Quebec Makes Sex Ed Mandatory at Age 5, Will Teach About Same-Sex Couples in Kindergarten

Kindergarten children in this undated photo.
Kindergarten children in this undated photo. | (Photo: Reuters/Michael Kooren)

The Canadian province of Quebec has become the latest to make sex education mandatory for children in all stages of school, starting in kindergarten.

As CBC News reported on Saturday, starting in September 2018 children as young as 5 "will get a brief explanation of the steps involved in making a baby."

"They will be told that an egg and sperm unite to form a zygote that will grow into an embryo and then a fetus, and they will learn about the different types of families, including those involving same-sex couples," the article added.

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"They will also be given the proper terms for male and female body parts, including the vulva, penis, scrotum and testicles."

Lisa Trimble, a McGill lecturer specializing in sexual education, said that learning such terms at a young age can protect children from sexual exploitation.

"If we are all using the same language and we are removing some of the charge around it by calling it the name that it is supposed to be called, then children are able to articulate if they are having problems," Trimble said.

Kids as young as 8 or 9 will be informed about different forms of sexual assault, from sexual contact and touching, to being exposed to pornography.

Eleven and 12-year-olds with learn the insides of puberty, such as topics including vaginal lubrication, spontaneous erections and nocturnal emissions.

Education Minister Sébastien Proulx argued that it is important for children to learn about puberty before they start experiencing it.

Thirteen and 14-year-olds will be taught about consent and sexual assault, and will be encouraged to "adopt a positive attitude to the use of condoms," Proulx explained.

British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario have all implemented or are preparing to introduce the curriculum that is to be made mandatory at all of Quebec's 3,114 schools in the fall.

The president of a Syndicat de l'enseignement de la région de Québec, the teacher's union in the Quebec City region, spoke out against the plan, however, positioning that educators have not been trained to teach such content.

"In principle, I think offering sexual education courses is important, but this is being done a bit too fast," Denis Simard said.

Simard added that teachers were also not consulted about the issue.

"At one point, it doesn't work," he said. "It doesn't fit in with the schedule."

Hundreds of parents kept their children out of school to protest Ontario's decision to use the mandatory sex ed curriculum back in 2015, warning that teaching sex organs to children in the first grade, for instance, is "too much too soon."

Canadian laws concerning children have been scrutinized by conservatives on a number of occasions this past year.

In June, for example, Ontario passed legislation that allows the government to seize children from families that refuse to accept their child's chosen "gender identity" or "gender expression."

Jack Fonseca, senior political strategist for Campaign Life Coalition, spoke out against the legislation, saying, "With the passage of Bill 89, we've entered an era of totalitarian power by the state, such as never witnessed before in Canada's history. Make no mistake, Bill 89 is a grave threat to Christians and all people of faith who have children, or who hope to grow their family through adoption."

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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