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At What Age Should Kids Start Learning About Sex?

AdriHead 2014/08/06 18:21:16
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Sex education is a touchy subject. Some believe it should be taught as early as possible in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs, while others believe that not talking about sex and reproduction is the best way to keep kids from becoming sexually active early on.

Well, according to a new study conducted by Georgetown University researchers, the best time to start getting formal education on sex is between the ages of 10 and 14.


Researchers found that a child's sexuality and gender identity begin forming during "very young adolescence," which is typically defined as the 10-14 age group.

Thus, if kids this age start receiving sex education, researchers are confident that it would significantly decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies, abortions, sexually transmitted diseases and maternal deaths worldwide.

When do you think is the right time to introduce adolescents into the world of sexual knowledge? Is the 10-14 age group an appropriate time frame for kids to learn about sex? Or should it be older -- or perhaps even younger? Sound off.

Read More: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/05/3467593...

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Top Opinion

  • Melizmatic 2014/08/06 19:00:08
    Younger than 10
    I knew of a girl in my neighborhood who got pregnant at 12 years old; and that was over 20 years ago.


    In this day and age, kids have extensive access to all sorts of info pretty much all the time... so waiting until puberty hits just might be too late.

    Knowledge is power.

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  • Edward Stotts 2015/05/12 06:03:42
    14-17 years old
    Edward Stotts
    I read a comment about a girl getting pregnant at 12. That's a sick situation. How do parents let that happen? That's when you jail them & the baby daddy.
  • Chantie<3 2014/11/11 06:35:01
    10-13 years old
    I was briefly informed about the meaning of sex as an 8-year-old. Unfortunately, I also had unlimited access to the internet every other weekend when I visited my dad. Long story short, I'm inclined to suggest parents have the "sex talk" with their kids when they are at least 12.
  • Taylor Radke 2014/09/08 10:27:39
    10-13 years old
    Taylor Radke
    i was 10 and in 6th grade
  • Alys 2014/09/08 05:47:17
    10-13 years old
    6th Grade, the jump from Elementary to Jr. High or Middle school is quite significant.
  • Ang 2014/09/08 05:05:09
    10-13 years old
    12-13 but not younger than 12 & shouldn't be too detailed just the basics, enough to maybe prevent some of these pregnancies but then nothing will probably do that!
  • Countess Karu 2014/09/05 20:22:47 (edited)
    10-13 years old
    Countess Karu
    Puberty for kids happens for kids usually around 10 anyway. Very rarely is it younger than 10 I guess. But maybe not by an age, but by a grade level. Start it in middle school, 6 or 7th grade. That's for school at least.
    I think a parent should start teaching before puberty at home, so they aren't freaked out when it happens.
  • shounen_girlRN 2014/09/01 11:57:38
    10-13 years old
    this age group know what's right and what is wrong....
  • Ethan Owens 2014/08/20 03:41:06
    Younger than 10
    Ethan Owens
    as they start asking questions, the child should have the right to decided when they want to know no matter how early and they have a right to the truth about sex and sexual health.
  • Thomas 2014/08/19 20:42:07
    10-13 years old
    At the beginning of my 6th grade, when I was Eleven years old, the school district sent out invitations to all the boys in my age group. The event was the annual "Maturation Program." The program was a frank discussion on puberty, and preparing for the shock and awe of becoming a man. It was nicely organized, with a video and pamphlets and a power point presentation outlining the growth of the male sexual organs, to "Nocturnal Emissions," to body odor and hair in weird places, and about being circumcised or not. It was all very informative, and professional. I believe most school districts in America have the same or similar classes. This was helpful to me, due to the fact there wasn't a father in our home growing up. There is only so much a mother can describe of the "Birds and the Bees" to a young man.
  • Reno (Shin-Ra Turk) 2014/08/19 15:56:15
    10-13 years old
    Reno (Shin-Ra Turk)
    I was about 10 when my school started offering option "Family Life" classes for 5th-8th graders. I went to them every year except my 7th grade year.
  • yazi 2014/08/19 02:56:38
    10-13 years old
    i honestly think 12 years old is the appropriate time since kids at that age are prepared before highschool.
  • Grammar... yazi 2014/08/22 07:32:48 (edited)
    Grammar Freak
    I know women who got their period at age 9.
    Wouldn't it be good if they & their friends knew what was going on?
  • jimbo999 2014/08/18 20:34:11
    10-13 years old
    Teach 'em young.
  • Zamboni - Madoka Magica fan... 2014/08/18 20:30:26
    10-13 years old
    Zamboni - Madoka Magica fan BN0
    Or younger than that, if doubts start arising about that. This in the parent's/tutor's case. In school, well, starting at 10 sounds just about right, with age-apropriate info. Because these children are citizens in their own right, it shouldn't be a criteria just left for the parents alone, for chidren are not slaves, they're not property.
  • EmoKiss:3 2014/08/18 20:27:46
    10-13 years old
    10-13 when they'er starting puberty sounds about right
  • DizziNY 2014/08/18 18:11:36
    That's the parents decision
  • Cierra 2014/08/18 17:47:46
    10-13 years old
    My mom taught me about it before the school did. I think it's important for parents to teach kids the pros and the cons of sex during their preteen years like 11 & 12. But they should teach their kids about their bodies and how it works way before that. I got my first period when I was 12, but I didn't freak out as much as I would have if my mom hadn't told me about it when I was 9. She taught me things about my body and even bought me books I could read, but were still appropriate for children. I feel like kids should know about the concept of sex before they're 13. I find that most teenage pregnancies occur from teenagers not having all the facts to begin with.
  • hurricane 2014/08/18 17:40:59
    Younger than 10
    I learned at 6
  • Kristoffer_Says_Howdy 2014/08/18 17:38:04
    Younger than 10
    Parents should teach them though.
  • MissClara 2014/08/18 12:40:22
    Younger than 10
    I'm 16 and only learnt the whole truth last year, from asking my aunt why I had to have a period, she laughed. Yeah, it sounded funny, but my mom never told me why.
  • Grammar... MissClara 2014/08/19 08:14:41
    Grammar Freak
    Strange that you had never had a lesson in school over menstruation & your body... either in health class or as a "special" day.
  • MissClara Grammar... 2014/08/20 19:32:36
    There were some, my mom contacted the school and said I wasn't allowed to be part of that. Parents can do that.
  • Grammar... MissClara 2014/08/20 21:03:48
    Grammar Freak
    So you are in favor of sex ed in schools then?

    It's interesting to get your perspective.
  • MissClara Grammar... 2014/08/21 13:30:32
    Well yes, I am.
    And thank you, its certainly been interesting discussing this issue
  • Grammar... MissClara 2014/08/22 07:41:40
    Grammar Freak
    Yeah, I think your perspective is the one being left out of the conversation by most folks. You had a mother who chose not to discuss sex-health issues with you, chose not to allow the school to inform you & left you to your own devices in this modern era. That's incredibly unusual. It was common for people in my parents' generation (born in the late forties & early fifties) to not discuss sex, bodies, health in general (up until someone cut his/her finger or leg off in a thresher).

    Yours is the voice of reason & experience. It must have been pretty scary to find yourself bleeding & not know what the hell was going on. Did your friends talk to you at all? Did you have any close friends who were older or any teachers you were close to?
  • MissClara Grammar... 2014/08/31 19:46:16
    I never mentioned anything to anyone, I guess they just assumed I knew but chose not to discuss anything. And yeah it was scary, very scary! I remember just how scared I was at the time, which is why I have certain opinions on the topic.
  • Grammar... MissClara 2014/09/01 10:31:29
    Grammar Freak
    I'm sorry that you had to deal with that normal, healthy passage into the next stage of your life without information.

    You are, in my opinion, the perfect example of why sex education is actually a very important part of school curricula.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.
  • chata 2014/08/17 21:44:26
    Younger than 10
    I don't know what you mean by the phrase "sex education." Girls need to know about menstruation starting around age nine or so, since I've since the terror on a girl's face who didn't know about it and found herself "bleeding down there."

    Some boys have erections at eight or nine. They're too ashamed to ask anyone what's going on, so they might ask a friend. Then they get their info from young teens or even younger boys.

    Do you remember the goofy rumors and ideas surrounding your body when you were that age? If you didn't have an adult or something with correct medical and scientific knowledge, how on earth did you learn the truth? I knew a GROWN MAN who thought women urinated and had sex/gave birth, etc. from the same opening. Dear god.

    Sex ed isn't teaching kids how to have sex. It's teaching them about their bodies, and should be appropriate to the age group.

    "Mommy/Daddy, where do babies come from?" Honey, when a mommy and daddy love each other, they can make a baby. The baby grows inside the mommy's body. That's why your Aunt Gwen looked like an elephant last summer before your cousin was born. Now, do you want a chocolate chip or an oatmeal cookie?
  • Rick Zo... chata 2014/09/08 11:50:34
    Rick Zombie
    Boys have erections at 8 or 9? Well of course they do... in fact, they have them long before that. Speaking on my own behalf, I actually can't remember an age that I didn't have erections. I clearly remember being 4 (a year before I started school) and walking with my mom to pick my older sister up at school -- There was a convenience store along the way that we'd sometimes have to stop at, that had a large magazine rack with full-frame pictures of bare-breasted women on the front covers (a very commonly seen thing in the 1960s). For mysterious reasons unbeknownst to myself, I used to pop wood every single time we went into that store. It certainly wasn't my first time having erections though, so it didn't freak me out any... it's just the first time I ever correlated an event that would always trigger them. Prior to that, they were just unpleasant randomly occurring irritations that only lasted a few minutes at a time before going away by themselves. I'd never have imagined that they'd actually have a potentially useful purpose.
  • Rick4Ron - Paul☮2012 2014/08/17 20:00:57
    10-13 years old
    Rick4Ron - Paul☮2012
    Since we don't know what "Sex education" translates to in your "School" it does become a much further debate. Every child is different, and most kids learn from their peers... and nowadays, through digital media. Personally, I feel the kids should have a good understanding, according to their parents wishes, before our educators apply their own.

    Knowledge is power... empower your children, according to their ability to absorb and comprehend.
  • SirJim 2014/08/16 22:21:14
    Younger than 10
    As soon as that child begin to demonstrate that they notice and understand the differences of the two sexes
  • Grammar... SirJim 2014/08/19 08:17:49
    Grammar Freak
    That's usually like three or so. I don't know that getting into the issue is really going to do much/any good at that age.
  • SirJim Grammar... 2014/08/19 21:06:01
    Correction as soon as you notice your child is interested in the opposite sex
  • Grammar... SirJim 2014/08/20 14:48:49
    Grammar Freak
    Like I said, that is sometimes at around three, four or so.
  • SirJim Grammar... 2014/08/22 15:18:29
    What child is interested in interacting with the opposite sex at 3 or 4?
  • Grammar... SirJim 2014/08/23 10:51:50
    Grammar Freak
    Never been around kids much, huh?
  • SirJim Grammar... 2014/08/24 18:53:41
    I've been around kids all of my life and I've never seen kids at 3 & 4 years of age at sexually towards each other
  • Grammar... SirJim 2014/08/24 20:34:15
    Grammar Freak
    Who said anything about sexually? I said that little kids are into being with the opposite sex.
    It's adults who pervert children. Children are naturally innocent & curious.
  • Rick Zo... Grammar... 2014/09/08 12:15:51
    Rick Zombie
    I fully agree. At that age, kids are certainly eager to check out what other kids of the opposite sex are hiding beneath their clothing. It's much more about looking and taking notes than it is touching of course.
  • Grammar... Rick Zo... 2014/09/08 14:07:22
    Grammar Freak
    They like both (in my experience). It's natural curiosity.
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