There is only one thing more cringe-worthy than having to talk to your kids about sex, and that is having to talk to other people's kids about sex. It is a sad fact that teens believe so many myths about sex, STDs, pregnancy and birth that the government should be seriously concerned that the human race could die out.
Teachers now have to talk about sex to children as young as 4, and deal with irate parents who, quite rightly, think this is a tad too young. Here's a news flash for those parents: the teachers agree with you.
There is a set curriculum for teaching kids about sex, but most teachers do the following:
Reception: "Stand up if you are a boy. Stand up if you are a girl. Great, now let's do maths,"
and develop it on from there.
There is some controversy by the time kids reach years 1 and 2 as they learn the scientific names for the less talked about parts of their bodies. Among the penises (penii?) and vaginas is the humble clitoris, which has causes ruffled feathers among the teaching profession who think this is a body part too far. My argument though is that we are training up a future generation who will be so rubbish at dirty talk ("Sexual intercourse my vagina...oooh yeah baby!") that if we don't teach at least the boys about the clitoris, we as a species will definitely die out. And let's face it girls, how many of you wish your partners had been taught where the clitoris is at school? Thought so...
Actually, the 'naming' lesson can cause a few giggles as the teacher has to ask, before teaching the correct names, what names kids have been taught by parents. We usually get things like front bottom, willy, lady garden, flower, pee-pee and other harmless terms. One of my colleagues, however, was totally floored when one 6 year old said daddy called his 'male parts' Verne and the Twins. How she got through the next parents' evening without blushing I'll never know.
The trouble with sex education really starts when kids hit about 14 and they know it all. They take great delight in trying to embarrass the poor teacher by asking personal questions. It takes a brave teacher to face a class of year 9 pupils. Whoever does this deserves a medal and a knighthood from the Queen, at the very least.
By the time kids reach 16, they usually do know it all, or at least more than the teacher. It is at this point that the cunning teacher, whilst giving the impression of teaching, will really be picking up tips to inject some passion into his/her own flailing love life. After all the embarrassment of years 1-10, the humiliating realisation that one's sex life is lame will just about finish one off. Never mind, I hear Tesco are hiring...
Today: The nursery rhymes my dad sent me to school with
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water,
Jill came down with half a crown...and she didn't get that for fetching water.
Little boy blue come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn
Where is the boy who looks after the sheep?
He's under the haystack, 'doing' Bo Peep.