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Sex Education for Primary School Age - Advice needed

(135 Posts)
Jockette Sat 04-Jun-11 23:11:05

Hi, I am after some advice as I have a meeting coming up with my child primary school this month. I am concerned about the sex education and innapropriate use of naming intimate body parts at age 5. I have since removed my child from being involved in further sex ed lessons, but how can I show the school that I think 5, 6 and 7 is way to young for the kids to be learning information they don't need to be aware of at that age. What age do any of you think is appropriate for your child to be taught the breakdown of the female body part?

Clary Sat 04-Jun-11 23:14:11

Well to be totally frank, when they show an interest.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "breakdown of the female body part" but I would be happy for a 5yo to know that babies grew in mummies' wombs.

I do think this is best addressed on an individual basis tho as the child asks, and thus perhaps not ideal to be taught in detail at infant level. AFAIK the infant curriculum agrees; certainly at my DCs' infant school the sex ed aspect is all about friendships and "myself".

mummynoseynora Sat 04-Jun-11 23:15:58


My 4 year old knows she has a vagina and a womb already confused She knows babies come out of it and ladies have eggs, and men have sperm and together they grow into a baby - hasn't asked how it gets there yet!

I personally think there is no such thing as an 'inappropriate use of naming intimate body parts' its just naming a part of their body!

gordongrumblebum Sat 04-Jun-11 23:20:00

mummynoseynora I personally think there is no such thing as an 'inappropriate use of naming intimate body parts' its just naming a part of their body!

How sensible.gringrin

mummynoseynora Sat 04-Jun-11 23:21:07

<bows> grin

Jockette Sat 04-Jun-11 23:23:05

sorry didn't want to divulge much information to start off with, my daughter is aware of the vagina and womb, but she came home from school pleased that she had learnt about her clitoris and told us and her Nanny and Grandad all about it whilst lifting up her skirt to show us where it was. I personally thought this was a bit too much information for a 5 year old and her class to be taught. whilst I agree that a Clitoris is just naming a part or their body, its not when that part of the body's only use is for pleasure. Some of these children haven't necessarily asked to know about things like these and my daughter certainly wasn't interested before they started teaching her at school

piprabbit Sat 04-Jun-11 23:25:16

Calling a penis "a penis" or a vagina "a vagina" isn't teaching your child about sex. It's teaching them to correctly name each part of their body. They will also be taught to name other body parts, such as "head", "ears" and "hands".

Telling a young child that some body parts are too dirty/rude to even be named is just going to cause children to have more issues with their bodies as they grow older IMO.

Jockette Sat 04-Jun-11 23:32:43

I am not saying I think some body parts are too dirty/rude, I just think age 5 is far too young for them to be taught specifics

jobo84 Sat 04-Jun-11 23:35:59

My 8 year daughter old and her friend today told me that they will be drawing diagrams of a penis and vagina in year 4, ages 8 and 9, is that really appropriate? i mean do they really need to know that at their age? what it all looks like,girls know their bits and boys know theirs, i have sons and daughters, and am very open with each of them to talk about their bodies if they have problems or anything else going on (have a 2 near teenagers). Its not not telling kids about it its just not shoving it in their faces too early.

piprabbit Sat 04-Jun-11 23:36:25

I would also be worried that, by withdrawing my child from the lessons in school, I would be leaving them vulnerable to half-truths from the other children in the playground (eager to share their new found knowledge)...instead of learning in a controlled and sensitive environment.

hester Sat 04-Jun-11 23:39:49

I disagree, Jockette. I have a 5 year old daughter, too, and would be very happy for her to be taught what a clitoris is. I think girls grow up knowing about and giving value to their womb, and not knowing about their clitoris, and this helps feed the idea that sexual pleasure is not as intrinsic to women's sexual health as it is to men's. Or something - sorry, it's late and I'm tired.

As for the embarrassment of the little demonstration to Nanny and Grandad - I'm afraid this comes with the territory of having children! My dd, aged 3, showed hers off to a social worker, and demonstrated its use...

hester Sat 04-Jun-11 23:41:36

Girls don't really know their bits, though, jobo84; lots get the message that there's something wrong with being interested in what's 'down there', or they know what's there but don't understand what it's for.

Jockette Sat 04-Jun-11 23:41:38

The major thing I have found out is that now my daughter is in year 2, that after a sex ed lesson 3 of the children involved in that lesson were caught in the playground, showing and feeling each other. My daughter is very aware that she can approach me with anything and I will tell her anything she needs to know, but at least I can tell her in a way I am happy for her to know about

hester Sat 04-Jun-11 23:43:03

But is children showing each other their bits a bad thing?

PatriciaHolm Sat 04-Jun-11 23:43:39

Why would you have more problem with them being taught specifics for their genitals than the rest of their body? Surely that just teaches them that there is something exciting/illicit about those bits?

Names for things are just that, names. Teach them that no adult touches them there etc, of course, but I can't see what's wrong with them knowing the right names for their body parts.

Jockette Sat 04-Jun-11 23:44:53

Sorry I am not sure I am getting my point across. I am not saying that I don't think she should know about it at all, all I think is that she is too young to be taught things at school at the moment, it should be my choice to answer her questions when she is ready to ask them.

Clary Sat 04-Jun-11 23:48:59

If she's in year 2 she's 7 not 5, surely?

I don't think I have a problem with this if it as you described.

I would certainly find out exactly what is told to the children if you want to, before I withdraw her from lessons.

CharlotteWasBoth Sat 04-Jun-11 23:50:39

I agree with you OP. It is the job of parents to decide what, and when, to tell their children about all this. If the parents can't or won't, get them in to have a session on the subject.

hester Sat 04-Jun-11 23:50:48

Ok, Jockette, I understand that's your feeling. You asked our advice on this and some of us are saying we don't think there is an age that is too young to be told the names of women's genitalia.

But you're the mum here, and if you're uncomfortable with the sex ed at your dd's school you can of course withdraw her. Just be aware of a couple of things: first is that you can withdraw your dd, but you can't control her classmates, and they will talk and tell her things (and maybe you'd prefer she heard the accurate info from the teacher rather than playground gossip). The second thing is that many children DON'T ask their parents about these things, because they sense it is a cause of embarrassment (and your dd is old enough to work out that if you withdraw her from sex ed you may be embarrassed by it).

piprabbit Sat 04-Jun-11 23:50:48

But when your DD was a toddler you didn't wait for her to ask "what are the flappy things on the side of my head called?" before saying "these are your ears". Why not volunteer the information that other parts of her body have names too?

BTW, I think there is a big difference between the maturity and understanding of a 5yo child (as you mentioned in your OP) and a Y2 child who is weeks from moving up to Junior school (as you have now told us).

Jockette Sat 04-Jun-11 23:51:27

yes will be 7 this year, but this happened in year 1 when she was 5.

gordongrumblebum Sat 04-Jun-11 23:51:44

Hahaha......this is a wind up. I can't imagine how any teacher could describe a clitoris to any 5 year old!!!! How would they be able to demonstrate where it is so that the child can show it to grandparents!gringrin Especially as most 5 year olds can't understand diagrams!

You are a real jokette, jockette!!!

jobo84 Sat 04-Jun-11 23:53:25

hester ;my point being they dont need to know what it is for, as long as they can tell me if there is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with mhy should they learn what it is for at such an early age? I completely agree that children should not know what their body parts are for until they can understand, and that is definately not 5,6,7,8,9,10 etc too much too young.
And hester; yes it is wrong for kids to show each other their bits!
Jockette i completely agree

piprabbit Sat 04-Jun-11 23:53:28

Jockette - you originally posted 'after some advice' about 5yo's. But it turns out you don't have a 5yo.

Please can you clarify exactly what advice you are looking for?

hester Sat 04-Jun-11 23:57:48

OK, we'll have to agree to disagree smile

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