Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sext this to your kids


Published:

Me (driving): “Penis! Vagina! Intercourse!”

Mr. Five: “Daa-aaad!”

These were the vocabulary drill words with which our young Mr. Five, buckled tightly in his booster seat in the middle position of the backseat (it’s safest there!), began his degree in sex education. I believe if we began to teach reproductive technology and terminology from the earliest age, we’d never need to have “The Talk” — which, as you might remember, is usually scheduled a little too late in the lives of most children.

As kids, we had already assumed ourselves expert in carnal knowledge by the time many parents chose to have that emotional chat. After all, our friends at school knew everything and our parents nothing. What we didn’t learn from schoolmates, we gleaned from the lyrics of popular music.

When (or if) parents did finally sit down to have that serious discussion regarding bees and birds — or gingerly handed over the “special book” — it was too late for many kids. Many girls were already shocked by menstruation or pregnancy, boys by nocturnal emissions and many parents by unexpected grandparenthood and, by extension, Parenthood: The Sequel. Postponing a child’s sexual and moral education until they are teens demonstrates foolish and risky parenting.

There’s ever-increasing pressure on kids to have sex early and more often. Modern media portrays sex for teens as far too positive an experience in such small-screen masterpieces as MTV’s Teen Mom, which chronicles 16-year-old pregnancy and motherhood. New technology, social media and the now-famous “sext­ing” (sending sexually explicit messages or photos, primarily between wireless phones) are all the rage as early as sixth grade. I decided we’d teach all the words and details of sex in our family well before it’s necessary.
But I’m also grateful that sex education and HIV prevention is alive and well in the San Diego Unified School District. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention funds HIV- and STD-prevention education for the district in five-year blocks, isolating the funding from the massive budget cuts at the state level. The district strengthens the cooperative agreement to provide, via specially trained biology and science teachers, the sex education curriculum based on the California State Education Code standard.

And it appears to be working. According to the district’s 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Study (available at sandi.net), San Diego’s numbers not only show results indicating safer practices for students overall but consistently better figures compared to national results. Fewer students are having sex before age 13, those numbers show, and more sexually active students are using condoms. San Diego consistently shows more favorable results in sexual behavior that prevents HIV, STDs and unintended pregnancy. Condom use has a greater prominence in teen vernacular than ever.

But we still need to pay attention as parents. A recent uptick (and subsequent return to lower levels) in nationwide teen pregnancy in 2006 reminds us to be consistently and seriously involved in delivering sexual education and risk-behavior facts to our students.

Mr. Five is now Mr. Ten and is fluent in sexual lingo. That might at least help him interpret pop music. While our approach is not for everybody, we’re hoping it will help keep us at least one step ahead of him and his hormones.

Now if he could just learn long di­vision.

Paul M. Bowers is a full-time husband and parent who has been blogging about his family’s experiences in public school at ­sandiegounifiedparent.com since 2008.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Behind the Scenes Video: Making the May issue

Go behind the scenes of our beer issue to see how we get that perfectly frothy cover shot.

Palm Springs or Bust

The desert is calling with the upcoming Indian Wells Arts Festival and more

2015 Padres Spring Training: 9 Things Fans Should Know

Your guide to this season in Arizona, March 4 to April 3
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Vote now: Best Restaurants 2015
    From best chefs to top tacos, you choose San Diego's best eats and drinks in 63 categories
  2. San Diego's Top 50 Trails
    From hiking the foothills to biking the beach, this is a city made for exploring outdoors. Here’s our latest, greatest checklist of trails we love—some in your own backyard
  3. 2015 Best of North County Party
    Sample, sip and party along with the best that North County has to offer at this signature event.
  4. I Tried It: The New Jazzercise
    When I hear the word “Jazzercise,” neon leotards, leg warmers, headbands, and old ladies come to mind
  5. R.I.P.: Mike "Bossman" Hardin
    The San Diego restaurant scene lost a legend last week when Mike “Bossman” Hardin of Hodad’s passed away
  6. 2015 San Diego Valentine’s Day Guide
    San Diego’s best dinner specials, wine tastings, spa deals, couples staycations, shows and more
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

La Jolla Music Society Events

The La Jolla Music Society's 2015 Calendar
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

'Tis The Season

Winter in the desert cities

100 Works of Art to See Before You Die in San Diego

Local art critics, museum directors, and the big kahunas of the art world picked their must-see paintings, sculptures, and buildings with a special checklist just for you
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags