10 interesting things about Ontario’s new sex ed...
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Jun 30, 2015  |  Vote 0    3

10 interesting things about Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum



Ontario's new sexual education curriculum was recently unveiled, much to the dismay of many parents. The previous curriculum dates back to 1998. Think about that. In 1998, online bullying, sexting, Snapchat and Facebook weren't even on our radar. There was no public HPV vaccine and there was seemingly no real acknowledgement of the transgendered community. Surely many adults now wish they had had better sex ed—if they had any at all—while growing up in the past. Ontario's new curriculum has a few interesting concepts that could potentially pave the road for a sexually healthy digital generation.

1. Students learn about gender identity


As described in the curriculum, gender identity is a person's sense of self, with respect to being male or female. Gender identity is different from sexual orientation, and may be different from birth-assigned sex. Can you imagine if future generations simply understood that not everyone identified with the gender they were assigned at birth.


2. Same-sex relationships are introduced as normal


Here's a sample student answer to a teacher prompt about ways we are all different, straight from the curriculum: "We all come from different families. Some students live with two parents. Some live with one parent. Some have two mothers or two fathers. Some live with grandparents or with caregivers. We may come from different cultures. We also have different talents and abilities and different things that we find difficult to do."

3. Students are encouraged to make a personal sexuality plan


In Grade 8, students are encouraged to make a personal plan about their sexual activity in the hopes that having a plan will help them avoid making hasty decisions. A plan like this could potentially help decrease the amount of young people who have sex at 14 years old because they are unsure of the situation they are in. It could help students plan how to have sex, using protection, in a safe place both physically and mentally.

4. Students learn to identify body parts using the appropriate names


It seems like learning this would be a given, but it's not. Teaching Grade 1 students how to appropriately describe their private parts is the first step in eliminating the awkwardness associated with them as they age. If kids were comfortable with their bodies at a young age, maybe they would grow up more confident and more aware. Let's help future kids out by teaching them early on.

5. Students learn about anal intercourse and oral-genital contact


Parents have concerns about their Grade 7 students learning about genital contact and anal intercourse, but a lot of people think you can only get pregnant or catch a sexually transmitted infection if you have vaginal sex. I knew a girl in high school whose [older] boyfriend convinced her if she swallowed a certain substance it would make her breasts grow. Wouldn't everyone prefer it if students learned from their teachers rather than a creepy 18-year-old boyfriend?

It is estimated that 75% of Canadians will have at least one HPV infection in their lifetime. HPV is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact and the highest rates of infection are found in people under the age of 25. Let's arm kids with the information they need to make smart, informed decisions.


6. Students learn about masturbation


Why not decrease the amount of embarrassment, anxiety and overall stress around the subject? If it was taught in school and understood, maybe one day people would be comfortable with their sexuality and even be able to discuss it openly.


7. Students learn about dating


Dating, what a concept. With Grinder, Tinder and a slew of other dating sites single people are left to maneuver in 2015, wouldn't it be lovely if the next generation could learn to date again? Teaching Grade 4 students how to approach someone they "like" is an appealing concept as it could produce a group of young people that aren't riddled with anxiety every time they want to talk to someone they are interested in.


8. Students learn about the dangers of sexting and online communications


According to the curriculum, students must demonstrate an understanding of the benefits and risks of using electronic communication technologies. Students learn to be aware: aware that their sexy pic might not just go to their new boyfriend, that the internet hides the faces of sexual predators, enables bullies and they learn that sexting has risks too.


9. Students learn about consent


Consent is discussed throughout the curriculum, starting in Grade 1 when they learn about exploitive behaviours and in Grade 2 the concept of "no means no" is introduced. Understanding consent from a young age would hopefully arm students with the power to say no when they want to and yes when they want to, too.


10. Students learn about mental health


Mental health and its influencing factors are discussed using various topics. This means that emotional well-being would be discussed and this could potentially help decrease the discrimination and stigmatization attached to mental illness in the future.

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(13) Comment

By adam | JUNE 30, 2015 05:21 PM
@MM This curriculum IS an extreme left-wing view, that is the problem. It is not inclusive, as it does not reflect the values/views of many (possibly a majority) of families. Just because you disagree with the views of those families doesn't make you right. It is also none of your business what parents speak (or don't speak for that matter) about to their kids. Do I want every parent to have discussions with their children? Absolutely, but if they choose not to, that is their right and you are just going to have to accept it. The same way you can't control what parents feed their kids.
By Paul | JUNE 30, 2015 03:09 PM
I think the schools should concentrate on what they are supposed to do and teach first of all our English language. The commentator can't even get it right. "the amount of young people" should read "the number of young people". However, the ideas of teaching the dangers of putting stuff on line and of respecting personal boundaries are both great.
By MM | JUNE 30, 2015 02:52 PM
@Jupiter, are you sure you want "our youth" to be taught by every left or right extreme view? Kids are young and impressionable, perhaps a little consistency in the education is not a bad thing. I get that you're out of touch with today's technology and how it can affect the curriculum. Don't handicap the kids because of your shortfalls though. It's not black and white either, it's all supposed to be a conversation starter to supplement at home education. You can't guarantee that they will get it at home though.
By Sarah | JUNE 30, 2015 02:35 PM
@PSE This list does not include the entire Sex Ed curriculum, this list only mentions the changes being implemented. All the issues you're concerned about are being taught and are only being enhanced by new information.
By Jupiter | JUNE 30, 2015 02:20 PM
@MM so what's your point? Is it about technology or Sex Ed? Is today's technology a good thing or a bad thing? If its a bad thing guide your kids as you see fit. You seem to know a lot about what technology has to offer our youth so wake up and show them your correct path. Let the school cover health aspects and leave values and social aspects to the parent. Be your own censor.
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