The Water Cooler – When Should Sex Education Start In School?

March 20, 2018 12:00 pm · 52 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

What grade do you think sex education should start in school?

Talk about it….

Always Right March 20, 2018 at 12:18 PM

High school biology class is soon enough for classroom instruction.

From a public health perspective, educational and informational material should be given only to parents and let the parents decide what shoud be taught to their kids and when.

Pyrrhus March 20, 2018 at 1:26 PM

And that is how you get an epidemic of unwanted children and STDs. Just ask states that only teach abstinence how well their teenagers are doing.

Mimi (original) March 20, 2018 at 1:48 PM

Oh dear! Are you living in the 1800’s? Girls are maturing so much earlier these days that, at the very least, they should be learning about THEIR part in sexual interactions! I think 6th grad is fine for some basics about intercourse, pregnancy prevention and long term commitments, but they don’t need to be exposed to the wide variety of sexual orientations or proclivities that are out there until late middle school/early high school.

Ano March 20, 2018 at 2:21 PM

This logic is why std’s are on the rise and more 11 year Olds are pregnant then ever before.

Always Right March 20, 2018 at 9:21 PM

If you took the time to read what I said, you would understand I am not denying younger kids access to solid information about sex. I am saying the teacher should be the parent, not some representative from planned parenthood (promoting sexual experimentation with abortion as the fallback option).

Pyrrhus March 21, 2018 at 9:58 AM

Sure, I’ll go along with your plan if the children are then required at school to take a test to see if they have been taught or not. If they fail then they have to be taught through the school. This is a public health concern and should not be left up to the whims of some nut job parents that have some wacky beliefs.

Reason March 21, 2018 at 10:10 AM

@Always Right

What you propose goes against public health and is at odds with research regarding sexuality. Furthermore, what century are you living in? Sex ed is not taught in biology classes and hasn’t been for decades.

The Mamba March 20, 2018 at 12:28 PM

5th grade, when kids are starting to wonder about it. Better to get ahead of it with all the PR0N out there now.

Cellophane March 20, 2018 at 12:46 PM

Parents should provide sex education to their children.

Relinquishing parental responsibilities to strangers is reprehensible.

Bishop Estates March 20, 2018 at 1:33 PM

Unfortunately a lot of parents don’t talk to their kids about sex. Parents can opt out if they don’t want their kids included in the instruction.

Jerk March 20, 2018 at 1:50 PM

Absolutely – Cellophane.
I recently was shown the 7th grade “sex education” aka Porn manual.

Any orifice is fair game, anything goes as long as both parties are okay with it.

It March 21, 2018 at 7:18 AM

Some of that stuff is perverse and unnatural, but nobody ever mentions that fact.

Jo Ann Jo Ann March 20, 2018 at 12:49 PM

I think it should start at home early and also in a special class to teach in school. I am opposed to middle school and high schools who have outside people come in and talk about abortion or birth control I have seen where parents can’t even ask questions of these people, Most information should be given by the parents, as my child is under my care until 18 years old, I do have some rights to know what they are teaching.

AnonZ March 20, 2018 at 1:04 PM

6th Grade at school; much earlier at home.

Mr. John March 20, 2018 at 1:21 PM

Start? Kindergarten. Kids need to learn to respect other people’s bodies and understand that we all have different bodies – and they should learn that from the very beginning. Then, that education should develop throughout the years to prepare the kids for the changes in their bodies (and minds) in advance. When should we talk about the birds and the bees? Before too many of them hear the wrong information *and can act on the wrong information*. To me, that would be somewhere between 3rd and 5th grade.

Cindy March 20, 2018 at 6:03 PM

Speaking good sense!

WhatThe? March 20, 2018 at 1:45 PM

It should be in school, wouldn’t say it has to start there. I’m glad my kids’ school teaches it in 5th grade and let’s us know what and when they are covering it in class. When they are discussing it in school we also discuss it at home to make sure they understand and have a chance to ask us any questions that they might not have wanted to ask in school.

Not sure why parents are so uptight about it being taught, kids need to know and if you don’t tell them they’ll get bad information from their peers, the internet and god knows where else.

TCL March 20, 2018 at 4:52 PM

Thank you!! I happen to have a genetic disorder, in which my body does not produce female hormones. So by i’d say 11, I knew a lot, my mother and my doctor didn’t treat me like a baby. Things were explained and at a young age I had input about my care, etc. It makes big difference whenever there are open and honest discussions whatever it may be..

Ricardoh March 20, 2018 at 1:51 PM

Ninth grade.

Mimi (original) March 20, 2018 at 1:51 PM

Raising and showing purebred dogs led to an education in itself for my offspring. Show dog must be whole and intact so mating, pregnancy and birth are common occurrences in show dog households. The disadvantage was that, as far as my offspring were concerned, humans “came into heat” since that’s the canine terminology!

Selkie March 20, 2018 at 4:24 PM

Not everyone breeds show dogs.

Silva March 20, 2018 at 6:50 PM

I bet it was a whole lot easier all those eons when we were an agrarian society.

Dorothy March 20, 2018 at 1:55 PM

Children are interested in their difference by 3 or 4 years old. Some sex education should begin by the 3rd grade. You know most parents don’t talk to their kids about sex. By the time they are in the 4th or 5th grade kids tell other kids whatever weird things they have heard about it. Such as if girls eat dill pickles they will have babies.

Led March 20, 2018 at 2:26 PM

Parents need to step the heck up and stop outsourcing eveything to institutions. It’s your job.

Ano March 20, 2018 at 2:31 PM

We should stop looking at sex as a taboo subject and start from a very early age teaching about our bodies. By 3rd grade most kids need deodorant and need to know how to respet their bodies. Being open and honest is the best way to insure your children will talk to you. You can be age appropriate.

Example. A 1st grader in my class was told you have to be married to have babies. Well I have 2 children and not married. Kids take it as their parents lied to them. A better way to tell them where babies come from is you need 1 cell from a mom and 1 cell from a dad. Truthful but age appropriate!

MVP March 20, 2018 at 6:35 PM

3rd graders need deodorant? I mean I guess if they play in dirt all day LOL

Ano March 20, 2018 at 7:19 PM

Yes. I teach elementary school age and yes most 3rd graders need deodorant. The 1st day of 4th grade the teachers tell the kids you all need deodorant if you smell you will be sent to the office.

It March 22, 2018 at 5:34 AM

They’re forced to play soccer like Europeans these days. Why wouldn’t they smell like one?

No Time Like The Present March 20, 2018 at 2:50 PM

When the kid asks, mommy, “where do babies come from?”

Rumplestiltskin March 20, 2018 at 4:34 PM


RANDOM TASK March 20, 2018 at 2:50 PM

People this is demifornia
Please understand you built this state to do everything for you


YAY RIGHT … this is what you wanted to not have to teach your children to expect schools to teach your kid everything it needs to know about the world and life and so on … should be proud of your school system and all it puts out to teach your children

WhatThe? March 20, 2018 at 4:33 PM

I wouldn’t be proud of the school you graduated from, not with that English.

Silva March 20, 2018 at 3:24 PM

My son wanted the birds and bees explained by about kindergarten, if I recall correctly. I couldn’t believe how uncomfortable I felt, and how silly and crappy my explanations were! I really should’ve been more prepared, but I told him up to the point his questions had been answered. As far as school and critical health classes, by sixth grade it’s probably too late. I do believe when I was in school we had the lectures in seventh grade, but that was back in the 60s. Times have definitely changed.

Foonman March 20, 2018 at 4:15 PM

6th or 7th grade with program approved by parents. Secondly, parents can opt their children out if necessary. My personal thoughts are a well trained teacher could do a better job of it…..

Rob March 20, 2018 at 4:24 PM

If kids are old enough to do Lock Down Drills because we cannot figure out how to stop mass shootings in schools…

I guess they are old enough to start sex ed.

Silva March 20, 2018 at 6:45 PM


anonible March 20, 2018 at 4:41 PM

A stay at home parent would be closely tuned to the type of questions and respond accordingly.

Aspirin March 20, 2018 at 6:14 PM

Sex education in school should start before it starts out of school. Then it is too late.

Ask your kids.

Vindex March 20, 2018 at 9:42 PM

The recent Sex Ed curriculum the MDUSD is doing in 5th grade is astonishing. It is over the top. Actually shameful. I think sex education should start at home and when it does take place at school it should be science based not value based. The new MDUSD is agenda driven.

Lili March 20, 2018 at 10:02 PM

In a PE class my 8th grader was watching video of Sex Trafficking and Pimps and I feel that parents should be in the loop that shouldn’t have been the teachers call The parents should have been notified some kids are mature enough to hear stuff like that and some are not I think kids are given to much info and somethings can wait Media also plays a big part in all of this You can’t even watch a family show without the news interrupting or drug commercials let kids be kids and teach them as they are ready

Comefromluv March 21, 2018 at 8:24 AM

As hard as it is to wrap your head around. I feel that PE teacher had the best of intentions? Human trafficking and “Grooming” is rampant currentl in our society, and youth between the ages of 12 and up are being targeted. If your child uses any form of social media or apps on a phone or tablet– thay can become subject to those things. I speak on both subjects and advocate. My children are taught these things as soon as they realize our bodies are different. They deserve to be educated as early as possible. Transparency is how we protect our children from another #METOO movement. My kids have been raised to say…#NOTME

It March 20, 2018 at 10:09 PM

As I recall, what we got in school in the 1950s was little more than a description of the parts involved and largely inadequate. Personally, I believe it should be left up to the parents with maybe some sort of guidelines (i.e., a list of what might be covered) to include parts, light emphasis on mechanics, puberty, pregnancy, disease, emotional aspects, any religious beliefs, level of commitment, etc. Much in the way of values are conveyed during such a discussion whether one realizes it or not, and I believe parents are best suited to do that and know best when the time is right. Too much information at a young age is just as damaging as too little, and in too many instances these days sex seems to be viewed merely as a function with little emphasis on the emotional connections and consequences which ensue as a result.

anonible March 21, 2018 at 7:27 AM

Perfect. If questions are answered appropriately as they come up, the child learns to view the parent as a vast source of information. Buck up mom and dad, do your duty as best you can. I have found matter of fact language and age appropriate answers, become obvious as you read the affect on your child’s face.

A Mom March 20, 2018 at 11:31 PM

Certainly before girls start their period. If a girl is physically capable of getting pregnant, she needs to understand the biology, the social aspects, and how to prevent pregnancy. Boys need to understand, too.

My kids have long since graduated from high school, but my recollection is that MDUSD did the first sex ed unit in 5th grade, then another in middle school. Parents were able to preview the material beforehand and have their kids skip the unit if they didn’t want their kids to participate.

I believe comprehensive sex education should be taught in the public schools. It is information that every human being needs to have. The basic biology, contraception, HIV/AIDS, STDs, abortion rights, adoption, respect for others, LGBTQ issues…. the whole nine yards. Of course parents should pass along their own values and religious beliefs at home. If parents believe it’s wrong to have sex outside of marriage, they are certainly free to teach that to their children at home, just as parents who don’t believe in evolution are free to tell their children that dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth at the same time. But that is not what should be taught in a public school.

Vindex March 21, 2018 at 8:14 AM

“But that is not what should be taught in a public school”. Why? Aren’t schools places of learning where ideas are the be analyzed? Or are they indoctrination institutions?

Clayton Squirrel March 21, 2018 at 1:44 AM

One of my favorite books is the Pictorial Dictionary for kids. It’s big, fat and full of pictures with the names right next to the item. I learned lots of parts of the house like gable, transom, foyer, etc. There are many labeled fruits and vegetables, animals, clouds, everything. There is also a picture of a nude human male and female with all the parts appropriately labeled. I went to the elementary school library and looked at their copy. Those pages had been neatly removed by the librarian because they would have caused too many problems. That made me kind of sad.

anonible March 21, 2018 at 7:29 AM

My generation had the Sears catalog.

FBR March 22, 2018 at 5:11 AM

I didn’t learn about sex until I was 45 and I turned out okay.

It March 22, 2018 at 5:31 AM

Based on the unwanted pornographic popups videos I get online, my guess is they already know more about it than you do if they use the internet,

Parent March 22, 2018 at 6:39 AM

They are teaching it at Monte Gardens in 5th grade! Way too young!!! Some of the topics are graphic! Some parents think it is funny, but wait until they start exploring at a young age because now they are more curious. Middle school and Biology in High school is the right age.

mtzman March 22, 2018 at 7:23 AM

Sex Ed has been taught in 5h grade in California for at least half a century that I know of.

Vindex March 22, 2018 at 10:47 PM

True. This curriculum is new however .. it is graphic and unbelievable

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