I don't know. I never even thought about having sex until I was in high school. I think teaching them about safe sex at a younger and younger age will just confuse them. And maybe even encourage them to experiment at younger ages.
I too didn't think about having sex until high school (I was almost 20 when I finally had sex for the 1st time) I was aware that I had friends and similar aged cousins who had had some sort of sexual experience at as young as 12 years old which is why I think we need to start early.
This isn't proof either way but in my experiences those kids whose parents/educators were open and honest about sex made better sexual choices as they got older and those who did not experience open honest discussions about sex made worse sexual choices.
Well, when my boyfriends little brother was ten (in 5th grade) he told me they were teaching him about condoms in health class. And he told me he'd "get a rash if he didn't wear one". I don't think he really knew what he was talking about.
I also read an article (maybe in time) about how they want to start teaching safe sex in third or fourth grade.
I've been trying to find links online but its hard because when I google it so much comes up.
I had sex ed in 5th grade when I was 11. We mostly talked about body parts and how they are already changing or going to change. We did also talk about sex and condoms and birth control. None of it was confusing to me at the time and didn't seem to be confusing to my classmates. Don't underestimate the cognitive ability of a 5th grader I'd be surprised if he didn't already know more than he is letting on.
I think we need comprehensive sex education from a young age. Being a preschool teacher I get to hear all the crazy things some parents tell their children about their bodies and about sex. Even at that young of an age I think it is inappropriate to lie to children about their own bodies and tell them the stork brings babies. Of course you shouldn't get all graphic with young children but when they start asking questions it means they are ready for an honest yet age appropriate answer.
I think in the very early years kids need to learn about how their bodies work and how to take care of their own bodies.
I think by 8 and 9 years of age kids need to start learning about the changes their bodies are going to go through sometime in the next 5 to 6 years. Periods, breast development, body hair ect...
I think by 5th grade 10-11 years old is when sex needs to become more of a focus and that facus needs to continue through high school.
I think all middle school and high school students should have access to condoms and information on how to receive birth control and other information on sex.
I don't think sex should be painted as a negative thing. I think teens need to be warned that there are negative consequences to sex and encouraged to make healthy decisions for themselves and not to rush into sex or let others push them into having sex. I think mentioning abstinence it important but I think we need to be realistic many teens do not choose abstinence.
2. It should be emphasised that abstinence is the only foolproof way to be safe, but educational programs should never ignore the need to teach teenagers how to use condoms (and other forms of birth control). They should also discuss the importance of getting the standard exams before and after becoming sexually active.
Abstinence only programs bother me not only because they fail to teach proper use of protection, but because they sometimes purposely teach kids that condoms actually increase the risk of getting STDs. Not sure where their logic is on that one... I guess they feel that if kids are "immoral" enough to have premarital sex, then they deserve to be punished with pregnancy and/or diseases that may be incurable.