Parents are the primary educators:
● We want to help you feel more comfortable with these conversations
● The school should be supplementary to what parents are teaching, not replacing
What students learn at SAS:
The topics taught are based on research. Here's a list of SHAPE Sex-Education standards we cover:
● Anatomy and Physiology
● Puberty and Adolescent Sexual Development
● Gender Identity and Expression
● Sexual Orientation and Identity
● Sexual Health
● Consent and Healthy Relationships
● Interpersonal Violence
Here are some examples of what we will cover in the second semester:
Understanding the changes to their body, their identity, and more.
Understanding hormones, physiological changes, gender sexuality, and more.
Students talk more about sex, relationships, and some possible outcomes if they engage in sex.
Here are some questions students have asked:
“When will I start growing hair?”
“What if my parents don’t believe in wearing deodorant?”
“If you have your period at school how many times do you have to use the bathroom?”
“How do people get acne?”
“Why do boys and girls have different reproductive organs?”
“What is typical to know your sexuality?”
“What's the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality?”
“Can you have sex with the same gender?”
“Is it possible for two women or two men to have a child?”
“What if you identify with a gender but don’t follow the gender norms? Does this have a different name?”
“How old do you need to be to have sex?”
“Where can you buy condoms?”
“What happens when I get an erection in class?”
“What is an orgasm?”
“Is it healthy to masturbate?”
“How do you tell a friend you like them more than a friend?"
“Consent involves teaching kids about their physical rights, mental and emotional boundaries and how they can engage in the world respectfully and with the ability to honor their rights and the rights of others.”
—Rosalia Rivera, founder of Consent Parenting
Five things you should know before you talk about consent with children
Christine Koh, CNN (2021)
1. Consent is about healthy relationships—reframing and understanding consent.
2. Start talking about consent early—as soon as students are able to communicate. Use correct anatomical terminology.
3. Talking about consent strengthens boundary skills—consent is about hearing “yes” rather than the absence of “no”
4. Consent requires practice by kids and adults
5. Talking about consent is a positive thing
Watch this video to understand what is consent.
What do we mean by pornography?
‘A printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual activity,
intended to stimulate sexual excitement’
Pornography accounts for:
35% of all internet downloads
25% of all internet search requests
12% of all websites
Average age of first exposure to pornography is between 9 to 11 years of age
- Physiologically: shrinks the ventral striatum (reward centre brain)
- Psychologically: desensitization; habituation; addiction; shame; lowered
What do we mean by sexting?
‘The exchange of sexual content material via technological devices’
1/7 teenagers have sent a sext
1/4 have received a sext
12.5% have forwarded a sext without permission from sender
53% of adults aged 18-30 engage in sexting
‘Every time you post a picture or update your status you are contributing towards your own digital footprint’
Sharing intimate images
- This happens in middle school
- Fits into “Child Pornography” legally speaking
- It is important for parents to talk to their children about it beforehand.
- If/when you find out that your child has received or shared intimate images, discuss it
calmly with them.
Priorities from a School Perspective
1. Stop/limit the circulation of the image
2. Support the person whose image has been shared
3. Understand how it was shared and by who
4. Help those who have seen and/or shared the image to empathize and understand the harm it causes.
5. Help those who have seen and/or shared the image understand how to deal with inappropriate images that are shared with them
1. Delay the activity as much as possible
2. Home-school connection
3. Avoid drinking and drugs
4. Increase involvement in school activities
6. Open communication
7. Explore wants:
● Help children identify what they want from a relationship
● Help children identify what they seek from a partner
● Talk about traits
● Talk about partner/friend differences
● Recognize the elephant in the room
8. Refusal skills
9. Unintentional late evenings
● Risk increases when children are alone, free, and unsupervised.
● Keeping devices out of the bedroom decreases the risk for porn.
Talking to your kids about sex: Getting started
● Series of conversations
● When they are young, continue through college
● Talk regularly about uncomfortable topics like masturbation, pornography, and the dangers/pleasures of sex
● Need to know when they are ready for sex and may need advice on birth control
● The goal is to be a resource and support for our kids
● Find out what your kid is being exposed to at any age
● You don’t have to have all the answers to their questions
● Ask questions in non-judgmental ways: Do you know anyone who has watched porn? How did it affect them? How many of your friends are sexually active?
● Foster closeness with your kid
● Don’t rely on abstinence education
● Seize the moment
● Be honest
● Be direct
● Consider your teen’s point of view
● Move beyond the facts
● Invite more discussion
● Be ready for their questions
● The family doctor could be a good resource
● Find a good time to talk
● Make sure you’re calm and relaxed
● Express how you feel and think about this
● Not just this one time
● Keep educating yourself
● Curiosity before judgment
● Safe, Seen, Soothed
“When the timing is right for sex, we want it to be a positive part of their lives -
one that brings more love, connection, and pleasure than regret, pain, and
Gender and Identity
GenderSpectrum.org - Resource for talking about Gender
Talking to Parents About Teen Sexuality - NCBI 2016
Amaze.org - Parent, Teacher, Student resources
SHAPE National Health Standards - Curriculum used at SAS
SHAPE Sex Education Standards - Newly published in 2020
Talking about sex
Beyond Birds and Bees - Bonnie Rough
Real Talk About Sex and Consent - Cheryl Bradshaw
Teenhealth - Information around many topics
The New Adolescence- Christine Carter
Tea Video for younger kids
Sharfia Zaloom, Sex, Teens, and Everything in Between
Rosalia Rivera, Consent Parenting
Kelly Holmes, The Magic Greeting Every Kid Should Learn Before Visiting Family
Rachel Brian, Consent (for Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of
Click here to access the slide deck.
- parent tips