Is your 11-year-old ready for his or her school’s teaching about sex?
In many secular school systems in the Western world there is teaching on sex from the beginning grades. In 5th grade, however, it is particularly important for you to know what is being taught. In some schools, the message is abstinence from sexual activity until marriage. In most, the message is far from the biblical view of sexuality.
Parents, be sure that your 11-year-old has a clear understanding of God’s plan for sex:
- that God created each of us male or female, both in his image, equal in value in his sight (Genesis 1:27).
- that males and females need each other, and they complement each other (Genesis 2:18).
- that sex is good, a gift from God (Genesis 1:27-28). Your child should know that his or her emerging sexual feelings and attraction for the opposite sex are God’s design .
- that sexual intimacy joins a man and a woman, whether or not they are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:16).
- that God intended sexual intimacy to bond a man and a woman who are married to each other and committed tp each other for life (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9).
- that sex outside marriage is sin, but God forgives those who repent and reconciles them to himself (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Schools that do not use abstinence based curricula will usually follow guidelines set by the Sex Information and Education Council (SIECUS in the United States, SIECCAN in Canada), Brook in the United Kingdom, and International Planned Parenthood (IPPF). These curricula focus on reducing the risk of teen sexuality, which is considered inevitable. They teach:
- that gender is fluid, not binary and that one can choose one’s own gender
- that sexual desire is normal and can be acted on at any age, as long as partners consent and use a condom. One sex education text says, “We’re made for sex, so it’s unhealthy to repress natural urges.”
- that heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality are equally valid lifestyles
- that all family forms are legitimate and equal
Even if you have been talking about sex with your child, they may not immediately recognize the difference between what they are now being taught and what you have told them. One 11-year-old in a Christian home remarked matter-of-factly to her mother that romance didn’t have to be between two people of the opposite sex; it could also be between two of the same sex. It is very easy for a child to accept unquestionably what the teacher says.
Engage in conversation with your child on a daily basis, and take him or her to God’s Word on each topic that comes up in conversation.
(To be continued)