either if that is what concerns you. better / earlier sex ed actually reduces teen pg etc

tabulahrasa Thu 13-Jan-11 16:59:59

my daughter had sex education at about 5, we were invited up to see the 'worst' video they were shown

it was mostly a cat having kittens, there was also a woman having a baby - but it was two children being taken to hospital to visit their new cousin, not actually someone giving birth and talking about it on the way (mostly about how big her tummy was)

there was a a diagram with named body parts and lots of talk about being a little bit of daddy and a little bit of mummy

nothing I thought was age inappropriate at all

Scorpette Thu 13-Jan-11 17:02:16

My Mum told me about sex, periods and babies when I was 5 (same for my brother in turn). My parents always used the correct words for genitalia too. I grew up with the view that your bits and bobs are just a part of your body like any other and are not dirty or rude and that sex is a healthy and normal things that loving adults too. We could talk openly to both parents about anything and indeed, have often moaned to my Dad about period pains and he's bought me pads and tampons, etc. I felt no pressure to have sex and do 'things' with boys in my teens and I've only ever had sex in long-term monogamous relationships (not judging anyone who has/has had one-night stands; is just not my 'thing'). 3 girls in my year were removed from sex education classes by their parents and they were also the 3 girls who got pregnant before we did out GCSEs. Coincidence?

My brother lives in the Netherlands and they start sex education at 5. They have the lowest rate of teen pregnancies and STDs in Europe and one of the highest age rates for losing virginity, despite the age of consent being 12 (note: not 12 and sex with anyone, like ours is at 16 but 12 with your peers, if you really must). If you remove the mystique and naughtiness out of something, all the allure and glamour is removed. My parents let us have alcohol if we wanted too - I've been teetotal since 21 and my brother rarely drinks.

They're not trying to corrupt and sexualise children, they're just giving them age-appropriate biological information at this stage. You wouldn't complain if they were teaching them simplified explanations of how and why we breathe, would you?

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Thu 13-Jan-11 17:03:07

YABU to be jumping to conclusions before you know all the facts.
There were mums like that at the school complaining loudly in the playground at their precious babies getting taught sex education at such a young age but not one single one of those turned up at the talk from the head and school nurse telling the parents what was being taught and at what ages.

At 5, like cestlavielife and cheesy said it is about naming body parts, building friendships, respecting each others personal space and is not neccessarily taught as a whole sit down this is what's what lesson but something they discuss as a class and inidvidually over the whole school year not sitting them dwon with massive diagrams teaching them the ins and outs.

I think this is very important both for now and as building blocks to what is to come over the next few years.
The sex education in schools in this country has always been ridiculously poor and it is about time that it was treated with a bit less repression and a bit more openess.

activate Thu 13-Jan-11 17:04:11

yes mad is the word

ill-informed, sensationalist and pathetic are other words you could use

Scorpette Thu 13-Jan-11 17:05:39

"out" = our.
"if we wanted too" - too as in 'as well'. <Pedant>

OmniumAndGatherum Thu 13-Jan-11 17:09:17

Etta81, I couldn't agree more. It is absolutely not the government's business to decide when and what I choose to tell my children.

Fortunately they don't have 'sex education' at my children's schools. Yet another reason why I sigh very heavily and pay the fees that I can't really afford.

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