Yesha Callahan

I Know Adults Who Need Sex Education, Not Only Kids in Helena Montana

….god forbid your child, who wasn’t properly educated about sex from you, heads to the internet. Imagine them coming across some of these  ‘so-called’ sex blogging websites, and mistaking it for something out of Animal Kingdom hot muskrat monkey sex on a platter? Yeah, I’m sure that’ll be an even harder conversation to have.

Last week on Google chat, I had a short discussion with my buddy Jenee (aka JaneGoldenArms) about the Helena Montana Public School System proposed Sex education curriculum (jump to page 45-50 on the pdf file) and whether or not I agreed with the human sexuality curriculum. It seems as though a lot of people are up in arms because the curriculum starts at the kindergarten level and to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about grade K kids learning about sex as well. Then as with most people who jump the gun, I didn’t read the proposed plan before forming an opinion about it. Below is a break down of what each grade could expect to learn:

Recognize elements of a healthy relationship I.e.,respect, caring,boundaries

Grade 1
Understanding human beings can love people of the same gender & people of another gender.

Grade 2
Understanding making fun of people by calling them gay (e.g. “homo,” “fag,” queer”) is disrespectful and hurtful.

Grade 3
Understand media often presents an unrealistic image of what it means to be male or female, what it means to be in love & what parenthood & marriages are like.

Grade 5
Understanding that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral, or anal penetration. Understanding sexual orientation refers to a person’s physical and/or romantic attraction to an individual of the same and/or different gender, and is part of ones’ personality.

Grade 6
Understand gender identity is different from sexual orientation. Understand the media usually does not portray sexuality realistically.

Grade 7
Discuss the Supreme Court decision that has ruled that, to a certain extent, people have the right to make personal decisions concerning sexuality & reproductive health matters, such as abortion, sterilization and contraception.

Grades 9-12
Understand erotic images in art reflect society’s views about sexuality & help people understand sexuality. Understand sexual orientation is determined by a variety of factors.

Assuming that I live in Montana, and considering I’m the parent of a 6th grader, my son could potentially learn about gender identity, which isn’t anything we haven’t discussed before *gasp*.  I truly don’t think the information that the school board is proposing is anything drastic. It’s not something a child couldn’t learn by flipping through MTV, BET, VH1, Lifetime, LOGO, the evening news, or any other channel on television.

Imagine a world where sex education isn’t made a big deal of in schools. Quite possibly there would not be a need to have a show called 16 and Pregnant on MTV, Forever 21 selling maternity clothes or a rise in STD rates amongst young adults. Hell, I know some adults who need to move to Helena County if this proposed curriculum is passed, because some of you need to start with the basics.

What is your opinion on the proposed curriculum and sex education being taught in schools ?

  1. July 20, 2010 - Reply

    Forever 21 selling maternity clothes?

    • November 19, 2010 - Reply


      I have no problem with that – I know women up to their late 20’s who shop there, and many women who are maybe 20 or 21 and in a healthy relationship and pregnant with their first child. Nothing wrong with them making cute maternity clothes, considering that younger adult women shop there…

  2. July 20, 2010 - Reply

    I think some of the hoopla comes from people who still don’t have a strong grasp around the concepts/facts of sex or are very insecure with their own sexualities. Therefore, anytime anything related to sex is brought to the table to be taught to the children is automatically pegged as something bad or dirty. When I have children best believe I won’t rely on the school to educate them when it comes to that topic…

    • July 20, 2010 - Reply

      @Naturally Alise

      I think you hit the nail right on the head! If they do have those ‘concepts’, they’re probably archaic ones.

  3. July 20, 2010 - Reply

    Learning starts at home. If parents were teaching their kids. The schools wouldn’t have to.

  4. July 20, 2010 - Reply

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  5. July 21, 2010 - Reply

    Well I may be one of those adults who should be bused to Helena County! I must admit a few of the subjects gave me a twich. 🙂
    What I do realize is that as information becomes more readily available and accessible we as parents must be more cognizant of that which our children can be exposed to. What’s a bit odd for me; however, is how expansive the subject matter is proposed for sex education in this particular county. I love the inclusion of lessons on healthy relationships. However, I’m not sure I’d be ok with some (9 times out of 10) white lady teaching my daughter about various forms of penetration. I would feel pressured to ‘teach’ her before the lesson reached her in school. (And all this is assuming she wasn’t already asking questions per the result of peer conversation, etc.)
    You know, before I go off on a longer rant….I think the great solution should be a mandatory parent-sex education class. Once your child is promoted from 4th to 5th grade, that summer, every parent should be required to attend a sex education class. At this class administrators should ‘teach’ parents about the developmental stage that their child may be at, and subsequently the lessons on sex that would properly compliment their devleopment. Then administrators should hear from parents (and parents from one another) about where THEIR children are. The kids in their grade ARE their peers. Their sexual inquisitiveness has in large part to do with what their peers are talking about. Its a communal issue at the 5th grade level.
    Am I making any sense. I do hope so.
    Has anyone thought about having a student led sex education course? I’m not even sure if it would be the greatest idea….just putting it out there.

    • July 21, 2010 - Reply

      @Sweet Momma B

      the mandatory parent one is definitely something that should be implemented! you made some excellent points! thanks for the comment!

  6. July 22, 2010 - Reply

    I hear folks talking about they want the option to teach their kid what they want when they’re ready. But the state/gov’t has an overarching public interest here. Unintended pregnancy and STDs are serious and in no shortage among young people of all types, from Alabama to Montana to Wisconsin.
    Dealing with these unintended consequences of sex become not just the responsibility of the family but of the state as well. The state wants to prevent people from becoming public charges. The state has a public health interest in protecting citizens from disease and infections. The state is charged with making sure your child has a basic education to be healthy and wise.
    Education in the past only needed to be sufficient for young people to enter the workforce early or to get married and live like June & Ward Cleaver. Today things are different and kids need way more information just to get by. JUST TO GET BY. For whatever reason, parents aren’t talking to their kids because they weren’t taught those things or because they’re afraid, in denial maybe, I don’t know. So while I appreciate a parent’s wish to have control over what their kids take in, I say that has to be balanced with the overarching interest of the state and the society into which you’ll be releasing your child.
    Furthermore, it comes off as all about the parents – like they’re mad that someone would dare teach their kids about sexual orientation or penetration, etc. I don’t know that parents are truly concerned about what their children are learning or rather that someone is perceived as usurping their authority?
    On a Planned Parenthood discussion board, a woman went on and on about how 13 and 14yo middle school students were criminally “robbed of their innocence” after being “forced” to sit through a sex-ed class that used anatomically correct and realistic looking models to demonstrate the proper application of a condom. Wow. Really? The reality remains that kids are having sex in elementary school. Period. Address that, mom and dad. Kids ask about sex and bodily organs in elementary school. Address that. Kids watch TV shows and play video games with sexual subject matter in elementary school.

  7. July 27, 2010 - Reply

    The problem is that parents are lazy. When they should be assuming the role of proper parenting by teaching their children about sex they are letting the schools do it for them. It’s no wonder there are so many problems

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