Let's talk about sex
By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GOVERNMENT statistics reveal one in four Year 10 students have had sex.
That figure doubles when they reach Year 12.
But the dilemma is, who is responsible for educating them about their decisions?
Education Queensland has left the decision on when and how to teach sex education to individual schools.
And the role of sex education in the home also remains unclear.
Nadine Bruce said yesterday she was "relieved'' she didn't have to have that talk with her Year 7 son.
However not all parents are comfortable about the idea of teachers telling their children about sex.
Mrs Bruce said because she had younger children, who she did not feel were ready to hear about sex at home, she was pleased teachers at her son's school had broached the subject, rather than leaving it up to her.
"My husband and I talked about how we'd explain it to our children when they reached that age, but we were both uncomfortable about it and remembered how embarrassed we'd been when our parents talked to us about it,'' she said
Mrs Bruce said she believed the school environment was the right place for children to learn about sex.
"I think they (the students) had their talk in Year 5, which is old enough for them to find out, but I think if it was any younger, parents would prefer to answer questions at their own discretion,'' she said.
"I think that if the children can discuss it with their teacher and their peers at school then that's a good thing.'' Mrs Bruce said while she believed some discussion had to take place at home, in her opinion she would prefer if it was "mainly done at school''.
However, parents like Lorraine Winyard believed home was the best place to teach their children about sex.
Mrs Winyard said she believed schools could provide too much information for students, particularly in younger grades.
"The schools start talking about it (sex) in Year 5, but then they go into it more in Year 7, and I think that can be a bit much,'' she said.
Mrs Winyard said she believed schools should "open the door'' for discussion, which should then be picked up by parents at home. "I think it should only be touched on at school,'' she said.
"I think I'd prefer to talk to my kids myself about it ? I know some parents find it hard, but I found when I told my daughter, after a while we were able to open up and started using the proper terms and it just flowed out.
"I didn't feel embarrassed at all.'' Mrs Winyard said she felt educating her daughter about sex had also improved their relationship and meant that her daughter was more open to discussing other personal issues with her parents.