Sex education has been for some a really scary issue, some parents when I was a child categorically refused to have their kids know what things were and where they went. And what resulted.
For some it was a fear that it would lead to promiscuity. For others it was a belief that these things are best taught in the home.
Let me share two examples:
Me – in grade six we had sex ed classes, we learned what the various parts were called and sort of how they worked. I along with the rest of the boys tittered when a penis was shown on the overhead. We kind of understood but most of us already had ideas about what sex was and only a partial understanding of what we wanted from it. It did not change after the frankly medical discussion.
My father then came in to my room when I was in grade seven and tried to tell me about the “birds and the bees”. He was less than successful and I got him off the hook with, “We had sex ed dad, its ok.”
My wife – Mother did not want her child to have Sex Ed, they opted out so my wife knew very little, because her parents did not even HAVE a discussion, until Biology in High school. Sad but true.
With this in mind I thought long about what to do with our kids. While appreciate the sex ed classes for escaping the nightmare of explanations I remember how ignorant I still was after the fact and how my father made such a mess of it.
So, I had a plan. When my oldest went to sex ed, which he did not want but we made him take I had a follow up discussion a few weeks later. He told me he knew it all (much like I had to my dad). But knowing my son, I knew this was a “lets not talk about it” sort of thing.
So instead, my wife and I will fully and frankly answer all questions, up front. You want to know what gay is, hey this is what it is. You want to know about how sex happens, how babies are born, breast feeding, we do not skip it. We discuss it. My older boys usually end the discussion by saying, “ew gross”. but yet I know they are not confused. I feel confident that when we talk openly about the hard discussions it will make it easier later when gross goes to interest.
You cannot stop instinct. You cannot change nature of humanity to want to seek for companionship. What you can do is define it carefully for them. That is why i think Sex Ed alone is no good, just as parental ums and ahs or silences are no good. But careful planning, frank talk and simple explanations work. Then reinforce the concept of chastity at the end, teach the natural but finish with the godly.
At least that is what we do.