Wednesday, August 06, 2014

These are just *some* of the questions I was asked today in my Year 5/6 class of kids

So the topics are puberty (next two weeks) and today was conception, pregnancy and childbirth. We talk about sperm and egg and fertilisation; we go through the male and female reproductive anatomy, plus some extras (clitoris, bladder, etc). We covered sex (intercourse) and semen and choice and then it all seemed to spin out with the second group. The first inkling was when one of the Year 6 boys (we're talking ten or eleven) said (when I asked what are three things that can come out of a vagina, expecting: period blood, a baby and vaginal discharge if he remembered from last year) he said: Excess semen.
I'm thinking what the fuck has he seen? We had talked about how the sperm that 'miss out' on fertilising an egg will dissolve and leave the body (I didn't say 'hey, the semen drips out guys!) Then there was the bit that with sex there should always be choice and that pleasure is good. We'd talked about the clitoris and the penis and that they are the main parts of the bodies that will have the 'sexual feelings'.

Then the questions started coming. I sort of guessed the 'anonymous question box' would be kinda empty in week 3 but no, as I was leaving there was a boy scribbling down a question on a piece of paper.

The questions. They've never met me, I obviously put them at their ease, but I also wonder again: what the fuck have they been watching? These are verbatim.

- so if there's a sexual assault, would it be possible for the woman to have an orgasm?
- if there was a dildo and there was semen on it and a woman used it, could she get pregnant
- what's a condom? (and then after I explained, briefly) another boy: so if a man used a condom on his penis to stop the semen getting into the woman's vagina, and then finished and then took it off and turned it inside out and put it on again and there was semen on the outside of the condom, and he had sex with another woman, could she get pregnant? (this was dildo boy.)
- so we know sex is not for children, but is oral sex illegal for children? (I'd already explained that sex is something adults do (we don't get into ages with the kids) and then later, when I said yes, that any sexual activity is illegal for children (in answer to the oral sex question) someone asked: what's the age? Is it 18 or 16? So then I said it was 16 in Victoria but that didn't mean 16 year olds wake up and start having sex, I said that most don't, we have research to show that.

I'm wondering whether I need to have a chat to the Year 6 boys. Seems to me they've been watching porn? Or hearing stuff from older kids?

Couple of years ago at another school, one of the anon questions said: 'What if a kid was looking in their parents' bedroom and found a dildo? Is that normal?' So we had to have a conversation around what's 'normal' but mostly about the fact that adults can expect to have their privacy respected, and kids shouldn't be in there snooping around (I know, I did!).

It's like Year 6 kids are the new Year 9s. Unbelievable. And I reckon it's all down to porn. I'm noticing a difference even in the last five years.


Melba said...

And just as a segue from the last post about quotation marks vs asterisks for emphasis.

Quotation marks can be used when the word in the marks is not really truly what it says it is, eg in this post, some of what the kids asked me were questions, but some were 'questions' masked as them wanting to show their knowledge, or get confirmation about something.

The kids were all really sincere though. I can tell when they are being provocative or little shits but these kids weren't. Really mature but really inappropriate in a way, and the Year 5s just sitting there and the Year 6 girls. I thought it was great that they felt comfortable to ask me, I couldn't look at the teacher, she looked about 14 and straight out of college.

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sarah toa said...

I reckon you are right about the porn. IMHO, it would work as a subject in sex ed, to counter it with the reality of sex and relationships.

Melba said...

Hey Sarah thanks, yes we talk about porn, give key messages at Year 5/6 age, and then more in secondary and we have standalone lessons on pornography that we deliver at year 11 (should be earlier, we are thinking earlier for next year) and always, in secondary, talk about the key elements of it in a non judgmental way.

More and more we are seeing the evidence that kids are seeing it, really young even and I wonder how that affects the shaping of their sexualities. Especially what's out there now, darker and more aggressive stuff, which isn't niche any more, it's mainstream and so easily accessible.

*furrowed brow*


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