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rizjeff
rizjeff asks:
Q:

Why is it important to teach sex education for 5th graders? Is that the right age to discuss these sex issues with them?

Is this not because we have lost our values ?

Question asked after reading: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_...
In Topics: Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Louiseasl
Apr 27, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

Sex education often encompasses sexuality or normal maturation.  Because studies have showed that children are arriving at puberty earlier than years in the past, fifth grade has been deemed the appropriate time to discuss changes of life.  
(For what it is worth, fifth grade was a benchmark year to discuss "Why Susie Can't Swim, ie. menstruation, in many public schools starting in the late 1960's or early 1970's.)  

Note that most schools have an opt out choice, if this is not part of your belief system.  Also, you have the right to ask to look at the curriculum.  You may find that it is very generic.

Feel free to peruse the library to start the discussion at home so if your child should be part of a sex education discussion it will not comes as a surprise.

Good luck!

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Additional Answers (4)

CJA829
CJA829 writes:
Hi rizjeff,

Typically schools have instituted a 5th grade sex ed talk because some girls begin their period around that age, and some kids are starting early signs of puberty: acne, and big body changes etc.
In my opinion having a frank discussion about the basics of sex, essentially the function of creating a baby (i.e. where babies come from) is okay to talk about at any age a parent thinks is appropriate for their kids.
But the reason schools discuss sex education in 5th grade is because kids are on the brink of puberty or beginning it, and for some kids it's their first source of education about it - if their parents have been unable or unwilling to broach the subject. To that end it gives parents a chance to talk about the subject with their kids, too, like an ice breaker.
> 60 days ago

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andre_x
andre_x writes:
yes you should and they are in the correct age of learning about sex.
> 60 days ago

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Naveen_K
Naveen_K , Teacher writes:
Sex education is becoming very popular even in Asian countries, I belong to Pakistan and I was really happy to read that even in the rural areas we are recognizing the importance of creating awareness among the young females especially.

This article that I read http://sexeducationinpakistan.wikidot.com/
 was really very promising....

As far as this question is concerned I believe that grade 5 is not that small an age and that creating awareness among 5 graders is the right action!
28 days ago

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Wayne Yankus
Wayne Yankus writes:
By fifth grade many students have already begun puberty; therefore, it is important that families discuss what is happening to their bodies and acquaint them with what lies ahead in growth and development.  It is hard for children to often get an unbiased fact driven education on the science of growing up and schools can do that well.  Life education should start in kindergarten and continue through college to meet appropriate life challenges at the right time.  the "right time" is different for everybody but we know that repetition works as a best practice. So, yes, fifth grade is a good time to include education on sexuality and human growth.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
28 days ago

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