We cannot in just two chapters provide an entire curriculum for school sex education. What we aim to do, rather, is to suggest what an approach to school sex education that takes values to heart might look like and why. We hope that those who have worked as sex educators will find much that is familiar, though perhaps with some different emphases and rationales, as there is rarely much to be gained from proposing a curriculum that departs entirely from its predecessors.
We have called this chapter 'Sex education in the primary phase' and Chapter 12 'Sex education in the secondary phase' using 'primary' and 'secondary' not rigidly to refer, respectively, to '5 to 11/12 years' and '11/12 to 16 years' but rather to the whole of life up to the age of 11 or 12 and the whole of life subsequently. Having said that, we do concentrate on school sex education between the ages of 5 and 16 years but, of course, much (arguably most) sex education takes place outside this age range; most of it certainly takes place out of school.
In this chapter, as well as dealing with a number of specific teaching topics-the human body, sexual abuse, families and friends, and puberty-we also address more general issues relevant to both Chapters 11 and 12: principles of school sex education, sex education before school, and teaching approaches and strategies.
Our overriding principle is that school sex education should serve the needs of those who are being taught and those with whom they live and will live in society. In the light of the aims and frameworks for school sex education examined in Chapters 9 and 10, set within the context of the wider frameworks of values discussed in earlier chapters, we understand these needs to entail