Don’t Turn Your Child’s Sex Education Over to the School

Don’t Turn Your Child’s Sex Education Over to the School

Sex Education is...Christina Toliver and Emily Dewitt

The rise in sexually transmitted diseases should make us question what is being taught today about sex.  It is very unfortunate that in this 21st century, where there is vast medical knowledge and new technology literally at our fingertips, there is still a high volume of sexually transmitted diseases. There was a 10 percent increase of AIDS from 2000 to 2003 and half of the new sexually transmitted diseases are more likely to be diagnosed among those between the ages of 15- 24 (1).

Many teenagers do not talk with their parents about any aspect of sex, relying instead on sources outside the home. Teens information about sex most often comes from school, the media, and their friends.  Children develop who they are through their parent or guardian. Parents and guardians today are less likely to take on responsibility of teaching their children about sex. Instead, they have abandoned these important conversations and given over the teaching to the media and the school system.

Television and other types of media do teach teenagers about sex. Media teaches that physical pleasure and sex are just a natural step in a pre-marital relationship. It also teaches about the acceptance of homosexual relationships. The education system is not just teaching academics, but they are teaching students how to have sex, the acceptance of gay or lesbian relationships, birth control options and abortion.  Schools do not necessarily teach about abstinence or the role that sex plays in a matrimonial union. As parents allow the school system and media to teach their children about sex they are allowing their children to learn things that their family may not value. If you are not involved in your child’s education you may not know what is actually being taught to them.

Most would agree that the topic of sex is not considered an everyday topic of discussion. Rather, sex is something whispered about or talked about behind closed doors. More than half of students surveyed in a recent study said that they did not have a meaningful conversation with their parents about sex.  Sixty percent of parents, in this same survey, said that they have talked to their children about sex (3).  It is more probable that the parents and their children do not feel the same about what a ‘meaningful conversation’ entails.

Doctor Miriam Kaufman, a Pediatrician and public educator at the Sick Kids organization, believes that when parents talk to their children they become less likely to participate in risky sexual behavior. By educating children early it allows parents and children to have more open communication about sex. Children need to feel confident going to and be able to trust their parents when they are in need of guidance (4).  Parents, not schools, are the best way for children to learn about sexual matters.

sex and violenceIn our current culture, it is hard to get away from what the media has chosen to expose us to. Sexual content is all over; in the news, on the internet, in magazines, the movies, and almost all sitcoms are based on sexual relationships and situations. Children spend, on average, about 6.5 hours of their day exposed to some type of media (5­). Research shows that 83% of the media content is related to sex in some way (6). According to Doctor Kaufman there is a link between younger children exposed to sexual content in the media and increased sexual behavior (4). Television perpetuates and glamorizes sex within relationships instead of the reality of what sex entails. Viewing media with sexual content is often a precursor to sexual activity, especially by youth who are easily impacted by the things that they see.

A group of white adolescents, who were exposed to music, movies, television, and magazines with high levels of sexual content, were found to have high frequency of sexual activity and sexual intercourse. Exposure to sexual media in white Americans increased sexual intercourse among teens by 50 percent (5­). Images seen in media peaks interest or curiosity about sex during puberty because it is often unknown and glamorized. It is natural to be interested in sex, but media has diluted its purpose and its meaning. Parents can have some control over most of the media children are exposed to through vigilant monitoring and adding filters.

Many states (37) offer opportunities for parental involvement in sex education programs provided by schools (2).  Through carefully asked questions and research parents can become more knowledgeable about what is being taught about sex in their children’s schools. Parents can work to ensure that there is not a conflicting message coming from the media and the schools in opposition to what the family chooses as its values. When there is open communication between parents and their children about sex, it can increase how frequently other conversations occur between parent and child (4). With open communication, not only will the child benefit, but so will society.

References

Bleakley, A., Hennessy, M., Fishbein, M., (2006, November).  Public opinion on sex education in US schools. http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=205706#References

Bleakley, A., Hennessy, M., Fishbein, M., & Jordan, A. (2008). It works both ways: The relationship between exposure to sexual content in the media and adolescent sexual behavior. 11 (4). 443-461.

Kaufman, M. (October, 2011). Sex education for children: Why parents should talk to their kids  about sex.  About Kids Health.  http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/ FamilyandPeerRelations/Sexuality/Pages/Sex-Education-for-Children-Why-Parents-Should-Talk-to-their-Kids-About-Sex.aspx

King, B, M., Lorusso, J. (1997).  Discussions in the home about sex: Different recollections by parents and children. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 23 (1). DOI:10.1080/00926239708404417 NCSL, (2013, June 13).  State policies on sex education in schools. http://www.ncsl.org/issuesresearch/health/state-policies-on-sex-education-in-schools.aspx

Ward, L. M., Day, K. M., & Epstein, M. (2006). Uncommonly good: Exploring how mass media may be a positive influence on young women’s sexual health and development. New Directions for Child & Adolescent Development. 2006 (112). 57-70.

Christina ToliverChristina Toliver is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho with a degree in Child Development and a minor in Psychology. She is from Oregon and is part of a large family. Christina’s had many opportunities to work with children of all ages.

Emily DeWittEmily Dewitt is currently a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho and is studying Child Development with a minor in Marriage and Family Studies. She will graduate from BYU-Idaho in April 2014.  She is from Illinois and most of her family still resides there. 

1Comment
  • Guest
    Posted at 16:15h, 28 December Reply

    Vivian Mavrou of Martingrove Collegiate Institute had sex with school bullies and Gordy Stefulic of Toronto School Administrators Association shared kiddie porn to teenage students:

    DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    BETWEEN:
    ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    and
    GORDANA ANNE STEFULIC

    NOTICE OF HEARING

    THE INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS, pursuant to section 26, subsection (5) of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 (the Act), Statutes of Ontario, 1996, chapter 12, has directed that the matter hereinafter described regarding the conduct or actions of Gordana Anne Stefulic, Certificate No176236 , be referred to the Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Teachers.

    IT IS ALLEGED that Gordana Anne Stefulic is guilty of professional misconduct as defined in subsections 30(2) and 40(1.1) of the Act in that:
    (a) she failed to maintain the standards of the profession, contrary to Ontario
    Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(5);

    (b) she abused a student or students physically, sexually, verbally, psychologically or emotionally, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(7) and engaged in sexual abuse of a student or students of a nature defined in sections 1 and 40 (1.1) of the Act;

    (c) she failed to comply with the Education Act, Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990, chapter E.2, and specifically section 264(1)(c) thereof or the Regulations made under that Act, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(15);

    (d) she committed acts that having regard to all the circumstances would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1 and

    (e) she engaged in conduct unbecoming a Member, contrary to Ontario Regulation
    437/97, subsection 1(19).

    PARTICULARS OF THESE ALLEGATIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
    1. Gordana Anne Stefulic (the Member) is a member of the Ontario College of
    Teachers.
    2. At all material times, the Member was employed by the Toronto District School Board
    (the Board) as a Principal at [XX] School (the School) in Ontario.

    3. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the Member granted and/or permitted Student No. 1
    and Student No. 2, two male students of the Board under the age of sixteen years, entry
    and/or access to her Facebook page and by so doing, allowed Student No. 1 and Student
    No. 2 to access inappropriate and/or view material including:

    (a) A photographic image of a male person without a shirt, wearing a Speedo bathing suit and titled, Meal of the Day;
    (b) A drawing showing a naked woman depicting her breasts and a naked man holding a string which was tied to his well endowed penis.
    4. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the Member,

    (a) permitted a student and/or students to have access to a personal laptop computer which she knew or ought to have known contained images of a pornographic nature or erotic nature, which appeared to depict young adolescent males;
    (b) permitted a student and/or students to have access to the classroom computer which she knew or ought to have known contained pornographic images and/or violent cartoon images and/or images of naked bodies;
    (c) requested and/or allowed Student No. 3, Student No. 4 and Student No. 5, male students, to give her a massage; and
    (d) made no efforts to deter or prevent a student and/or students from seeking to massage her back.
    THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE WILL HOLD A HEARING pursuant to sections 30 and 32 of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996, to decide whether the allegations are true and whether Gordana Anne Stefulic is guilty of professional misconduct. A copy of the Rules of Procedure of the Discipline Committee and of the Fitness to Practise Committee will be provided upon request.

    THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE WILL MEET on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. to set a date for the hearing of this matter. The Committee will meet on the 12th floor of the offices of the Ontario College of Teachers at 101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

    YOU ARE ENTITLED TO BE PRESENT ON THE ABOVE MENTIONED DATE AND AT THE HEARING AND TO BE REPRESENTED BY LEGAL COUNSEL.

    If you wish, you or your legal counsel may contact College Counsel to discuss the scheduling of a hearing date to determine whether a date for the hearing can be agreed upon. If a date for the hearing can be agreed to, in accordance with Rule 4.02(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Discipline Committee and of the Fitness to Practise Committee, the hearing will proceed on the agreed date.

    IF A DATE FOR THE HEARING OF THIS MATTER IS NOT AGREED UPON AND YOU DO NOT ATTEND TO SET A DATE FOR THE HEARING OF THIS MATTER, THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE MAY PROCEED IN YOUR ABSENCE TO SET A DATE FOR THE HEARING. NOTICE OF THE HEARING DATE WILL BE PROVIDED TO YOU IN WRITING AT YOUR LAST KNOWN ADDRESS AS SHOWN IN THE RECORDS OF THE COLLEGE.

    IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND ON THE SCHEDULED HEARING DATE, THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE MAY PROCEED IN YOUR ABSENCE AND YOU WILL NOT BE PROVIDED WITH ANY FURTHER NOTICE OF PROCEEDINGS.

    IF THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE FIND YOU GUILTY of professional misconduct, you are liable to the penalties set out in section 30 of the Act.

    A MEMBER whose conduct is being investigated in proceedings before the Discipline Committee may examine before the hearing any written or documentary evidence that will be produced or any report, the contents of which will be given as evidence at the hearing. You or your representative may contact the office of Caroline Zayid of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, solicitor for the College in this matter, at Suite 5300, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, Toronto, ON M5K 1E6, telephone 416-601-
    7768.

    Date: January 14,2013

    Michael Salvatori, OCT
    Registrar and Chief Executive Officer
    Ontario College of Teachers
    12th Floor, 101 Bloor Street West
    Toronto, ON M5S 0A1

    TO: Gordana Anne Stefulic
    [XX] [XX]

    AND TO: Calderoni Steer Wanderon McTavish & Smith LLP
    2 Sheppard Ave E
    North York ON M2N 5Y7
    Dale Stump, Solicitor for the
    Member

    B E T W E E N :
    ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS and GORDANA ANNE STEFULIC
    DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    NOTICE OF HEARING
    McCarthy Tétrault LLP
    Suite 5300
    Toronto Dominion Bank Tower
    Toronto, ON M5K 1E6

    Caroline R. Zayid
    Tel. 416 601-7768
    Fax 416 868-0673

    David E. Leonard
    Tel. 416 601-7684
    Fax 416 868-0673

    Solicitors for the
    Ontario College of Teachers

    #12685381

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