Facts of life

October 20, 2009

I’m a bit worried about sex.

Not for myself, you understand – though I did get a dirty tweet today on Twitter, yikes – but for Child One. Since arriving in the UK three years ago, she has ‘done’ sex as part of the national curriculum every year. Presumably every time, this is er, gone into in, ahem, greater depth.

There was the famous time that she had to colour in male genitalia, asked me what certain dangly parts were and was most disapproving when I could supply the correct answer. ‘You seem to know an awful lot about all this, Mummy,’ she said in crushing Lady Bracknell tones. Then, of course, she was shown the childbirth DVD. The obligatory child in her class crashed to the ground in a dead faint – but, to add a note of novelty, this time it was during the opening credits. Nobody had even mentioned stirrups. Wimps! 

Now she is in Year Nine, and the spectre of actual sex is looming ever larger (a girl of the same age in another school apparently emailed a picture of her breasts to her boyfriend, who promptly posted them on Facebook. The age of chivalry is not only dead, but doesn’t even have its own social networking memorial site).

So far this year, she has had two full days of talks about sex. One day involved an extremely Christian couple who talked about the sanctity of marriage. Unfortunately, the girls may only be 13, but they all KNOW it is possible to have sex outside marriage. And they know that people get divorced. So it is pretty stupid, I think, for anyone to try and tell them differently, however well meaning. Child One was not impressed. Worse still, the couple was OLD and the Child and all her friends were utterly grossed out  by the idea that these wrinklies were still Doing It. I didn’t dare ask how old they were as, obviously, they were bound to be much younger than me.

Now yet another talk is looming, as soon as the half term break is over. All right, the school is in the borough with the highest teen pregnancy rate in the UK. And maybe the constant repetition of the cold facts will make the whole subject as enticing as double maths. But still ….Is there anything else the school can tell them? I absolutely dread to think. ‘You’re going to know a lot more about this than me, soon,’ I joshed to Child One. She gave me a Mona Lisa style half smile. Now that really was a yikes moment.

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  • suburbia October 21, 2009 at 12:58 am

    How much more detail can the provide, for goodness sake?!

    (Did she really have to colour in male genitalia? Presumably green was out of the question?!!)

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 21, 2009 at 11:24 am

      I absolutely dread to think, re the detail. And you’ve been mixing with the wrong crowd, re the colour!!! xx

  • Bluestocking Mum October 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Good lordy. I hate answering delicate questions.

    This is always a tricky one and struck a cord. Remember, I have a sixteen year old? Well last week we found a box of condoms in his bedroom – supposedly given out at his college! After the heart attack, I figured that it doesn’t matter what I think…If he was to have sex, I’d rather he did it wearing a condom.
    So back to the facts of life talk – I always say that if they’re old enough to ask the question, they’re old enough to have an answer.

    My Nan brought me up and I still remember that she once told me that if I kissed a man when I was on my period, I would get pregnant!

    I’d rather be a little embarrassed than give my kids the wrong advice or worse, avoid it.

    best wishes

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 21, 2009 at 11:27 am

      OMG re the condoms!!! But I think you’re quite right – once they’re old enough to do IT they’re old enough to be careful. Mind you, I am sure I will faint if I ever find any condoms chez moi! I think well-intentioned misinformation, like your Nan’s, bless her, can be the cause of a lot of confusion – I’ve always gone for the ‘blind them with science’ approach, getting really nitty-gritty with tubes and ovulation in the hopes that I’ll bore everyone into a less squirmy topic …x

  • Rosie Scribble October 21, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Hang on a minute! Shouldn’t the school be informing you in advance of what they will be teaching your children. When a friend of mine had children in Year 9 she was called into the school to be told what we would be taught, which I would imagine would be quite an awkward parents’ meeting. But I think I prefer this approach to the worries you have. I’ve got all this to come and I can’t say I’m looking forward to it!

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 22, 2009 at 8:48 am

      Hi Rosie, nice to meet you the other day! No, the school hasn’t kept us informed ….possibly because there wasn’t a big take-up when they offered to show us the Year 6 sex videos, including birth. Many of us, including me, felt we’d rather been there and done that …..not sure I could sit there while the headmistress talked about This and That anyway, eeeek!

  • Jimmy October 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Eek. Nice blogging though. Interesting and you keep the reader, er, reading.

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Jimmy, thanks for dropping in and for the compliments, will certainly pop chez toi

  • Jo Beaufoix October 27, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Wow. Hee hee. I have this to come very soon as it begins this year. Miss E is in year 5. I can’t imagine her watching a childbirth film next year. She’s just not ready I don’t think. Gulp.

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm

      I still don’t think I’m ready to see that, and I’ve done it twice! At least I remember it putting me off the whole idea when I saw the film at 14 …..