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In 2013, Chicago considered a new K-12 curricula on sexual health that would include age-appropriate education on recognizing when people did not want to be touched, but conservatives bemoaned it as “sex ed for kindergarteners.” Overall, however, Cushman is optimistic that schools are interested in teaching students more about what healthy relationships look like, not so much because of the #Me Too movement, but because middle school and high schools have been paying attention to conversations on preventing campus rape.Cushman said the real barrier for educators is often a lack of time to include all of the content they would like in a sex education curriculum because schools are focused on standardized tests and developing reading and math skills.Young people should be able to identify healthy ways for friends to express feelings toward each other, so we start out talking about friendships and ‘What does it mean to be a good friend?
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“Sex education needs to start in kindergarten in age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate ways,” Cushman said.
“We’re not talking about sex in relationships in kindergarten and early elementary school …
But she said she hopes that educators’ recent focus on social-emotional learning, which teaches social competencies that include decision-making skills, maintaining positive relationships, and managing emotions, will address issues around teaching kids about healthy relationships.
“Schools are devoting more time and energy to curricula that encourage empathy and compassion, and that’s what we’re really talking about here.
“What we’ve seen for a long time is that the biggest risk to high school students is when they’re in relationships where there is a large age disparity, meaning more than two years between them and their partner,” she said, adding that even “Developmentally, there is a really big difference between a 16-year old and an 18-year old or a 14 -year old and 16-year old, and as people get older, they have access to more freedom and mobility, whether that’s having a car or a job that gives them income.
Those things can be used to assert control over a partner,” Cushman said.Soon, Rogerson becomes possessive and jealous, and Caitlin finds her life turning upside down—she quits cheerleading, her grades drop, she begins to smoke pot and, pretty soon, finds herself putting up with regular physical abuse from Rogerson.It’s not exactly a happy read, but, none of these are. It’s a tough topic for obvious reasons—no teen wants to believe they’re susceptible of falling for the ruse of an abusive partner and no parent wants to imagine the possibility of someone hurting their child.Luckily, there are a lot of young adult novels out there that can do part of the heavy lifting for you.Comprehensive sex education provides age-appropriate and accurate information that goes beyond the standard heterosexual and cisgender lens on how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections by also addressing gender, relationships, consent, and issues affecting LGBTQ students.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating