resources

Research Quotes & Statistics

Websites, Stats & Quotes

  • As the world now has the largest-ever generation of children and young people, the delivery of comprehensive sex and health education has never been more important (Collier-Harris & Goldman, 2017).

  • School-based sex education plays a vital role in the sexual health and well-being of young people (Goldfarb & Lieberman, 2020). 

  • It is essential that sexual health education effectively empowers people with the information and skills to enhance their well-being and sexual health and by including individual, interpersonal and positive aspects of human sexuality (SIECCAN, 2019).  
  • Similar to math, establishing an early foundation in which new learnings inclusive of developmentally appropriate material and teaching is imperative to the long term development of knowledge, attitudes, and skills that support healthy sexuality (Goldfarb & Lieberman, 2021).

  • “Teaching young children about sexual health and wellbeing – in age and developmentally appropriate ways – means teaching young children over years about things like consent, body safety, gender norms, gender identity, intimacy, and healthy relationships. It looks like teaching about how to be a good friend, how to say ‘no’ to unwanted touching, it means knowing our body parts and how to keep your body safe” (Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights, 2020).

  • Schools are the only educational body to have meaningful and mandatory contact with nearly every young person, and therefore have a unique opportunity to deliver sex education to children, youth, and young adults (Granger, C.A., 2007).

  • Children must learn about public/private boundaries  – understand their privacy and appropriate public behaviours (McKee et al., 2010).
  • There is “strong evidence that young children can develop self-protective knowledge, skills, and intentions, including an increased likelihood of reporting sexual abuse and knowing how to respond in a dangerous situation, all without increasing anxiety” (Goldfarb & Lieberman, p. 22). 

  • “We recommend the more explicit inclusion of sexual consent in health education curricula via the identified themes that already exist in most or all standards, emphasising the importance of teaching young people about the nuances of sexual consent and its communication before they become sexually active” (Willis et al., 2018). 
  • Young children are, in fact, quite capable of understanding and discussing issues related to gender diversity, including gender expectations, gender nonconformity, and gender-based oppression (Goldfarb & Lieberman, 2021). 

  • Not only are younger children able to discuss sexuality-related issues but that the early grades may, in fact, be the best time to introduce topics related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, gender equity, and social justice related to the LGBTQ community before hetero- and cisnormative values and assumptions become more deeply ingrained and less mutable (Goldfarb & Lieberman, 2021). 

  • Cohen et al. (2012)  found that the majority of Canadian elementary school teachers surveyed viewed comprehensive sexual health education as important and believed that it should start in elementary school. 

  • Studies of parents’ attitudes towards school-based sexual education show that the majority of parents are supportive and appreciative (Milton, J, 2003). In fact, Canadian research shows the 90% plus of parents support school-based sexual health education (Action Canada).

  • It is also important to note that sexual health education in schools may be the only sexual health education some children receive (Milton, J., 2003).

  • Sexual education is a part of the teaching-learning process that addresses cognitive, psychological, physical and social aspects of sexuality. The purpose of sexual education is to provide people with knowledge, abilities, attitudes and values that will help them to have good sexual health, well-being and dignity (Fernando et al., 2021). 

  • There continues to be much concern about Canadian students’ access to sexual health education within their schools’ health education programs. [The] UNESCO guidelines provide key concepts, topics, and technical guidance about sexual health-related topics that are advisable for students in all grades, including for those students in Kindergarten/Primary (K/P) (Robinson et al., 2019).

  • Providing young children with the right information from the start will help to eliminate misinformation, stigma, and shame surrounded in sexual and reproductive health and rights issues (Harley, 2019 – SIECUS website). 

 

Citings

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. (2017). Beyond the Basics: A Resource for Educators on Sexuality and Sexual Health pp. 393 – 397.

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. (2020). Myths about sex-ed. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://www.actioncanadashr.org/sex-ed-myths. 

Cohen, J., Byers, E. S., & Sears, H. (2012). Factors affecting Canadian teachers’ willingness to teach sexual health education. Sex Education, 12(3), 299–316. https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.1080/14681811.2011.615606

Cohen J. N., Sears H. A., Byers E. S., & Weaver A. D. (2004). Sexual health education: attitudes, knowledge, and comfort of teachers in New Brunswick schools. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 13(1), 1–15.

Collier-Harris, C. A., & Goldman, J. D. G. (2017). Could Australia have its own teacher professional standards for teaching relationships and sexuality education? Sex Education, 17(5), 512–528. https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.1080/14681811.2017.1313159

Fernando, J, Soliani, I., Fernández-Sola, C. Molina-García, J., Ventura-Miranda, M., Pomares-Callejón, M.,  López-Entrambasaguas, O. & Ruiz-Fernández, M. (2021). Primary School Teachers’ Perspective of Sexual Education in Spain. A Qualitative Study. Healthcare (Basel), 9 (3), 287. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9030287

Goldfarb, E. S., & Lieberman, L. D. (2021). Three Decades of Research: The Case for Comprehensive Sex Education. Journal of Adolescent Health, 68(1), 13–27. https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.07.036

Granger, C. A. (2007). On (Not) Representing Sex in Preschool and Kindergarten: A Psychoanalytic Reflection on Orders and Hints. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 7(1), 1–15

McKee, A., Albury, K., Dunne, M., Grieshaber, S., Hartley, J., Lumby, C., & Mathews, B. (2010). Healthy Sexual Development: A Multidisciplinary Framework for Research. International Journal of Sexual Health, 22(1), 14-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/19317610903393043

Milton, J. (2003). Primary School Sex Education Programs: views and experiences of teachers in four primary schools in Sydney, Australia. Sex Education, 3(3), 241. https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.1080/1468181032000119122

Robinson, D., MacLaughlin, V. & Poole, J. (2019). Sexual health education outcomes within Canada’s elementary health education curricula: A summary and analysis. Journals University of Toronto Press, 28 (3), 243 – 256. 

SIECCAN. (2019). Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education. Toronto, ON: Sex Information & Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN).

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (2004). Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, 3rd Edition. Retrieved on October 22, 2021 from http://sexedu.org.tw/guideline.pdf

Willis, M., Jozkowski, K. & Read, J. (2018). Sexual consent in K–12 sex education: an analysis of current health education standards in the United States. Sex Education, 19 (2), 226 – 236.