I think the biggest influence on sex education is of course the parents. For a few parents it’s very difficult to broach the subject of sex.
My mother, a nurse, didn’t give me the sex talk until I was about 9 or 10 and had come across a word I didn’t know at school. That word was rape. I asked my mom what rape was and she had to first explain to me what sex was. A lot of kids probably ask their parents where babies come from before then but I wasn’t really one to ask questions. My mom quickly explained to me about periods, childbirth, and protection. She didn’t once tell me to not have sex.
I’ve had friends with very different experiences though. One friend got the sex talk from her single father who just told her “This is your box. Nothing goes in or out of your box.”
If that wasn’t traumatic enough, I know another girl whose mother never told her about periods. She went home crying because she thought she was dying. Her mom’s explanation about sex? It was for procreation or something that women sometimes have to do to make sure their men don’t stray.
I think sex education definitely needs to start at the home. This is why adult sex education is so important. Parents need to be comfortable and knowledgeable to be able to answer any questions a child may have.
The thing is, if a child doesn’t know what sex is they won’t know what’s happening if they encounter it. Children are curious and unprotected and that can be very dangerous. What’s bad about a child knowing what sex is? It’s not like if they know what it is their going to do it. Education is a very important tool, and it’s best to arm children with all the tools they can carry.