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Advantages of sex education

13 good reasons to talk with your kids about sex: the advantages of sex education

  • last year

Most parents, know that eventually they will need to talk with their kids about sex… one day.

Well, just in case you were still in denial or hoping to get out of it, I’m going to give you 13 good reasons as to why you need to have these important conversations with your kids. (…and yes, there are at lest 13 advantages of sex education, if not more!)

The early years

This is what the research tells us about the advantages of sex education in the early years.

1.  Your kids are more likely to feel positive about their bodies.

So what does that mean to me as parent? My kids are more likely to be happier with the body that have instead of wanting what they haven’t got! There is a lot of pressure today to have the perfect body and to look a certain way!

2.  Your kids will feel good about being male or female.

So what does that mean to me as parent? My kids will grow up with a healthy sense of what it is to be male, female or androgynous (both male & female characteristics). This is even more important if my child has genitals that look different (intersex) or if they identify as being a different gender as they grow up (transgender). Some stuff you can’t control, so it is important to keep an open mind!

3.  Your kids will appreciate and accept individual differences.

So what does that mean to me as parent? My kids will grow up accepting that we are all different and unique (themselves included)! This comes in very handy when they start to notice the diversity around them in family, friends and the world around them. 

4.  Your kids are more likely to talk to you about other things.

So what does that mean to me as parent? If my kids can talk to me about sex, it means that they know they can talk to me about anything! From bullying to parties to having sex. No topic should be too shameful.

5.  Your kids are more likely to understand appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.

So what does that mean to me as parent? My kids know what behaviour is appropriate (eg. you are the boss of your body) and what is not appropriate  eg. it is okay for our family doctor to look at your penis (as long as mum or dad is there) but it isn’t okay for the babysitter to look at your penis). 

6.  Your kids are more likely to understand and accept physical and emotional changes.

So what does that mean to me as parent? My kids are okay about the fact that their bodies are changing. They know that puberty is going to happen one day and that their body will change and that they will start to feel differently. Being prepared makes it a lot less scary!

7.  Your kids are more likely to disclose sexual abuse.

So what does that mean to me as parent? If my child is being groomed or is sexually abused, I want to know about it. Being approachable means that my kids know that they can tell me anything. And that includes sexual abuse.

8.  Your kids are more likely to be less vulnerable to exploitation and sexual abuse.

So what does that mean to me as parent? Research tells us that bodies and relationship education in the early years does help to protect  kids from sexual abuse, as they learn:

  • how to work out which grownups they can talk to about bodies, touch and feelings
  • how to recognise and manage their feelings
  • how to get along with different types of people
  • the names of the male & female body parts and what they do
  • which body parts are private and public
  • about public and private behaviours and places
  • the different types of touch and rules about touch

I don’t know about you, but these are pretty good advantages of sex education! For both me and my kids! I am hoping that you are starting to see that the advantages of sex education, are well and truly worth it.

The teenage years

You start to see some really good advantages of sex education when your kids become teenagers. The teens years are where the hormones really start to kick in and sexuality begins to take on a sexual nature!

We know that good sex and relationship education has the following outcomes on teenagers:

9.  Teenagers are more likely to be older (than average) when they first try sexual activity.

So what does that mean to me as parent? That my teens will start playing around in a sexual way when they are ready and not just because their friends are!

10.  A teenagers first experience of sex is more likely to be wanted, protected and competent.

So what does that mean to me as parent? I don’t know what your first sexual experience was like, but I would like to think that my teens will do ‘it’ because they want to and not because they were forced or pushed into it. I also want them to use contraception and use a condom for protection. 

11.  Teenagers are more likely to be aware of how to avoid unwanted pregnancy and abortion.

So what does that mean to me as parent? I want my teens to become parents when they are ready to and not by mistake! 

12.  Teenagers are more likely to be aware of how to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

So what does that mean to me as parent? If my kids understand what STIs are and how they are spread,  there is a pretty good chance that they will avoid them. 

13.  They are also more likely to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection or the AIDS/HIV virus.

So what does that mean to me as parent? Some STIs are treatable and some aren’t – but they all cause a great deal of stress for all involved! If my teens can avoid them, that is good news!

Which advantages of sex education really appeal to you?

So, what do you think? Are there any benefits that seem really attractive to you? Do you see an advantages of sex education, that you really like the sound of?

Let me know below, in the comments!

(For me personally, I think the long term benefits are the ones  that are really worth waiting for ie the ones for the teenage years! )

References (just in case you think I am making this up!)

Where do I start? Supporting healthy sexual development in early childhood. Family Planning Queensland 2009.

SRE – The evidence

Emerging Answers, Douglas Kirby 2007

WHO Collaborating Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health

SIECUS

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