Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: A Timely Update in Sex Education

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: A Timely Update in Sex Education

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: A timely update in sex education

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An editorial from the Waterloo Region Record, published Feb. 26:

The best way to guarantee young Ontarians run into problems with sex is to keep them in the dark.

Start by shutting the controversial subject out of the schools as long as possible, then have the teachers deal with it as little as possible. Give the kids outdated curriculum. Let them learn the biggest lessons about the facts of life in the playground or surfing the internet. Don't worry when they're ashamed of their bodies.

After all this, sit back and watch them struggle with the sad realities of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, confusion over their sexual identity -- or having revealing photos of them shared with the world on Facebook or mobile phones.

Of course, no caring parent or responsible adult wants to see any of this happen. Ignorance in this sphere of life is never bliss. Fair minds might not agree on exactly what needs to be done in the classroom, but all should accept that the subject of sex has to be taught effectively and to all ages.

This is why the public needs to throw its support behind the overdue and very necessary update of sex education curriculum in the province's school system. It's not just that schools need to do a better job of teaching this challenging subject. So much has changed in the world of sexual relationships since the old curriculum was introduced 17 years ago.

In 1998, there were no smartphones through which the wrong word or image could be instantly shared with thousands of people. Nobody was "sexting" -- sending sexually explicit messages on a mobile phone -- because neither the practice nor word had been invented. Social media platforms were in their infancy. Same-sex marriage was illegal. And while society at large was coming to a greater understanding of homosexual relations the notion of someone being transgender was still baffling for most of us. …

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