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Old 03-21-2006, 05:14 PM   #61
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Originally posted by nbcrusader

You can prevent AIDS by washing your hands?
I don't think he's saying that, my impression was that he is saying that you prevent germs in general by washing your hands-then when you get older you teach them to prevent AIDS by using condoms etc. Just teaching prevention on a general level for a 5 year old then expanding it to be age appropriate.
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:25 PM   #62
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen


I don't think he's saying that, my impression was that he is saying that you prevent germs in general by washing your hands-then when you get older you teach them to prevent AIDS by using condoms etc. Just teaching prevention on a general level for a 5 year old then expanding it to be age appropriate.
I understand that.

It seems that the teaching of AIDS to 5-year olds doesn't accomplish something that they understand - especially when the level of prevention they are taught is hand washing.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:10 PM   #63
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My old fashioned Italian parents did not let me take sex ed in elementary school.

Like I had to sit in the office while the class was taught. How utterly embarrasing.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:10 PM   #64
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I think kids need to learn about AIDS as early as possible-and about exactly how it is transmitted.
I agree, although I don't really know the best way to accomplish this. When we were young, we listened to all thes tapes with kids songs. One tape had a song about HIV. I don't remember exactly how it went, but in between verses, little kids would say "can I get it if I touch him" and the man would sing "no.......". I distinctly remember there was a line about whether or not you can get HIV from earwax. We were singing about HIV and AIDS before we ever knew what it was.

As for the original article, I don't think there's anything wrong with showing tampons to 5th graders. I went to a private school and in our system, you get LOTS of sex ed in 5th grade, and then more in 7th grade (more about STDs, relationships, violence against women, etc). We spent a few weeks with our normal teacher, boys and girls together, learning the basic anatomy and about hormones, periods, how pregnancy happens, etc.

Then, we slit off and had the girls go to the woman teacher and the boys stayed with my teacher, the man. Maybe it's because the woman 5th grade teacher was such an approachable person (still a friend), but us girls asked a LOT of questions once we'd had two weeks of learning the basics. Things like "why do my boobs itch?" or "how do I tell my mom I have my period?", things we'd NEVER ask our male teacher in front of all of our male peers. Word on the street was that the guys didn't have much to say, but us girls learned a lot of important stuff.

In a perfect world, it would be ideal for kids to be able to learn everything they need to know in a co-ed environment, but when you have fifth grade girls whose parents are often in denial about them starting to mature sexually coupled with the fact that the girls are already being teased about sex, boobs, periods, etc. by guys, you can't expect them to open up like they would when they're together with a female teacher/mentor who they trust and respect.

I don't see anything wrong with teaching sex ed in a co-ed class, I just think that kids will be less likely to ask questions that really matter to them unless they can do so with a woman. I agree with what Irvine said earlier that it's best to do everything possible to decrease building barriers between men and women, but I think that's better for older sex ed courses. What I had in 7th grade was all co-ed and we did a lot of exercises and role playing to learn about relationships, boundaries, what's acceptable, etc. It's best for all the kids to see everything (like a tampon demonstration that includes boys), but you gotta give kids that chance to ask what the need to ask without being self-conscious or being ridiculed by peers.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:15 PM   #65
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^ interesting.

it seems like, at the younger grades when sex ed is really more of an anatomy course and a "what's happening to me"/puberty-prep course, there might be some benefit to separating the genders, probably more for the girls than for the boys, though i think it's absolutely crucial for young men to understand just how women's bodies work so they don't fall so easily into sexist and ignorant language like, "ugh, must be her time of the month again."

in jr. high and high school, i think it's crucial that sex ed be co-ed.

and as for the HIV thing, i think it must be discussed, as one might discuss cancer or other deadly diseases in an age-appropriate manner, and likewise with cancer, it's important to discuss not exactly how it is transmitted but how it is not transmitted -- you will not get AIDS from hugging someone, you will not get lukemia from sharing ice cream with someone, etc.

HIV/AIDS is a fact of life, and it's really only the sexual nature of how it is often (but not always) transmitted that makes parents wring their hands. as yolland once said, what's far more distressing to a young child is the manner in which the information is delivered, not the information itself. if a calm adult were to explain to children that there is a disease out there called AIDS and it's very sad when people get AIDS, but it is impossible to get AIDS by shaking someone's hand or hugging them, then i can't imagine what the problem would be.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:23 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
^ interesting.

it seems like, at the younger grades when sex ed is really more of an anatomy course and a "what's happening to me"/puberty-prep course, there might be some benefit to separating the genders, probably more for the girls than for the boys, though i think it's absolutely crucial for young men to understand just how women's bodies work so they don't fall so easily into sexist and ignorant language like, "ugh, must be her time of the month again."

in jr. high and high school, i think it's crucial that sex ed be co-ed.
Yep, I think we're in agreement here. All the anatomy stuff was taught co-ed. In our local Christian school system, all fifth grade science curriculums focus on human anatomy. You study each system of the body and the reproductive one is last. Everyone learns everything. Girls learn about erections, wet dreams, etc and guys learn about periods and breast development. At the end are sessions with peers of the same sex where all you do is talk about what you feel like talking about and asking questions. Kids at this age are so naturally curious, well, I'm only speaking for the girls, but we asked a LOT of questions. We even asked the teacher about miscarriages, b/c she had one and we wanted to know exactly what happened to the baby and how it came out and how it all made her feel, things a guy just can't know.

The classes we did in 7th grade were all co-ed. Most of it was taught by a woman from Planned Parenthood or some org like that (we were a Christian school but I have no memory of this teacher discouraging or condeming abortions). She gave everyone slips of paper before every lesson and if we had a question we were too scared to ask, we wrote it on the paper and she would answer it during the next lesson. She did all the stuff about birth control, safe sex, STDs, HIV, and pregnancy. With our regular teacher, we did "relationship" kind of exercises, like we all had to think about how far we'd go and decide on a personal boundary to stick with. Or we'd do things like pair off, guys and girls, and then move closer and closer until we felt uncomfortable and then had to tell the other person they were in our personal space. Stuff like that.
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