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I'm confused
So we had our first Q&A session for the year at the youth centre. I took the 15-17yr old girls as usual and there were about 25 of them. Tbh I kinda went into it pretty apprehensive because the girls were all given consent slips for their parents to sign. It was basically to cover my ass if sexual questions came up. A few of the parents actually called me up to THANK ME for doing it. While a few others were all WTF and those girls didn't come today so oh well.

Anyway, it wasn't as bad as I expected. A lot of questions about boys and sex but nothing too nutty. Someone did ask "how do you know if you're in love?" and well, that was hard to answer. It was a 15yr old too because I gave them color coordinated post-its for their questions in relation to their age. Pink for 15, yellow for 16, green for 17. It was all anonymous and it really was because I have no clue what their handwriting's like lol.

One question completely threw me though. A 15yr old wrote "My 11yr old sister came home the other day with a handful of condoms. I asked her where did she get them and she said they were giving them out at school. Does this mean she can have sex at 11?"

Uh..... when I read that I was a little o____O I spoke to the group and asked the girl who wrote it to either identify herself because I had some questions for her and if she didn't want that, she can find me after the session. I did say that I wasn't going to answer the question without getting some further information. Turns out it was one of my "regulars" so she was quite willing to fess up. 

So I asked if she knew what the context was and apparently they were being given out in a basket IN CLASS and the teacher just said something along the lines of "You'd probably need these sooner or later so better safe than not." And apparently it was left at that. No context, no explanation, no sex ed, absolutely NOTHING. These kids are 11!!!!!

Ok so this is where i'm confused. Is this normal in a Western country? I went to grade school/high school in an Asian country and we had the "period" talk at 11 but didn't get the "sex" talk till we were 14. Tbh, 14 was too late for me anyway but that's another matter altogether. I had to unequivocally tell her no re the sex and briefly, the law about it. I didn't want to have to do that tbh but I truly had no idea how to react or approach the matter. I mean, her question was essentially whether sex is ok at 11 which I answered. However, the larger problem for me is really the school and what the fuck is going on there? I don't really want to go in blind but is this normal nowadays? I'm extremely open-minded as most of you will know but I seriously went wtf at this. If there was context with the distribution of the condoms, ok. But nothing. Zilch. In fact, apparently most of the kids thought they were candy at first!!!!!!

I really think I need to pursue this but I need to figure out how. I asked the girl if her parents knew and she said her father is away (he is a trucker) and her mother is sick so she didn't want to bother her with it. 

I don't have kids obviously so I want to know if i'm alone in reacting in a WTF way. Some of you are parents and even those who aren't, please share your thoughts? I'd really appreciate it <3

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When I was coming up back in the late 1700's, I don't even remember HAVING a sex ed class, let alone condom availability. And considering the stick up their asses that people here in the States have about their PRECIOUS ANGELS having sex ever (or knowing that gay people exist or that any birth control other that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ABSTINENCE FOREVER exists) I have trouble seeing there ever being a basket of condoms anywhere.

So, yeah, that's pretty wtf.

Edited at 2012-03-11 03:05 am (UTC)

How would you react if Mally came home with a handful of condoms? What would you do? I'm not a parent so i'm not sure how my WTFness will translate compared to parents.

The sex ed class I had was basically a video of an abortion (traumatized the fuck out of all of us, girls were crying, a couple fainted), basically ABSTINENCE FOREVER too but they also talked about the various contraceptives available and we got taught how to put on a condom correctly. The giggling and red faces that ensued, I swear there must have been at least one nosebleed. I was in a class of 41 though so I may have missed it...

Wow.. Yes, I babysit a girl who just turned 12 last week and she knows /nothing/ about sex and isn't informed about it at her school- other than the classic video of how her girl parts work shown in health class. This is wildly inappropriate. I am fully aware that children are become sexually aware and active at younger ages in this time but, a school should not support this growing trend.

I don't know of any schools around here that would ever condone the distribution of condoms at such a young age... That is shocking and I hope for the children's sake that this comes to a stop so that they might enjoy their childhood and not get sucked into an area beyond their maturity and comprehension.

Yea, that's my main problem with this. The school and the teacher in particular. I'm sure there are gaps in the girl's memory about what was said but for her to remember that the teacher said "You'd probably need these sooner or later so better safe than not," is absolutely mind-boggling to me. Sooner or later at 11?

I'm trying to see it from both sides because i'm trained to be objective which is why i'm asking for help because i'm struggling so hard to be objective in this case. Knee-jerk reaction is to storm up to the school and demand an explanation and have the teacher disciplined if it wasn't a school sanctioned thing, and if it was, to report the school to the Education Review Office.

On the other hand, sex education is so necessary. I know this and see the need especially with the older girls I deal with but 11? 11? Ugh... I feel a little sick.

Woah that's FAR too young. I didn't get the sex talk until 14 in HS and that was in health class!! holy crap

I think you should try and call the school and complain that's not on!

We didn't have health class. It happened during one of our science classes lol. I remember sitting in the lab on those bar stools with beakers and bunsen burners and test tubes in front of me and worrying about people passing out and hitting them.

I'm definitely going to talk to the school. Trouble is, i'm struggling with being objective and i'm trained to see both sides so i'm trying to formulate a clearer picture for myself here before I head in. But rest assured, I am most definitely saying/doing something about this :-/

My sex-education through Ontario school system began at Grade 6 (so I was 11). We didn't receive condoms or were taught about birth control - but we were taught how to recognize and learn about our bodies' reproductive system.

The actual 'sex' talk didn't start until the following year, and it was gradual. Actual talk about contraception and condoms didn't start until I was in Grade 9 (14 years old), which is the age of consent in Canada. We also watched a video of a birth, had to put a condom on a banana and could submit anon questions to be answered.

I don't think teaching children about their bodies and reproductive systems starting at 11 is too young. However, giving out condoms like that? That's just wrong.

Thank you for explaining your own experience because that will be helpful for me going into this. If the school does have some sort of sex ed policy then it obviously needs a re-jig. I'm all for teaching 11yr olds about their bodies and reproductive systems because that was what was covered in my own "period" talk at 11 but this was just seriously o___O.

Umm, I had my first sex ed class when I was... 11 or 12?
I don't remember exactly, because it was literally a developing of health class, you know? It started in 1st or 2nd class with the whole brush your teeth 3 times per day, eat fruit and vegetable, do sport, etc and as we grew up, they'd add stuff, like the period talk in 4th grade when we were 10/11 (mainly because in 4th grade we have the mandatory ski week, we go for a whole week somewhere to ski and trust me that at least one girl would get her period for the 1st time exactly then).
Anyway, I know that in 5th or 6th grade we started with the sex ed, I remember once they called the last 4 grades and put all of us in the gym. Noone had a freaking idea what it was happening, then a dude appeared and started talking about healthy breakfast and when he was done with praising cereals and muesli, he pulled a condom out of his pocket and said "This is a condom," and then he showed how to put it on, using his fingers. Totally WTF but thinking back I'm actually glad they did it this way because not knowing what was going on, we didn't went through the whole awkwardness/giggling stuff - which happened a lot, since the usual person who'd come for the health/sex ed class, was the mother of a classmate.
They didn't gave out the condoms but we got the education.
Ironically, when I was in high school, we got zero sex education but we had lots of safe sex posters around the bathrooms and on December 1st you could get free condoms (the trick was knocking on the teacher's room, ask for the history teacher - which was like the Miss Rottermaier of our HS - and ask her for it).
Also, I don't know about the rest of the world, but here pretty much every single teen magazine has a section in it where they discuss safe sex (condoms, pills, everything) and pretty much everyone reads at least one.

ETA: we learnt about how babies are made in grade three, when we were 9. And yes, it was in our books. My classmate felt sick when he had to read it :x

Edited at 2012-03-11 03:45 am (UTC)

Thank you for sharing your experience!

Getting the education but not the condoms at 11 makes sense to be tbh. I still think maybe that's a little young but if schools here are giving out condoms at 11 then they better jolly well be doing the educating too. I don't read teen magazines but when I talked to the girls, as a group, most said they learned about sex from their friends. Youngest they learned it was probably age 12 and oldest around 15. There are sex ed classes but none of them remembered being given condoms at 11.

I think NZ may be somewhere in between Canada and Europe in terms of what they tell kids when it comes to sex. Thank you for giving me something to take to the school too because it doesn't sound like they know what they're doing. I'm all for gathering information and researching options.

Lol I was reading bodice-rippers at age 8 lmao... That was my how babies get made introduction XD

I think we had sex ed in Biology when we were twelve. I don't remember much about it but I actually think that's the only sex talk we got. Maybe we had another one when we were fifteen. I think we were supposed to get one then, but we never did... LOL I don't remember. Handing out condoms to eleven year olds definitely seems a bit extreme, especially if you give them no explanation whatsoever. O.o At eleven, I would've thought a condom was a balloon or something. XD

Yeah. I have the same thought and have strong issues about the way the condoms were handed out with no context whatsoever (at least that's what i've been led to believe). At 11, I would've known what a condom was for but would have been all WhyTF do I need it? You made me smile with your last line XD

Wow. I too am very open minded, but I wtf'd at that as well. 11 is young but like you said, what's more worrying is the school and the lack of information they seem to be giving out.

I wish I had more advice, but really, I'm just thinking along the same lines as you.

Hope this all goes okay! <3

Thank you bb <333 I appreciate everyone's thoughts/comments on this, even if you're just agreeing with me.

I hope it goes ok too. I've got worst case scenarios mapped out in my head lol.

*sneaks in* First comment as one of your official stalkers! :-D

First question: What DO you and your hubby work with? I've tried to figure it out since I started follow you on Twitter... I have yet to succeed. :-P

We got our first short sex-ed when I was... 12, I think? Just a little bit, you know. Boys. Girls. This is how it works. This is how kids are made. I already knew this since I was extremely young since my parents was very open-minded and if you asked something, you'd get a straight answer. No matter what it was. But yeah, the first small sex-ed was around 12. When I went on to the next grade we got a bit more sex-ed, and condoms for the first time. I was 13. This repeated itself for every year after that, handing out of condoms every time.

Might add. In Sweden it is legal to have sex at 15. Even though I didn't have sex until I was 21, since I just didn't have any boy/girlfriends to have sex with. *lol* X-D Alas, such is life. :-)

LOL why are you stalking me? I'm not that interesting lol <333

Well by trade, i'm a lawyer and OH is a Solutions Architect ;-)

In the weekends we volunteer at a youth centre dealing with kids between 13-17. Tbh we see youth older than that too. If they need help, we'll help. My main responsibility is the 15-17yr old girls. I'm also on the board that runs the place but that's a new appointment.

Thanks for sharing your experience too. Sex ed coming before condoms makes sense to me. I've got an appointment to see the principal on Wednesday so we'll see what they have to say...

Lol I got married at 16 >.

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