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Sex, Love, And Psych
Sex, Love, And Psych

Episode · 1 year ago

Episode 12: Child and Youth Sex-ed

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

A look at our current Canadian sex-ed, what it's lacking, and how it can be improved. TW: MENTION OF SEXUAL ABUSE

Hello everybody, and welcome back to sex eleven psych either up season two, episode two or episode twelve, whichever one you like, just go with that. I haven't decided yet. Just a quick note about last week. I'm going to admit not my favorite episode, probably one of my least favorites. But this is not me apologizing, because we're not doing that. I was exhausted last week and hey, I still got to pronoute some material and there's, I think, some good nuggets in there. But if you want to skip it, if you did skip it, if you listen to it, thank you, no matter what, for all the support you guys give me. With that being said, the instagram facebook giveaway things still going on. We've got, like I want to say, like sixty or seventy plays left before we get five hundreds, so there's still time to enter. And with that, all that being said, how about we just jump into today's topic? So this one I chose because I have spent the last three ish days in my free time researching, preparing and writing a turn paper for my sociology of Childhood Class. She said, do you pick, like my professor said, to pick any topic related to childhood which terrified me at first because she also said excellent papers will be asked to submit to this online academic journal that she edits. So I was a little lot, a lot of pressure. But once I decided on the topic that I did and I got super excited and front some sources and started really working into it at super stoked and decided, hey, why not turn that into this week's episode? I've had a few people ask about how to kind of approach childhood sex education and that kind of stuff. This one's going to be more focused on feel like general education curriculum rather than like within your family discussing it one on one with kids. But I did want to just really advocate for improvement on sex setting Canada specifically throughout this paper. I'm just probably going to summarize the paper to you guys and kind of flush it out and verbalize it because I worked so hard on it and pretty proud of it. Might as well use it as much as I can. Hi, in this paper discuss the influences of early childhood sex education on childhood sexual abuse and recognition, this sense of well being for children and youth, formation of identity and just a lot of different things. So with the paper specifically. I'm just going to go in the order that I presented this in and go from there. I do have nine different things I...

...sourced, so I'm not going to like in text site this as I go, but if anyone's interested in the papers or sources that I discuss, I would be happy to share them with you. So first I wanted to jump in to have lacking our current sex education curricula is. So just kind of as a preamble for this and just to appease my own curiosity, I some of you may have seen the polls I posted on my facebook and instagram stories a few days ago asking if people felt that they received an adequate amount of sex education to prepare them for like future life endeavors. Overwhelmingly, one hundred percent of people said No. This is kind of what I was expecting. Maybe I was kind of hopeful that one or two might say yes, but I am definitely in the no category. A lot of what I know about sex and relationships I've learned as an adult through my own research, through university, from my job about the sex store, just all of that, and I think if I would have been taught a better foundation at a younger age, maybe I would have been able to better develop in certain areas and better develop healthier relationships with myself and others. So, with that being said, our current sex said curriculum in Canada varies based on province or territory, because the federal government leaves it up to provincial governments. This has led to a lot of variation and just just inconsistency across Canada, as well as an absence of anyone monitoring the level of actual, saidgect sex education that is happening in classrooms. Most of the curriculum that were kind of piece together by Action Canada were currently based on the curriculum made in the years between two thousand and two thousand and twelve, depending on the province and territory. But like twenty years ago, for sex education to still be dated back that far is just it's not up to part. It's just so lacking and so disappointing. And this isn't even to say that our students are the only ones missing out on sex education. But in an study based on some Ontario Post secondary early childhood education...

...programs, out of thirty of those programs, Balter, which is a researcher and their team discovered that not a single one of these required any courses on sex and gender development. This isn't even to say that they need to be educated and able to educate preschool age children on sex, but just the knowledge on how to approach. What is age appropriate, what is normative behavior between people in this age group? What are kind of some signs that someone maybe being abused outside of the school? And all of the interviewers, for the most part in this study actually we're super willing and open to have better training and their lack of training led to a lot of lack of confidence in these areas. So one area that early childhood sex education would really aid students and teachers and educate leaders is when it comes to sexual child abuse cases. There are some signs that a child May being being abused based on how they're behaving and all that kind of stuff. What they're trying to say Statistics Canada like trigger warning. Sorry, I should have said that a beginning. I'll pop it in the description just so you guys can know it. According to Statistics Canada, in the year two thousand and sixteen over fivezerod children under the age of twelve we're victims of sexualists offenses, and these are just reported offenses. We don't know the total because they're not always reported. And almost sixty five hundred children between the ages of twelve to fifteen we're also victims of these kinds of offenses. And it has been proven that knowledge about sexuality and body safety in children in like Preschool Age, even and knowing proper names of genitals like penis and Vagina, actually work to decrease vulnerability to sexual abuse as well as create a better, more positive relationship with their body and sense of wellbeing. So when it came to General Laming, the kids who know what their parts are are a better able to effectively communicate any negative sexual behavior or salt that may be happening to their educators, and they'll be better understood if they are using the proper terms. This one study that I found actually even said that some sexual abusers will actively avoid the kids who know proper genital names because it kind of gives the impression that they know about body safety and it's probably going...

...to get caught a lot earlier than kids who don't know. So, moving beyond that, even like the very extreme cases of sexual abuse. There's also large demographics being left out of sex education. I don't know about you, but I did not. I don't recall learning anything about anyone in the LGBTQIA plus rainbow. Obviously the acronym was a lot shorter back when I was getting that kind of an education, but I don't remember any reference to homosexual sex or lesbians or, like, bisexuals, and that's a huge, huge misstep by Canadian education. And this comes at kind of a controversy and I had to really dig deep into some studies done on parental pushback and par mental rights to opt their kids out of these kinds of classes. But when it comes to LGBTQ I a plus education like being included in this kind of a curriculum. It like it doesn't only help the kids who may one day identify as one of these gender sexual minorities, but it also helps the kids who don't. If a kid is coming from a family that isn't very homophobic and that's the only message that they are getting because it's being left out of their sex education, they're more likely to be homophobic. Like that's kind of just how it works. You've learn from your environment social learning theory and they're going to be more likely to harm their peers who are sexual and gender minorities. So is it's kind of still up in the air. is allowing parents to opt their kids out of this kind of education a protecting the parental rights, or is it kind of going against the child's best interest in these kinds of cases, and is it going against the rights of their peers for them to be educated and not be discriminatory towards sexual and gender minority kids? Of course, this wouldn't completely erase the problem. There's always going to be bullies, there's always going to be problems, but I think including more awareness about these different sexual and gender minorities would really help to create a better, safer environment for all of the students involved, not just the homosexual, bisexual, transgender, whatever identity kids, or even the questioning kids. And just to add, including this type of education isn't going to turn anybody gay who wasn't gay or...

...wasn't going to eventually come out as gay or trans or whatever. It may introduce the child to an identity that they didn't know how to name, that they can identify with and find who they are and find how happy they can be and that they aren't alone and how they're feeling. A lot of transgender kids especially, and into teens and adults, felt displaced and felt isolated and alone because they weren't happy in their gender and they thought that that was just a them thing. When they discovered other trans people, they were able to, I put a label to how they felt, know that they weren't alone and better work towards living who they needed to be to be physically and mentally well. In reference to some of these specific curriculum in certain provinces across Canada, Ontario actually came out with a more progressive, inclusive, comprehensive sex education curriculum in two thousand and fifteen. There's a lot of pushback and they did make some steps in the right direction, including information on sex and gender identities, navigating the digital world of sexting and social media, as well as discuss and consent. Some of these were already kind of in the curriculum but got moved to earlier ages and that kind of thing there. Yeah, there was a lot of pushback. I had read a few different articles about it, but I think it was a general step in the right direction. One thing I discovered, actually kind of related, kind of not, was the UN put out a list, like a checklist, of eight different things and some subcategories that should be included to suffice a child's right to a comprehensive sex education. And all of Canada's provinces were missing at least a couple items on this checklist. Like the UN and technically Canadian, some bills that have been put forward and stuff say that kids have a right to a comprehensive sex education and we are somehow still dated back twenty years ago, sometimes later in at like sometimes even more outdated in cases of like abstinence only education, which is the least effective method of sex education. Doesn't stop team pregnancies, doesn't Stop US Tis just makes kids scared and not knowledgeable anyway. Sorry, I'm I get fired aboubout up about abstinence only education. So back to some of the provincial ones. A lot of you have probably seen bits and pieces and articles about...

...the new K to six curriculum that has put been put forth by Kenny. I've seen most articles about like the social studies elements and like math and stuff like that. What I was able to find was deep down in the wellness section. They are adding some lessons about consent into the curriculum as early as kindergarten. They're going to start teaching kids that boundaries can be set, not even sexual boundaries, but boundaries can be set by their awards and actions and that they have the right to set those boundaries in kindergarten, and that is huge. I like that part of makes me so happy. The rest of the curriculum, by what I've seen, isn't great. This little tiny tidbit gave me so much joy. They're going to start teaching, I believe, about more sex based consent in like grade five or six. I think it was also very exciting. It's a small step in the right direction, but I'm going to just like go ahead and give them to them because I need to believe in some part of what they're doing. I did also want to shed light on one of my favorite organizations in Edmonton that will hopefully people inteering for soon, the sexual assault center of Edmonton. They don't only have a support line and like counseling, but they also do public education. They do it for adults but they also do it for preschool educators. Like I mentioned earlier. In Ontario there's no regulation or requirement for this kind of education and they also do it for like junior high age kids as well, so they're preschool educator. Kind of program that they have. It's called the safe preschoolers education and awareness kit, or speak for short. It's led by the members of STACE's public education team and a quote directly from their website is they all aim to offer detailed information on how to identify indicators of sexual abuse, how to respond to children's disclosures and how to report child sexual abuse. I didn't know about this program until I looked it up on their website because I am so passionate about Sacean what they do. I wish that this was a more accessible, more wellknown program because I think that it could really change a lot of people's lives. When it comes to grade, I believe, seven to eight, up till like high school, they also discuss, like they hold...

...classes for students discussing just sexual harassment as early as grade seven, as well as sharing and taking like the whole culture around sexually explicit photos and how we respect those and consent and sharing and all of that they have put in like they have this program to help teach kids. It's early as grade seven, because everyone's got phones, everyone's got social media. How I'm not sure about the details of this program specifically, but they discussed sexually explicit photos and I thought that was monumental. No one really talked about that when I was engineer high I mean not all of us had phones at that point or phones capable of photos, but it was definitely and I think still is definitely entrenched in the idea of slut shaming the person who took the photos and shared them with one specific person rather than holding the person who shared them to other people accountable. And that's going to be a whole different section. But I was really happy to find that sexual assault center of Edmonton has these types of programs available for schools to kind of enlist their help and just going into some of the benefits laid out by action Canada for sexual health and rights in their state of sex education exploration. They actually outlined a lot of the good things and benefits of a more comprehensive sex education for children, because a lot of parents worries are that it's going to turn their kids gay or it's going to tell them information that they didn't know and make them more sexually active and make them more sexually risky before they're ready. But it has been proven that a more comprehensive and complete sex education can benefit kids in the way, in ways that include actual delayed initiation of sexual intercourse, increased condom used, increased contraception use, improved attitudes related to sexual and reproductive health and, like a whole bunch of others. They had a list of like eight or ten things, and not just blows the myth that if kids are taught about sex they're going to have sex out of the water and I think that once we move past that general idea and move towards equipping kids to make their own decisions and know all the risks and benefits of sex and anything sex related and their identities, it's just...

...going to advance society as a whole. Oh quick note. I'm almost done, I promise. One other thing that was mentioned in a lot of the interviews done with students by action Canada was the absence of the idea that sex is pleasurable and should be pleasurable for everyone involved. The amount of girls who don't know that a female orgasm is a thing and that females should also enjoy sex broke my heart. They were taught sex is over when the man comes, and that's one that society is taught as a whole. That's one you see in porn all the time. The porn is over when the dude comes. The sex is over when the dude comes, whether the female has finished or not, whether she's enjoying herself or not, it's done. So that was just a quick little rundown of a lot of the research that I actually got to do for this paper. Cross everybody's fingers that I get a really good mark and asked to submit it for this academic and Journal. But even if I don't, I have actually really enjoyed being able to put this together and it really increase my passion for just the call for improved sex education in Canada, and that's kind of what I'm trying to do here with adults, but if it started earlier with kids, that would make my whole job a lot easier. Thanks again so much for tuning in this week. I hope you have an awesome weekend. Happy Easter everybody. Have a great night. By.

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