Dangerosa, I am a product of UUA “sex ed” although at the time it wasn’t the “Our Whole Lives” program which I know very little about, but in the 8th grade we had AYS (About Your Sexuality), it was a very direct, very thoughful, and very beneficial. I think it was great, and I hope that whatever curriculum they have now it is similar and accomplishes as much. I don’t even remember sex ed in school… I don’t think we had serious “sex ed” class until the 10th grade, or maybe 9th.
…when I was in Third Grade, but we had a class called “Health”. And somewhere in between studying the circulatory system, the skeletal system, the nerve system, respiratory system, digestive system, endocrine system, and so on, we did indeed do the reproductive system. The parts were named. Organ functions were described. Fertilization, implantation, menstruation, ovulation, pregnancy, and childbirth were covered. The fact that sperm gets to the ovum via penile-vaginal coitus was among the facts included.
It was no ickier at the time than covering urinary and bowel and anus functions. Just more body parts and how they work.
Not much in the way of details about emotional complexities, sexual appetite was most definitely NOT covered, and a detailed sexual techniques manual was NOT included in the assigned reading.
Oh yeah: rural south Georgia, circa 1967
<digression> The theory that children weighing more earlier bring on puberty early makes perfect sense to me. I didn’t have my first period until I was in 9th grade, but I also didn’t weigh (the theoretically required) 100 lbs until then either. Thinking back, most of the other late bloomers I knew were the smallest kids in my grade, too. </digression>
In 4th grade they split up the boys and girls for an hour or so and showed those lame movies about puberty. We didn’t get “sex ed” until Health class in 8th grade.
However, my own parents stated teaching me the “where babies come from” stuff when I was 4 or 5. There were some neat library books about it that I had to have my parents ok to borrow from the children’s section that I read when my mom was expecting my brother, whose arival made me miss my kindergarten graduation- I saw him born.
I knew I had recently read something about girls reaching puberty earlier, and no, it’s not because of hormones in food.
I had honestly never thought of the “she should know by now” aspect of this. It had not occurred to me that she would be old enough to learn sex-ed in school. And I don’t even know why I never thought of it. When I think about it she is a mature 8 year old, a smart kid and it probably has more to do with the way I was raised (no sex talk until you were “old enough to learn it”) than the fact that age might not have anything to do with it. That and the fact that my sweet baby niece is growing up so damn fast and it makes me sad.
Thanks to all who have made me think about this.
She has never asked about where babies come from even though she has two younger siblings. Her little sister is almost 7 years younger than she is and if there were ever a time for her to ask it would have been then, but she didn’t. No idea why not. She sees her little brother naked on a daily basis (as do many of the neighbors…little exhibitionist him) and knows what a penis is and what a vagina is. She has just never questioned the differences. At least to her parents anyhow.
Also, thanks to those who provided the answers on why girls seem to be maturing at an earlier age now-a-days. It is something I have wondered about for awhile and I appreciate the information. It seems to make sense.
The weight thing is an interesting theory, but, it doesn’t account for all cases… I was a very small child and I developed pretty early (aside from getting my period at age 9, I had everything, breastwise, in the 5th grade that I have now.) Not unnaturally early, but earlier than the majority of my peers, I would say. I doubt sincerely if I weighed 100lbs at the time.