7 comments on “The new Ontario “sex act”

    • The curriculum has been updated and includes for instance discussions about internet safety, acknowledges individuals whose gender identity is outside the traditional binary, discusses consent, and several other changes needed since it was last updated in 1998.

  1. I could not agree with you more. If it was possible to quadruple like a blog post then I would do so. I can’t speak to the specifics of your curriculum but I absolutely and fundamentally believe that sex education needs to evolve with the times and involve more frank and inclusive discussion.

    When I was at school in Scotland, sex education was very much biology. It was reproduction centred. I don’t remember any discussion about relationships, consent, other types of sexual intimacy beyond traditional male-female penetration and no mention of orgasm beyond the need for male ejaculate for conception. Safe sex was covered but not personal or emotional safety as it relates to sex. Then I became a high school teacher and nothing had changed in the curriculum. Nothing at all.

    I could not in all conscience deliver such a limited curriculum. It was outmoded and largely irrelevant to my students who were not interested in learning how to conceive or what pregnancy involved but were rampaging masses of hormones. So I delivered the curriculum as instructed but made some additions and tweaks. Despite the fact it was still forbidden to do so in England at that time, I did make mention of same sex relationships, sexuality and gender identity. Years later, a couple of my former students contacted me to thank me for doing so as that was the beginning of them feeling they could one day come out as gay and be accepted. I think that more than justifies my stretching of the rules. I also introduced a Q&A box whereby my students could anonymously write down questions about sex (and gradually any other subject) and I would pull the slips out during the lesson and answer them. That alone told me that my students wanted and needed to know far, far more than was included in the curriculum.

    Now my oldest son is being taught sex education in America and still it is woeful. He’s lucky to have parents who are not uncomfortable or embarrassed discussing such subjects and we’ve had plenty of conversations over the years that have drip-dripped the information to him and his brothers at a pace appropriate to their age and stage. I dread to think what lacking and fragmentary knowledge the kids have whose parents are less open. It’s as if educators (as in the designers of the curriculum rather than the front line staff delivering it) would rather kids learn from playground chatter or the Internet and have to deal with misinformation and harmful messages.

    Parents and educators both have a role in teaching children about sex but I fear that in many instances both sources are profoundly lacking.

  2. I agree, Paula. Knowledge is power and will keep children safer. period. I think a lot of this reaction is aimed at Wynne personally and is really homophobia.

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