Sexuality taught at home


I believe that sexuality and related issues should be exclusively done by parents. I heard recently that there is new evidence that even “Catholic approved” programs, including abstinence-based, promote higher rates of teen sexual activity. Can anyone verify this? I’m alarmed at the Safe Touch program, REAP retreat, and human sexuality classes at our kids’ Catholic school. We take them out of most of these programs. Thanks.



I agree that no one can teach it better than a parent…a parent who communicates well, that is. My dh and I communicate constantly about various pressures that they might receive to have sex, the opinions of society that they should be having sex, and what God’s opinion of it all is. I believe that the schools teach a more reactive form of sex ed, and kids need to learn how to choose abstinence, and the reason behind that choice


If “teaching at home” means “never talking about it” then I would not agree with pulling the kids out of the programs at their Catholic school.

If, instead, it means honest, age-appropriate conversations about sex, where they get their questions answered, then great, that is better than any program. With oral sex parties happening in junior high, though, age-appropriate means more information at younger ages than many parents seem to think. I have seen posts from people on this board who have 11 year olds with whom they have never even discussed the basic mechanics! Who don’t know what periods are, when they may be getting one soon…

Just don’t do that to your child… be open, calm, and honest. Be a safe person they know they can trust for solid, true, helpful information on this and all topics.


I’ve always answered my kids’ questions truthfully, starting with DD’s first question “What are twins?” when she was 3 1/2. At 5, when I was pregnant with the youngest we covered the basics. I never,ever said “Wait until you’re older.”

The problem I had is that the boys never asked anything. DD was always full of questions, DS1 & 2 would have rather never discussed the matter – but I would have been negligent if I’d gone along with their attitude.

Knowing that there was at least one girl selling oral sex in their jr. high convinced me that answering questions early is the best policy.


Discussions about sexuality should be age-appropriate and in the context of the Catholic faith. They need to know the basics, but just because they will eventually be exposed to every possible perversion doesn’t mean it needs to be legitimized by discussing it at home first.


I agree with duskyjewel. Things were never discussed with me at home. I would have preferred it come from home than the ways I had to find out. :frowning:


Discussing how to deal with the problems they may face does not legitimize anything.

Do you plan to give your children the tools they need to fight the disgusting culture they have to grow up through, or are you going let them live in unfortunate ignorance (many call it “innocence” wrongly) and learn the hard way? You have to TALK about he situations they might find themselves in… the offers they might get. You have to educate them in how, and especially why, to say no.

Letting your kids dwell in ignorance is not protecting them. How old are your kids? Are they going to be facing any of these issues soon?

BTW, my oldest has known how babies are made, in technical detail, since she was 5. She is still innocent.


It would be all well and good IF the parents actually teach it. But I see far too many really young kids having babies…Catholic and non Catholic alike. Unprotected sex doesn’t have a religion.


Um, sex ed does not prevent babies. I can’t imagine how you’d ever think it would. These days (and for at least the last couple decades) kids aren’t having babies because they don’t know what causes pregnancy. All the teen mom’s I knew had sex ed in elementary school. Just telling them how pregnancy comes about doesn’t stop them from chosing to have sex.


I agree. I think that’s why it’s not just about telling kids the HOW, but also teaching them WHY sex is only meant between a husband and wife. Maybe with Theology of the Body for Teens. :wink:


You are both correct. But a lot of parents aren’t discussing anything with their children. They don’t think “their kids would do that” or “they know better”. And I believe kids DO know what causes pregnancy. They just don’t think it can happen to them. So to that end perhaps parents should tell them that ANY and EVERY act of unprotected sex can result in a pregnancy. And don’t wait. Right now we have a 12 y/o in our prenatal clinic.



I believe that ideally parents should be teaching their children about sex, but it just doesn’t happen. My best friend’s mother took her out of our sex ed classes but never once talked to her about it. My parents never talked to me either, until I was almost 18, and all they said was “don’t get pregnant.” Because of this, I think it needs to be taught at school.

Not to mention it is a very important aspect of biology, so it needs to be discussed. It is up to the parents to further the child’s education and understanding of sex and all its meanings.

One last thing, most parents don’t think that they need to talk to their children until their mid-teens, but girls are getting their periods younger and younger and the talk of sex between kids starts very early, when I was in school I knew about it at around 9 or 10 and I am 29 now, so I can’t imagine how young they are now. Most parents aren’t comfortable with talking about sex to a 9 year, but unfortunately that is the reality we are faced with.


My kids had abstinence training at Catholic grade school… complete with homework that required parents and kids to talk about it… Parents were sent a guide in advance to decide if this was something they would commit to working with… I found it a good program… but by all means, not the beginning or the end of their moral sex education… that is/was my job!


We were taught in sex ed that any and every act of unprotected intercourse could result in pregnancy. The rememdy taught to us for that was birthcontrol. I think the biggest negative influence was the assumption that we would have sex as teenagers. Not just by the sex ed program, but by television, movies, and even novels geared toward teens at the local library.
The attitude that was conveyed by our teachers were that parents were both old fashioned and naive. It was not a matter of if we would have sex but when. This was 20 years ago, by the looks of places on the net like myspace it’s gotten so much worse.
The problem is teenagers are not fully mature and engage in risky behavior -not just with sex but in many other areas of life. They simply aren’t mature enough for a sexual relationship but everything they see and hear in secular society seems to tell them other wise.


It’s really sad, no one is giving them permission to say no. I have heard it put another way. If you’re not allowed to say no, what does your “yes” mean?


In a perfect world, I suppose parents could gently lead their children to maturity and they would never make bad decisions and their children would be always safe. Perfect world went away with Adam and Eve’s fatal choice.

Here is a problem with the “my kids can learn all that at home” After a certain age, most teens don’t want to talk to their parents about this subject. So you might be able to start discussions at say age nine, but by 12 or 13, they will be shutting down on you—unless they are like my kids and pretty comfortable talking to their parents about all manner of stuff (we are rather laid back parents) Even so, I am sure there are some things ds has not spoken to me about. Kids hide way more than their parents realize.

All I can say is please please don’t keep your kids in the dark so that they can remain “innocent”. That totally leaves them vulnerable to predators. And the predators can strike in a second anywhere any time. Your child needs to be savvy enough to say, get your hands off me, that is wrong and just because you are an adult doesn’t mean I can’t say no.
yeah this is personal for me. You couldn’t talk to my mom about anything, and that left us sitting ducks, and my sister got it. Turned her into an anorexic, sociophobe. Great.


My parents taught me from a young age, which was good, because I’ve had to get out of my own scary situations (still somewhat traumatizing, but I got out) and used what they taught me to get out. If they’d kept me in the dark forever, something worse could have happened. It still scares me when I think about what I escaped from at a young age.

They also taught me when I was young. Everything else I learned in school (haha, only because I went ahead in the bio book! Our school didn’t want to tell us anything!!!) or from studying my faith, which lead me to all the teen websites on staying abstinent till marriage. And I’ve seen enough members of my family make terrible decisions, which is why I stayed out of it myself.


We have an 18 year old daughter and a 15 year old son.
I have talked to both of the kids about sexuality as taught by
the church. Another thing that has helped is the fact that
I listen to Catholic radio so they have heard programs on the
topic just being in the room with me. I also bought some
books from Catholic Answers. Jason Everett was at our
daughter’s school (she of course after all of this was already
familiar with who he is) and she was impressed by what he
had to say and said that she heard a lot of good feedback from
the other girls. :slight_smile:


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