Sexual Behaviour in Canada: Patterns and Problems

By Benjamin Schlesinger | Go to book overview

A short course on sexuality for ten-to-twelve-year-olds.
ANN BARRETT, BONNIE BEAN AND MARILYNN RYAN

'What would happen if we ran a sex education course for ten-to-twelve-year-olds in small, mixed groups?'

'How much anatomy and physiology do grade six students need?'

'Will the students open up about their concerns?'

'Will parents support us?'

These were some of the questions that kept arising as we set out to design and present a course on sexuality to grade six children as part of an after-four program at Oriole Park School in North Toronto. This paper discusses some of the problems resolved during planning and presentation of such a course to twenty- seven students. We will also describe student concerns, level of knowledge, peer interaction, and general reactions to the various topic areas explored, along with our own impressions. Our aims for the program were:
1. To help students develop positive attitudes towards their sexuality by exploring attitudes about masculinity and feminity and by giving correct factual information. This would include both physical and emotional aspects of changes that take place. We felt it was important to help develop a positive self-image for both sexes and reaffirm that bodily changes and the anxieties about them are natural.
2. To help students develop decision-making skills as a basis for intelligent, fulfilling behaviour.

One of our first concerns was that parents know what we were doing, support our aims, and be confident of our ability to present the course. Some parents who knew of our interest and experience in the area were strongly behind us and

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