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Let’s talk about sex

cartoon2015-02-24

There was much bluster when it came out that the Ontario Liberals were set to unveil its new sex-ed curriculum.

Not far removed from memory was when Premier Kathleen Wynne’s predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, tried to do the same thing five years ago. The Liberals would later back away from that plan after facing criticism from numerous religious and parent groups who said that it went too far in teaching kids about sex.

So many expected the same furor this time around. And guess what happened?

The new curriculum is reasonable.

It was no secret that the province badly needed to update how it was teaching children about the birds and the bees.

The program hadn’t seen an update in two decades, meaning kids weren’t learning – at least not on a widespread scale – about the plethora of changes that have taken place in that time. Heck, the previous curriculum was written when same-sex couples still weren’t able to get married. That dates it right off the bat.

More importantly, kids weren’t learning about how sex, or rather the way that young people start to engage in sexually-related activities, comes about. No longer is there letters left in lockers or cars parked on secluded roads away from prying eyes. The advent of modern technology in the form of cellphones, the Internet and everything in between has, for lack of a better term, streamlined the process. Kids need to learn about this. They need to learn about what could be coming in the future.

Also very importantly, kids need to learn about consent and not having to do things they don’t want to. That is an important skill not just when it comes to sexual relationships, but all relationships in general. Kids need to learn that if there’s something they feel is wrong and could harm them, then they shouldn’t have to do it.

Sex is an uncomfortable topic to discuss with kids. Everyone remembers the awkward talk they had as a kid with either Mom or Dad about the birds and the bees, and perhaps found out later in life that what they were told wasn’t 100 per cent accurate, or that there was stuff missing. Or, more likely, there were things that happened that Mom or Dad weren’t prepared to talk about because they had no idea about it or how to handle it. This is why a proper, up to date sexual education curriculum is so important for our children.

And if at the end of the day you’re still not comfortable with some of the things being taught in this new curriculum, there is always the option to pull your child out.