PODCAST | Chatback with Parent24: Should sex ed be left to parents?

Should sex ed be left to parents?
Should sex ed be left to parents?

The new proposed Sexuality Education curriculum has parents and teachers all over the country in hot debate. 

Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) has revealed what appear to be extracts from new scripted lesson plans which include "graphically explicit" scenarios, examples of sexual assault, group discussions on the topic of "private parts", and more. 

On social media and in multiple emails to Parent24, some parents are saying that sex education has no place in schools and that discussing these topics should be left to parents.

A News24 poll revealed that 45% of parents don't approve of teachers discussing these topics with their children, with 17% saying that teachers aren't equipped to teach sensitive topics like this.

36% of respondents said that properly trained teachers will do a better job than some parents, but only 2% said they're happy to leave sex ed to teachers, revealing that parents are perhaps quite willing to engage in the 'birds and the bees' conversations with their kids. 

Poll: Should sex ed be left to parents?

Catch up here: Are the new Comprehensive Sexuality Education lesson plans really too much?

"They are taking away the right of the father to talk to his son and the mother to the daughter... Breaking up family values. If you don't see it as the parent's duty or you don't want to do it, that's your problem. I would just teach my kids the right way. Not this unGodly rubbish you are going to teach" says Jerome, via Facebook.

"So basically teachers will be teaching porn to our kids?... I'd rather have my kids sit at home and not go to school at all, no kid of mine will be taught that nonsense on my watch. Never!" writes Sibusiso, via Facebook. 

See more readers opinions here: 'It's sex, get over it': South Africans respond to leaked 2020 sex education curriculum

We asked Kate Rowe, founder of explorare.co.za and advocate for sex education for adults and students alike, to share why she thinks that parents being responsible for their kids' sex education could be problematic. 

She also discusses what teachers, in the form of support and resources, need to best approach teaching sometimes sensitive content in schools.

Listen to her insights here:

Ultimately, Kate says "I think the important thing to keep saying is that education and providing children with accurate information about the world around them, and giving them opportunity to discuss in a shame-free environment, is essential to their emotional and mental wellbeing and for them to make healthy choices."

*Disclaimer: Kate referenced gender orientation, but she asks that we note she should have said gender identity. 

Chat back:

Share your thoughts on the subject with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

Leaked 2020 life orientation curriculum has educators up in arms over "grossly insensitive" sex education material

Department of Education slams claims of masturbation lessons for Grade 4 pupils

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1145 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 6418 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1348 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.